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The Chrome Extension For a More Transparent Web

I’m taking part in something new, and awesome. A Chrome extension for making web browsing quicker and more transparent.

How often do you find yourself opening a bunch of links just to get basic information from the page. How often do you see a click bait article and not know if you want to read it? How often do you browse reddit and just want to know if the top comment is what you expect?

Quick Link Previewer (name pending) has the potential to make all of that easier.  The Chrome extension detects links from certain domains and gives you the most important information without having to navigate to it.

Above is an example of what the previews for an imgur album and hacker news post preview might look like. When you hover over any links to these types of pages on the web, that is what you might see.

different websites, different views.

Every website is different and thus each view might feature different content. A link to an ebay auction would probably feature the photo, current price, and time remaining.

Bit.ly and other shortners might give you the title and description of the page they link to.

Youtube links might give you the name of the video, a preview thumbnail, and the number of views. A great way to avoid getting rick-rolled!

There are so many of these plugins that could be made for individual sites, that it obviously doesn’t make sense for me to build them all myself. As an example, it would be a lot better for someone who really cares about reddit comment threads to build and own the reddit view.

the project.

Quick Link Previewer isn’t finished or ready to be used. In fact, it has barely started. The idea has been flushed out and a basic structure to the extension has been created. Some initial example views have been built as well as some simple legs for the project to start running on. It’s time to grow.

We will be launching the project on Product Hunt and the Chrome Store in about two weeks, October 6th.

the experiment.

We are starting this project with very little. Everything still needs to be built. But we have a public launch date that is very soon. We will make this happen; learning and growing together as we fight towards the goal.

how to participate.

We need all the help we can get! Designers, engineers, writers, etc. There is a piece for every type of person, even those who are new to open source.

documentation

As all open source projects say, documentation is incredibly important. We need to make sure the README is clear for developers to get started, and know how the code is structured.

design

Do you have ideas for the user experience for certain websites? Great! Do you want to help make the user experiences share design elements for different websites? Even better! We also need assets for the Chrome store!

development

The obvious one. So much development work needs to be done. Here are some features that come to mind and questions that need to be answered.

  • Domain plugins – Choose the website you use the most and take part in developing that functionality. This is probably the best entry point to the project as these pieces are fairly stand alone.
  • A settings menu to enable and disable different domains. Perhaps a blacklist of domains that shouldn’t render.
  • Cache the display for URLs so we aren’t making requests on every hover if we don’t need to.
  • Better Domain / Path matching
  • CSS and HTML framework the views can share to be consistent.
  • Once a url is routed to a viewer, what happens if the viewer can’t display it?
  • How can people test to make sure that their plugin keeps working as things are changing?
  • So much more.

lets go!

The project is on GitHub and we have tons to do. We have tried to make the project as easy as possible to get up and running, if you have any questions feel free to ask any of the people contributing. Come join us!

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