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June 4, 2008

iGoogle Tooltips for Reading Feeds

When hovering over a feed gadget, iGoogle displays the content of each post in a tooltip so you can read it without having to visit the web page or to expand the post. Since Google uses the title attribute, tooltips don't preserve the original formatting, may be truncated and they also have issues with special characters.

iGoogle tooltip in Internet Explorer 7

Other personalized homepages like Netvibes and My Yahoo show a snippet from the post in a custom overlay and open a reader to display the full content. Loading multiple instances of the Google Reader gadget for different folders is a good alternative for iGoogle's feed modules, especially if you subscribe to many feeds.

{ Thanks, Stephen. }

5 comments:

  1. My iGoogle gadget looks exactly like this
    http://www.google.com/ig/adde?moduleurl=www.google.com/ig/modules/reader.xml
    and no tooltips are shown. I would really like it to look like in the screenshot with tooltips and expansion option, how can achieve it?

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  2. I wish they'd optionally allow you to display an excerpt from the RSS item beneath the title (like netvibes).

    The lack of that is keeping me from leaving Netvibes.

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  3. http://my.life.com does it much better. And you can set up to 4 columns. This is important since we all have panoramic displays.

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  4. brad: Good idea, I'm going to create a greasemonkey script to do what you describe; it should be straightforward now that they've put the snippet in the title attribute. I'll post it here when it's ready.

    tolep: You can now have 4 column layouts in iGoogle (edit a tab). It looks like this option might only appear if you are using a widescreen display.

    Ionut Alex Chitu: do you know if there is any way to make Firefox display the tooltips for a longer duration? I like this addition to iGoogle, but the tooltip invariably disappears before I can read more than a sentence or two.

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  5. @vaseo:
    This post isn't about the Google Reader gadget. I only mentioned it as an alternative to iGoogle's feed gadgets.

    @joelpt:
    You're right, this is yet another reason why Google should use something else to display tooltips. Here's what w3.org has to say:

    "The tool tip in some common user agents disappears after a short period of time (approximately 5 seconds). This can cause difficulty accessing title attribute content for those users who can use a mouse but have fine motor skill impairment, and may result in difficulties for users who need more time to read the tool tip."

    ReplyDelete