TargetAlert for Firefox

Version - 11/4/06

Dinged the maxVersion up to 2.0.0.*.

Version - 1/8/06

By popular demand, the TargetAlert mouseover cursors in Firefox 1.5 have been reverted back to the icons that appear after the link on mouseover. The mouseover cursors will be reintroduced as an option in TargetAlert 0.9.

Version - 12/11/05

Added support for Slovak locale (thanks Peter!).

Version - 11/11/05

Changed maxVersion from 1.4 to 1.5. Welcome to Deer Park!

Version - 10/22/05

Removed feature that stops TargetAlert from running on pages with over 500 links. This feature was being prototyped internally and wasn't intended to leak into the main release until the 500 link threshold was configurable in the Options panel.

Version - 10/21/05

Updated TargetAlert so that it is compliant with Firefox 1.5 beta 2.

Version - 9/24/05

Updated TargetAlert so that it is compliant with Firefox 1.5 beta 1. This entailed more than just changing maxVersion in install.rdf to 1.4. Specifically, TargetAlert now takes advantage of the support for CSS2 cursors in 1.5 so that the cursor changes to the TargetAlert icon when the user mouses over the link instead of overlaying the icon to the right of the link. This makes alerts more obvious to users who use TargetAlert in mouseover mode.

Included Alexander's updated Russian localization (thanks Alexander!)

Included a LICENSE.txt that explains TargetAlert's license.

Version - 9/4/05

Fixed a number of regressions in TargetAlert.

Version 0.8.9 - 8/17/05

Added Czech localization (cs-CZ), courtesy of Josef Kotva.

Added Italian localization (it-IT), courtesy of Giovanni Peppomcr.

"Icons on mouseover" is the new default setting as many users have expressed that they prefer this setting, as it does not disturb the layout of the page.

Increased maxVersion in install.rdf to 1.0.6 for Firefox.

Version - 7/11/05

Added Turkish localization (tr-TR), courtesy of Burak GŁner.

Version 0.8.8 - 7/9/05

Added Russian localization (ru-RU), courtesy of Alexander Sokolov.

Added more specific attributes to the CSS style for TargetAlert icons.

By popular demand, when TargetAlert icons appear on mouseover, their position is absolute rather than relative so that the layout of the page is not disturbed.

The following updates are thanks to Mark Baines (and require users to Reset Preferences to get them):

  • Default icon for *.msi has been changed from to . Because this is a better icon, this alert is now enabled by default.
  • *.rtf added as recognized file type for *.txt alert.
  • Added support for sound and movie alerts, whose icons are and .

Version - 6/29/05

Fixed character encoding for es-ES locale.

Version - 6/27/05

More localizations added: German, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, and Portugese. Thanks again to all of the translators for their help and speedy contributions!

Version - 6/23/05

Added French localization – thank you, Jean-Bernard Marcon!

Version 0.8.7 - 6/23/05

TargetAlert has support for localization.

The "new window" alert has been improved (see bugs). Unfortunately, TargetAlert still requires users to Reset Preferences to get the fix.

TargetAlert can be disabled via a checkbox in the Preferences dialog.

The z-index has been increased to 10 for alerts that appear on mouseover.

Version 0.8.6 - 6/11/05

Users can use URL patterns (like in AdBlock) or regular expressions to identify sites that will be ignored by TargetAlert.

Version 0.8.5 - 6/10/05

Users can now choose to have TargetAlert icons appear only when they mouse over a link. In Firefox 1.1 or later, if this option is enabled, TargetAlert will change the cursor into the TargetAlert icon upon mousing over the link rather than temporarily appending the icon to the link on mouseover. This makes the alert more obvious to the user and does not disrupt the flow of the page.

Also, the maxVersion for the Firefox version of TargetAlert has been changed from 1.0+ to 1.0.4 because TargetAlert appears to have problems working with Deer Park alpha (the precursor to Firefox 1.1). Since this is only an alpha release, I'm not going to worry about compatibility with this version yet.

