Firefox 17 brings a new Social API, which allows sites to do things like send notifications to users, even when they're not currently browsing the site:

Much like the OpenSearch standard, Mozilla’s new Social API lets social services integrate into Firefox in a compelling way and makes it easier to use the Web the way you want. The Social API includes features like a social sidebar, toolbar notification buttons and the ability to easily chat with your friends no matter where you are on the Web.

Currently, only Facebook has an example of this functioning. I'd like Stack Exchange to add support for this, so new inbox items and new notifications could show up in Firefox via this API.

Note: It looks like SE already supports some similar features in Webkit browsers: How is desktop notification implemented in chat.stackoverflow.com?

  • 6
    @Keen, thank you for the heads-up. I wasn't aware of this new feature, and after some research I'm quite relieved I can disable it with the social.enabled about:config option when I update to Firefox 17. Nov 20 '12 at 21:16
  • Chrome haters gonna hate ;) Why do you feel it is necessary to accommodate only one browsers features? I use the Stack Exchange Notifier Chrome Extension, it seems there is also a Firefox version...
    – Lix
    Nov 20 '12 at 21:19
  • 4
    @Lix just because he didn't ask for a Chrome feature, he's not allowed to ask for a Firefox feature?
    – Pops
    Nov 20 '12 at 21:21
  • @Lix Yup, I use that extension on Firefox currently. I'm hoping SE would be up for having native integration, especially since that extension is a bit flakey.
    – Keen
    Nov 20 '12 at 21:24
  • @pop In the same way that people are entitled to make any request they see fit, the community is entitled to question the logic behind the request.
    – Lix
    Nov 20 '12 at 21:39
  • @Lix I guess the logic behind the request is to broaden the reach and accessibility of our SE inboxes. I would ask for this on Chrome if I used Chrome and it had a similar feature. Ditto for Safari, Opera, et al.
    – Keen
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:13
  • In addition, as a mod, I'd love it if in the future we could have similar integration with flag queues. However, I'm not going to ask for such a niche feature without this one being accepted.
    – Keen
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:15
  • 1
    Big +1 from this Chrome user. More centralized notifications systems can be a great thing, and I'd love for Stack Exchange to help encourage it. It may be Mozilla-only for now, but something like this is inevitably going to be supported in newer browsers, like newer operating systems. Even if it's not supported by Chrome, it appears (from a very quick glance) like support could be added by an extension.
    – Jeremy
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:17
  • @JeremyBanks There's an extension already. Check Lix's comment above.
    – Keen
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:23
  • @Keen I meant an extension that supports the new social API, so that every site can hook into the shared notification system. I'm aware of the Stack Exchange-specific extensions, I have used several of them myself. :)
    – Jeremy
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:28
  • Alrighty then. That's a horse of a different color.
    – Keen
    Nov 20 '12 at 22:31
  • @Lix yeah, it would be okay to ask why he wants the feature, but that's not what you did. You accused him of browser snobbery and posed a "have you stopped beating your wife yet" question. (I don't know if there's a formal term for such questions... "false predicate," maybe?)
    – Pops
    Nov 21 '12 at 15:04
  • I would like to see Persona.org be used in addition to all the other openids.
    – chovy
    Nov 21 '12 at 21:32
  • 1
    @FrédéricHamidi (and others) fortunately, it seems the default value for social.enabled is false.
    – Pops
    Nov 22 '12 at 21:57

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