I’ve seen the future of web browsing, and it is Operator. Well at least when it comes to microformatted and (potentially other kinds of) structured and meta data. I think it is really exciting.
Operator, by IBM’s Michael Kaply is a Firefox Extension, which adds a toolbar that enables actions on the microformatted content in a page.
Operator has two modes – an “Actions” mode and a format mode.
In the Actions mode, Operator presents you with options based largely on services like Flickr, Techorati, Google Calendar, and del.icio.us
This is the Operator toolbar in “Actions Mode”. The page has 1 hCard, and three reltags.
If I click the Flickr, Del.icio.us or Technorati buttons, I get a menu which lets me find all photos at Flickr, posts at Technorati, or delicioused resources which have been tagged with one of these three tags.
If you have hCalendar content, in this mode you can add it (including individual events on a page) to Google Calendar.
I think that the GEO data to Google Maps action isn’t working yet, but that will be really sweet when it is up and running. At least I tried a couple of what I am pretty sure are valid GEO microformats, but Operator thinks they aren’t.
There is also a format mode, with a different toolbar (you choose the mode you want by clicking the options button on the far right of the toolbar)
This actually presents more options per format.
To get a sense of what’s possible, with contacts you can
I’m not sure whether live clipboard actually does anything yet (my bad), but this gives a sense of the kinds of actions that are available, and I am sure additional ones will be relatively easily added (AFAIK, this is the first version, and for that it is already nice looking and quite sophisticated).
Similarly, the events menu lets you export the event to an iCalendar supporting desktop app (like iCal on Mac OS X, or Entourage on Windows), or export to Google or Yahoo! Calendar, or to go to the web page for that event as marked up in the hCalendar microformat.
For reviews, you can add a bookmark or search Yahoo! or Google for the item (I’m sure we’ll see searching at shopping comparison sites for the item soon), while with Tags, you an look for delicious bookmarks, Flickr photos, Technorati indexed posts or events at Upcoming using that tag.
“Sure I’m a geek, but that’s Cool”
It is even really useful for debugging you microformats – there is an option to show invalid microformats, and it will even report why the microformat is invalid – for example a hReview with no required item.
This ties in very nicely with what Alex Faaborg has been writing about microformats and their support in Firefox 3.
Wonderful work Michael, and go and get and install this now – this link will install in Firefox
[tags]microformats, operator, IBM, Firefox[/tags]