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Favorite favelets

Nov 10, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* JavaScript fragments in your favorites list

Today we revisit an old subject: Bookmarklets. I first wrote about bookmarklets way back in June this year (see links below) and before that in March 1999(!) in Gearhead. Bookmarklets are fragments of JavaScript (saved as URLs with the method javascript:) in your browser’s favorites list.

What resurrected the topic was that I just stumbled across bookmarklets under a new name: Favelets. It seems not everyone liked the name bookmarklet and the alternative favelet seems to have gained some currency.

First of all, you’ll find a small collection of favelets called “Favelets For The Validator” on the W3C Validation Service. On this page, the author writes “Most browsers that have support for basic JavaScript and DOM also support basic Favelets, but more advanced Favelets may require more complete DOM1 and DOM2 support.”

The site also describes Netscape 4.x as “a lost cause” and should be “avoided altogether” because of “its poor support for standards in general.” This is no longer accurate (see the “Netscape Standards Challenge at” link below).

The favelets on the Validator page are all engineered for (as you might guess) validating documents (Web pages) such as HTML and XHTML for conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards.

The five favelets on this page are “Validate This Page,” “Validate This Page In New Window,” “Validate Page…” (and allow you to specify any URL), “Validate Page In New Window…,” and “Is This Page Valid?”

You can find more favelets at including ones for changing screen size (really useful for Web development), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) validation and selection, viewing HTTP headers for the current page, views scripts and images in the current page, and translating page contents using AltaVista’s Babelfish.

On Petr Stanicek’s site, you’ll find some of the favelets from other sites but also some new and useful ones such as opening two windows to the same site side-by-side horizontally or vertically. Note that some of these favelets don’t seem to work in IE 6.

And did you know that you can assign shortcuts to specific bookmarks? Under IE 6, go to the properties of a favorite and click in the shortcut key box. Press any numeric or alphabetic and it will be assigned to that shortcut – you call that shortcut up with Control-Alt plus the selected key.

Now when you assign shortcut favorites they may not work with favelets properly or possibly at all. For example, if you have the favelet to resize the browser window to 800×600 it will work correctly from the favorites list but as a shortcut will open a new and empty browser window of the required size.

If you discover a workaround for this let me know. Also if you find any other useful favlets or uses for them, please drop me a note.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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