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CS297 Proposal

Web Mashups as a Firefox plugin

Vijay Rao (

Advisor: Dr. Chris Pollett


I plan on doing a project in Web Mashups. With the increase in popularity of Google and Yahoo Maps as well as popular web services from StrikeIron more and more people are combining data from various sources to display it in a map or just provide a single view to host of data sources.StrikeIron provides a multitude of web services that are freely available. Some of the most popular ones are U.S. Address Verification and various phone number related services.This is now being called a Web Mashup. Google Maps is currently the largest source of Web Mashups. I will be building a plugin to Mozilla Firefox browser which will enable a user surfing the web to widgetize a piece of a webpage. The idea is to allow a user to create a mashup on the fly and it should seem a natural browser extension thus allowing the user a very seamless operation. The idea to allow a user to be able to widgetize a piece of web page as a data source and then allow these data sources to be combined. As an example let's say the user navigates to a public website that has a tabular display of data with some addresses on it. The plugin that I would build would allow the user to save this piece of data and then allow him to view it on a Map.


Week 1-2: 08/27/07 to 9/10/07Read about XUL
Week 2-4:09/10/07 to 9/24/07Read about creating plugins in Firefox
Week 5:9/24/07 to 10/1/07Create a sample test plugin
Week 6-7:10/1/07 to10/14/07Explore possibility and methodology of Firebug style Inspect functionality to select various block elements in the HTML DOM
Week 8:10/14/07 to 10/21/07Write a test program to always select the tabular dom structure of a HTML DOM on a given HTML page.
Week 9-10:10/21/07 to 11/5/07Research ways of saving users data
Week 11-13:11/5/07 to 11/31/07Research usage of saving snippets as data sources using databases.
Week 14:11/31/07 to 12/10/07Save and retrieve the list of saved mashups by using tags.
Week 15:11/31/07 to 12/10/07Write a report on work done this semester


The full project will be done when CS298 is completed. The following will be done by the end of CS297:

1. Create a test firefox plugin

2. Create a plugin to select the tabular dom structure of a HTML DOM on a given HTML page.

3. Save and retrieve web snippets from the plugin

4. A 10-15 page report on my progress this semester.


1.Kenneth C. Feldt (2007).
        Programming Firefox: Building Rich Internet Applications with XUL.

2. Google (n.d.)
        Google Maps API Version 2 Reference Retrieved Aug 30, 2007 from

3.Andre Lewis, Michael Purvis, Jeffrey Sambells, Cameron Turner (2007).
        Beginning Google Maps Applications with Rails and Ajax:From Novice to Professional (Paperback)