Version 0.8.4 - 6/10/05

Users now have the option of disabling alerts on links that contain images or have no text.

display: inline !important; has been added to the style attribute for images added by TargetAlert.

*.xlt has been added to the list of extensions that trigger MS Excel alerts, and *.lzh has been added to the list of extensions that trigger Zip/Archive alerts. Apparently, the LZH format is a popular zip format in Japan, which I learned after getting some email after Target alert appeared in a Japanese webzine.

(As before, if you are upgrading from an earlier version, then you will have to Reset Preferences to get the additional file extensions in the existing alerts.)

Version 0.8.3 - 6/7/05

Thanks to Dennis Schwerdel, the icons that come with TargetAlert now have transparent backgrounds. As I recently discovered a free, online tool for adding transparency to PNG images, all future icons that come with TargetAlert should also come with transparency.

Also thanks to Dennis, the border="0" attribute has been moved into the style attribute as "border: 0px none;" to account for cases where the border attribute is overridden in a stylesheet, such as in

*.pps now included with *.ppt for PowerPoint alerts.

If the href of an anchor is # and the anchor has an onClick attribute, then this is no longer marked as an internal link because it is probably a hack by the page author to pop open a window. For page authors who are guilty of this hack, the "right" thing to do is href="javascript:open('foo')" so that clicking on the link does not bring the user to the top of the page as a side effect.

Alerts for javascript: and aim: protocol links have been added. (The javascript: alert is disabled by default.)

Alerts for *.exe and *.msi files have also been added. Like javascript:, the default icon for these alerts is , so these alerts are disabled by default since the user should opt-in to decide that these types of links merit such an alarming warning sign.

(As before, if you are upgrading from an earlier version, then you will have to Reset Preferences to get the new alerts. I apologize for this awkwardness – I'm working on creating a better system for upgrading versions in the future.)

Version 0.8.2 - 6/3/05

Changed the "secure site" alert to label https links only when coming from a non-https site. Many users voiced complaints about seeing the lock icon on practically every link on a secure site. An analogous "insecure site" alert has been added when a link from an https site points to a non-https site. (Thanks to Mark Tetrode for the "insecure site" suggestion.)

TargetAlert icons are placed 3 pixels lower than they were before, as this better aligns them with the text in the link. Also, all TargetAlert icons now have a class="targetalert" attribute, so users may define their own style for TargetAlert icons in userContent.css. (Thanks to Ralf Hasse for these suggestions.)

A Reset Preferences button has been added to the TargetAlert Preferences dialog. This makes it easier to get the new default alerts after upgrading to a new version of TargetAlert (such as the new "insecure site" alert).

Version 0.8.1 - 5/31/05

Added a new alert to the default preferences that identifies a link that links to another position in the page (e.g. links that start with #). To reset your preferences to get this new, default preference, go to about:config, set targetalert.defaultPrefsWrittenV8 to false, and then close Firefox. When Firefox is reopened, open the TargetAlert preferences window and you should see all of the alerts set to their default values.

An important bug fix for Mac users was also added in this version.

Version 0.8 - 5/31/05

Previously, the preferences for TargetAlert were stored as a list of 10 boolean values. This primitive storage mechanism was inadequate for storing all of the customizations for all of the features that users have been asking me to support. To accomodate these new features, TargetAlert now stores its preferences in the RDF local-store. If you are updating from a previous version of TargetAlert, the new version will read your preferences from the previous version and incorporate them when installing the new version.

The UI to support the new features, such as user-defined alerts, is not quite ready. Support will be incorporated gradually over the course of the 0.8.x releases. If you cannot wait that long, and you know a bit about RDF, then you can to edit the RDF yourself at your own risk. For example, the RDF file to edit on my Windows machine is:

