11 April 2010

Wikipedia Path extension for my browser?

Dear Lazyweb,

On this partly-cloudy day of April, I’ve thrown myself at Wikipedia seeking mercy upon my insatiable need to know more about diverse subjects such as the International Phonetic Alphabet.  But, as with any visit to Wikipedia, I ended up reading about even more diverse subjects such as the Mortgage word (from Law French), the Arabic loanword Orange and the Merovingian dynasty.

This was all great to read upon (thanks Wikipedians!).  But I’d like an easy way to find my way back to the original piece.  I’d like a nice Firefox extension to draw for me the threads of articles I’ve read.  Each time I’d open a new tab it would create a new branch from this article.  When an article links to an already open tab, it should be identified with a dashed line.

I’ve drawn an example of what it could look like (click for more details):

My path through Wikipedia today

So please, tell me someone already wrote that piece of software? (It took me quite too long to draw this funny diagram).



NB: An attentive reader will realize that I like reading on History, Languages and History of Languages.

Comments (11)

  1. 11 April 2010
    Elliott said...

    Speaking of languages, I thought “divers” didn’t look right… I spell it with an ‘e’: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/diverse
    Adding the the ‘e’ moves the emphasis from the first syllable to the second and slightly changes the pronunciation of the ‘i’.

  2. 11 April 2010
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Heh Elliot: alright, I used the French spelling :) Fixed.

  3. 11 April 2010
    David Regev said...

    Déjà vu! I think I’ve visited most of those pages before.

    If your main use case is getting back to the root node, the simplest solution is to install Tab History (it works in Firefox 3.6 too, if you modify its maxVersion). So, if you opened the ‘Conlang’ page in a new tab my middle-clicking, that new tab will inherit its parent’s history. Thus, you can always get back to the ‘International Phonetic Alphabet’ page from anywhere in the tree, whether you’re in the original tab or in a spawned one.

    There are some other add-ons that might fulfil your need better, (though I cannot say how good they are, as I haven’t tried them): Tree Style Tab, Tab Kit, and History Tree. The last one is especially intriguing

    I suspect that your diagram was influenced by XKCD. I even mocked-up an alternative browser interface that made this visualization more prominent.

  4. 11 April 2010

    Maybe this should be done by Wikipedia, not Firefox.

  5. 12 April 2010
    oliver said...

    Would Zeitgeist be able to supply this data?

  6. 12 April 2010
    James said...

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/14650 is also worth a look.

  7. 12 April 2010
    RainCT said...

    Oliver: Ideally yes, but the current implementation doesn’t support this yet.

  8. 12 April 2010
    Goran Rakic said...

    I did something similar as a student project for my Java course at the University back in 2007.

    The source of this two nights hack as an Eclipse project is available at http://alas.matf.bg.ac.rs/~mr04069/pjwiki_mr04069_eclipse.zip and some screenshots are available at http://alas.matf.bg.ac.rs/~mr04069/pjwiki.pdf

  9. 12 April 2010
    leighman said...

    @Elliott/Pierre-Luc ‘divers subjects’ is also correct, it’s just that ‘diverse’ is the one everyone uses these days :P
    Also your submit comment button doesn’t display in Opera :(
    Sorry this post is kinda pointless =D

  10. 12 April 2010
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    @Leighman: ah then, that would explain why my spell checker didn’t care.