Back in late April I needed to do some advanced validation and testing of a RESTful XML web service we’ve been enhancing for various projects.
Being used to coding defensively and resorting to hacks to get advanced layout and dynamic code working properly in Windows Internet Explorer, it was most refreshing to just work in WebKit, where everything, as far as i could tell, just behaved as i’d expected it to, according to W3C standards.
The widget has a built-in update notification mechanism, and will stop working until you update, whenever one is available. I understand some users may find this annoying, but it’s a rather painless process, and ensures compatibility with the web service that powers it.
One huge shortcoming of this widget, is that it doesn’t quite support international stores, but that might change based on demand.
It might be a rough ride over the next couple of weeks, with numerous updates to the widget to field various issues. I’ll be keeping my eyes on comments. I’m hoping to read your thoughts on all this.
One key aspect of online shopping that’s often frustrating is the amount of leg work required to perform basic comparison shopping, across multiple marketplaces and retailers. I’ve often found myself opening-up many browser windows, and many tabs in each browser window, to pursue multiple shopping tracks. Few sites bother to save your shopping history, and once your browser windows are closed, you’ve lost most everything.
Another frustration is the amount of information thrown at me on traditional web pages. With all this real-estate available, and quarterly revenue pressures, we start seeing more ads, links, and clutter.
The widget won’t of course replace your favorite in-depth comparison shopping sites, or the comfort of Amazon.com, as that’d be beyond the scope of a mere widget. But it ought to go a long way to bring useful information to your fingertips, in a user interface reasonably free from clutter.
See also: the official beta announcement.