Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greasemonkey, jQuery and Strophe

Greasemoney is a Firefox add-on that allows third-party applications to add functionality to any site. With javascript libraries such as jQuery, it becomes really easy for a newbie to do this now. In fact, there are thousands of example Greasemonkey scripts to learn from today.

I needed to connect a conversational recommendation engine that recommends relevant content including people for domain specific conversations. When recommending people for different conversations, there is not much transactional value unless the system can bi-directionally ping the users (the recommended user should also get notified about the conversation so that she can possibly respond to the users in the conversation).

Trying to implement this functionality for a third party site, I found this neat XMPP library called Strophe. With the new HTML5 CORS specification, it becomes straightforward to use this client-side IM library for Jabber notifications on external websites using scripts. I had to add just a couple of lines in my apache server comfiguration to enable this feature. I will be updating the scripts online (with notifications) here.

When Information Technologies meet Communication Technologies, a new dimension is added to the existing IT space that allows realization of Vannevar Bush's 'As we may think' ideas. For example, I used Google+ ysterday which seems to have twined a nice combination of these two technologies together (ICT) with feeds from various networks and a logical integration with mail, chat, buzz and blog servers. Google wave failed initially for many reasons such as arriving too early in time and poor interface(with becoming an Apache project, I am sure there will be many cool applications coming out using the technology) but I thought it was a very cool project.

Thanks to open source technologies and foundations (eg. Apache) that have made available tremendous high quality projects and resources available to community to build up on and do creative stuff with it.

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