C:\Documents and Settings\mbolin\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\default.9an\localstore.rdf
If you look at this file after installing TargetAlert 0.8, you will find the following:
  <RDF:Seq RDF:about="chrome://targetalert/alerts/">
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="chrome://targetalert/alerts/1"/>
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="chrome://targetalert/alerts/2"/>
    <RDF:li RDF:resource="chrome://targetalert/alerts/17"/>
Each entry in this sequence points to a resource that defines an alert in TargetAlert. For example, the first alert, for PDFs, is:
  <RDF:Description RDF:about="chrome://targetalert/alerts/1"
                   description="Adobe PDF"
                   enabled="true" />
The pattern attribute should either be the empty string, or a comma-delimited list of strings that either begin with *. or end with :. The empty string indicates that instead of a simple pattern, TargetAlert should test each link using user-defined JavaScript code, as seen in the onClick alert:
  <RDF:Description RDF:about="chrome://targetalert/alerts/15"
                   description="Link has an onClick attribute"
    <code>return anchor.hasAttribute('onClick');</code>
If pattern starts with *., then it will match any link that links to a URL with that extension (e.g. *.pdf). If pattern ends with :, then it will match any link that links to a URL with that protocol (e.g. https:).

TargetAlert is not intended to be customized by editing this file by hand, which is why this is not a detailed description of the format of the file. I strongly recommend waiting for the next release of TargetAlert, but I realize that some people may not want to wait that long, so the above is just a list of hints on how to get started.

Version 0.7.4 - 3/21/05

Edited install.rdf so that the minVersion is 0.10 to accomodate the bizarre convention for numbering versions of Firefox.

Version 0.7.3 - 11/27/04

Fixed duplicate-icon bug for good using solution provided by Anupriya Ankolekar at CMU – thanks Anupriya! Many people reported this bug and offered solutions, but Anupriya's was presented succinctly, so it was the easiest for me to incorporate. If you're curious, the bug is solved by checking to see if TargetAlert has already added an icon and if so, don't add another one! Though this solution seems simple and obvious (and it is!), I have been trying to find a patch that solves the root of the problem, that being the fact that I sometimes get multiple page load events for the same page and then add TargetAlert icons in response to each event. What I would like to do is eliminate the duplicate events, as I am working on other extensions where it is important that code only one event gets fired per page load. Unfortunately, I have not found such a solution to the general problem yet, but with all of the email that I have received about the bug, a fix could wait no longer.
I also removed the "Toggle Checkboxes" button from the Preferences dialog box since it seemed kinda worthless.

Version 0.7.2 - 9/6/04

Moved TargetAlert preferences into standard Firefox extension location.
Enabled support for automatic updates to TargetAlert.
Updated Features section of the web page to reflect new usage instructions.

Version 0.7.1 - 9/6/04

File extensions that appear in POST data no longer return false positives, such as sample.html?name=fake.pdf
Both atom.xml and *.rss display the XML badge. Other XML files have their own icon.
Changed maxVersion to 1.0+ in install.rdf.
Added support for the following file types: zip/tar/tgz/gz/rar, xpi
Provided support for Mozilla web browser.

Version 0.7 - 8/27/04

TargetAlert now matches links that end in .doc and .pdf instead of doc and pdf. Thus, a link to javadoc will no longer look like a link to a Word document when using TargetAlert.

Version 0.6 - 8/25/04

Fixed inconsistency in catching "page loaded" event, so now icons always display exactly once.
Alert icons now have transparent backgrounds. (Thanks to deathburger for helping with this endeavor.)

Version 0.5 - 8/24/04

Fixed bug that caused images to appear again when switching back to a previously opened tab.
Changed color of RSS icon from orange to blue to help distinguish it from the XML icon.

Version 0.4 - 8/24/04

Added support for rss, atom.xml, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint links.
(Thanks to jhuggins for suggesting the Microsoft alerts.)
Made preferences its own window instead of menu dropdown.
Added icons to preferences.

Version 0.3 - 8/23/04

Switched UUID because previous UUID conflicted with FireLuckyBox.
Changed maxVersion to 0.9+ in install.rdf.
Changed iconURL to use a chrome URL instead of a http URL.

Version 0.2 - 8/22/04

Added support for mailto and target=_BLANK links.
Added a menuitem to set alert preferences.

Version 0.1 - 8/22/04

Initial release. Supported alerts for PDF links.

©2004 Michael Bolin »