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Andrew Pollock


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Saturday, 07 March 2015

Honey, I wrote my first Chrome extension!

I love reading Linux Weekly News. It's a great source of high quality Linux and FOSS journalism, and I've been a subscriber for years.

One mild annoyance I have with the site is the way articles are cross-linked. All the article URIs are in the format /Article/531114/, which isn't particularly descriptive about that article's content.

When faced with an article that links to another article, with perhaps a word of anchor text, it's hard to tell if the new article is worth opening in a tab, is indeed already open in a tab, or has been previously read. (Yes, the "visited link" colour can help to a small degree, but even then, it doesn't tell you which previously read article it is).

This is what God the W3C invented the title attribute for.

Back in April 2011, I emailed Jonathan Corbet and asked if his content management system could just do this, but it was apparently a bit tricky, and it got filed in the "feature request" bucket.

I was sufficiently irritated by this deficiency last Monday, when doing some heavy reading on a topic, and so I decided to take matters into my own hands, and also learn how to write a Chrome Extension into the bargain.

I was delighted to have scratched the itch under 24 hours later and developed something that solved my particular problem - lwn4chrome I'm calling it.

I'm just finalising an icon for it, and then I'll have a stab at putting it in the Chrome Web Store as a freebie.

I might even have a crack at writing a Firefox extension as well for completeness, but I suspect the bulk of LWN's readership is using Chrome or Chromium.

[00:06] [tech] [permalink]

Friday, 06 March 2015

Everything old is new again

In 2005, when I was working for Cybertrust, my job title was Security Engineer. Then I left that job, and Australia, to go work for Google as a Linux Systems Administrator.

10 years later, after a fabulous 13 month break, I return to Google as a Security Engineer once more.

I honestly didn't expect it would be possible to return to Google under the same conditions that I had before I left, so I had very low expectations. I have to say that I am extremely humbled by the level of support I have received, both from my peers and my management, to come back.

I also had to make a difficult decision (aided by a coin toss) over whether to return to Google or accept an offer from a local company that would have been a good opportunity to make a broad impact.

[22:48] [work] [permalink]