30 August 2007

More about the Clippings 2.99.2 development snapshot

As promised, here are more details on the new features introduced in the latest pre-3.0 development snapshot.

laceholders In Clippings

You can now define placeholders inside a clipping that you will be prompted to fill in when you paste the clipping. Placeholders are essentially variables that appear in the clipping text in the format $[variable_name]. Valid variable names can contain letters (lowercase or uppercase), digits (0-9) and underscores. Example clipping with placeholders:
Hello, $[YourName], I'm glad you're coming to the club meeting at $[meeting_time]. See you $[2nite]!
When you paste a clipping with placeholders, you will be prompted to fill in the value for each placeholder in the clipping. If you want the placeholders in the clipping pasted exactly as they are, with no prompting and substitution, the clipping name should be prefixed with [NOSUBST].

There are six predefined placeholders you can use in your clippings; these predefined placeholders will be automatically substituted with their expected values when you paste the clipping.
  • $[NAME] - the name of the clipping
  • $[FOLDER] - the name of the folder the clipping belongs to
  • $[DATE] - the current date, expressed in the format defined in your system's locale settings
  • $[TIME] - the current time, expressed in the format defined in your system's locale settings
  • $[HOSTAPP] - the name of the host application you're pasting the clipping in
  • $[UA] - the user agent string of the host application

Toolbar Button for Firefox

To add this button to a toolbar in the Firefox browser window, right-click on a toolbar and choose Customize, then from the toolbar button pallete drag the Clippings button to the desired location.

Common Clippings Data for Firefox and Thunderbird

This much-requested feature allows your Clippings data to be created, accessed and modified from both Firefox and Thunderbird. That means that a clipping created in Firefox will be visible in Thunderbird; a clipping created in Firefox that is modified in Thunderbird will be updated in Firefox, too; etc.

This feature is still a work in progress with lots of bugs, and is therefore turned off by default. If you want to test this feature, be sure to familiarize yourself with the list of known issues in the post announcing the release of this milestone and the latest bug list from the Clippings website.

To enable common clippings for both host applications (Firefox and Thunderbird):
  1. Download and install this release of Clippings in both host apps.
  2. Export your clippings from both host apps. You can skip this step if you've never used Clippings before, or want to start from scratch.
  3. Create a new boolean pref in about:config named clippings.datasource.common and set it to true. Do this for both host apps.
  4. Exit both host apps and restart them.
  5. In one of the two host apps, open Clippings Manager, then import the clippings you had exported in step 2 (Options -> Import).
  6. Switch to the other host app, and from there either right-click on a text box or open Clippings Manager. You should now see the imported clippings from the other host app.
If this feature is enabled, your Clippings data for both host applications will be stored in your home directory. So for Linux or UNIX, this would be /home/username, and on Windows this would be C:\Documents and Settings\username.

Sometimes the tree list of clippings and folders in Clippings Manager may not be updated with the latest changes from the other host app. To refresh the display, choose Options -> Reload. (This command appears on the Options menu only if clippings.datasource.common is enabled.)

1 comment:

Petra Struck said...

it would be nice to have a search function in Clippings