Hyper-Anchor (Japanese only at the moment, but I suspect the English page will be here when they get it ready) is a lot like its big sibling I wrote about last month, Wired-Marker.

Once again by the BITS Co., Ltd. bioInformational company, it lacks some of the features of Wired-Marker, but that’s the idea, really. It’s supposed to be a slimmed-down version for daily use. You select some text in a page, and bookmark it. Simple, simple.

It’s available in the Mozilla.org addons sandbox, as well as the official site.

The only big stumbling block for both extensions is something they have no control over. That is the nature of parsing a document that may change or may be incorrect. They use XPath to find, store, and retrieve the document-specific location of an item. If the document is malformed and badly structured, or possibly if the structure is too dynamic, it will not reliably locate the correct part (“node”) of the document to anchor to.

The fact of the matter is there is not really a good way to deal with that. It should be accepted as a limitation of the current web. But spreading awareness of this kind of software and increasing its common usage does help. As more people use this kind of software on pages it will increase the awareness of web designers and web programmers. They will realize “we’re breaking an important tool for our page,” just as they currently do with CSS, and they will optimize their page to have good structure.

Wired-Marker extension

In the Mozilla Firefox Addons Sandbox there’s a really great extension: Wired-Marker.

The website (English):wired-marker.org
The website (Japanese): wired-marker.org

It is created by BITS Co., Ltd. a BioInformational company.

This extension lets you add “markers” to any portion of a webpage. It tracks them and you can easily return to them later. The actual markings are customizable with respect to background, text, and border. You can save the style of markings for future use.

But what’s really great about this extension is you can export & import markings. This means you can send others your markings as part of deliverable artifacts on a project. Professors can now annotate their lectures with these markings and students can readily access the marked content for reference.

There have been many occasions where I find myself jumping between disparate points on a single, lengthy web document. That’s not a problem anymore. You can now save these points and jump between them. If it helps, you can add change the look so that the portion you jumped to “jumps out” at you.

For software developers, anyone doing web research, and anyone that’s trying to share information I have to recommend you use this. If you don’t you’ll be wasting time locating the same information you already found rather than putting it to use.