Folks at my XTech talk on microsummaries in May seemed excited by the new feature, and in discussion they pointed out a number of potential applications for microsummaries technology, including:
- Simplifying web pages for blind users who have to walk DOM trees via screen readers to access page content. One idea is to establish a repository of site-specific XSLT stylesheets that remove unnecessary content (f.e. redundant navigation) from pages, tag important content, and make other modifications to optimize navigability via screen readers.
- Reorganizing web pages for mobile users with screen size and navigation constraints. A common problem on mobile devices is that users have to scroll past screenfuls of navigation to get to the content of a page, since the navigation appears before the content in the page. Here again we might establish a repository of XSLT stylesheets that move navigation to the ends of pages and do other transforms to make the pages display better on small screens.
- Creating widgets that provide specific information or help you do particular tasks, à la Yahoo! Widgets, Opera Widgets, and Apple’s Dashboard. XSL transforms probably aren’t sufficient here but could be a component in an overall solution.
These are all great ideas, and I’ll be keeping their use cases in mind as I refine microsummaries functionality in Firefox.