I quite like the "flair" concept. There is a feature called "web slices" in Internet Explorer 8 (and Firefox with the right add-on) that allows you to have buttons on your bookmark toolbar that, when pressed, show just a relevant part of some web site. The idea is that you can use that for stock quotes, the weather - or, now, your StackOverflow flair.

Sadly, the way web slices work means that it is the owner of the web site who must add a little bit of markup on the page to enable IE's "make a web slice" button. So let's do it!

Web slices are described there. Basically, the <div> you want to make into the webslice needs to be of class "hslice", with an id attribute, and that <div> must contain a <p class="entry-title">. The entry title is the default name for the web slice on the toolbar, and whatever's in the div gets displayed when the user clicks it. There are other attributes we can use to allow IE to periodically check for changes and tell it how often to check.


The many Firefox users can also use web slices if they install the "webchunks" add-on. It's at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8494

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    You use IE (shiver)? – Ladybug Killer Aug 18 '09 at 12:13
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    So "web slices" are really just a microformat, but microsoft didn't want to use that term for some reason? – Kip Aug 18 '09 at 12:23
  • Indeed, you are right: they are a microformat. The microformat indicates parts of the page that may be of interest in isolation. – user133653 Aug 18 '09 at 12:27
  • You use webchunks (shiver)? – Ladybug Killer Aug 18 '09 at 12:36
  • LOL, there's no way to win against John, is there? /me hands you a warm blanket to stop the shivering. – user133653 Aug 18 '09 at 12:39
  • No, there is not ;) Thanks for the blanket, but just don't use IE! – Ladybug Killer Aug 18 '09 at 12:46
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    Nothing wrong with IE8 (except that it still uses javascript 1.5 rather than 1.8 or 1.9) – Joel Coehoorn Aug 18 '09 at 12:54
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    @Joel: "Nothing wrong with $TECHNOLOGY (except $FLAW)." You have to work hard to contradict yourself so quickly. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Aug 18 '09 at 13:00
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    So as pointed out, it's just a Microsoft format that they're trying to push? – random Aug 18 '09 at 13:06
  • I like more how the web slices idea is implemented in the Firefox browser. “PageSlices for Firefox” add-on allows to create web slice from any part of any web page. – user152504 Oct 19 '10 at 18:39

So which part of the flair would you suggest be the "entry-title"? The rep would make most sense to me, so that you can see your rep without having to log into the site (not sure how often the web slice's title is updated though.)

It sounds like the current embedded flair page could be modified like this to support the hslice microformat:

<!-- Add hslice class to this div -->
<div class="valuable-flair hslice">
  <div class="userInfo">
    <!-- Add entry-title class to this tag -->
    <span class="reputation-score entry-title" title="reputation score">8,112</span>
  • Yes, I think that would be exactly right! Though maybe we should put "SO 8,112" as the title, so that if we have one per site we can distinguish them. – user133653 Aug 18 '09 at 12:46
  • Well if we put "SO 8,112", we'd have to put that on the actual flair that people see (since the entry-title element is visible on the page too). I was just trying to suggest an implementation that wouldn't change anything except element classes. – Kip Aug 18 '09 at 13:09
  • ah, good point. Since it keeps things simple, just the reputation is probably the best way then. – user133653 Aug 18 '09 at 13:15

IE standards are a lot like wild animals. If we just stand really still and ignore them, they'll go away.

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    I'm not sure I understand your point. The extra markup does no harm, it enables a cool feature for those who use IE8 or the webchunks extension in Firefox. Why would we want that feature to go away? – user133653 Aug 18 '09 at 12:18
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    It's extra code to maintain, and the format is non-standard. What happens in IE9, when the format changes, but now you have to do a browser check to ensure that it's going to be compatible with the version of IE that's running and yadda yadda yadda. – Eric Aug 18 '09 at 13:01
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    I thought it was a T-Rex that would ignore you. Both could be considered extinct. Or both could just be considered non-existent or sent by God to test our faith. – TheTXI Aug 18 '09 at 13:32
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    @Eric: And what happens when IE28 drops HTML entirely in favor of the new Telepathic Markup Language? Don't borrow trouble from the future. – phenry Aug 18 '09 at 15:11

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