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Can this extension be coded to work with out "reading every page that you visit"? - Medium alert Your data on all websites

SilverWave 8 years ago updated by John Sterling 4 years ago 7

Can the the extension work with out "reading every page that you visit"?


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Medium alert

Your data on all websites

This item can read every page that you visit — your bank, your web email, your Facebook page, and so on. Often, this kind of item needs to see all pages so that it can perform a limited task such as looking for RSS feeds that you might want to subscribe to.

Caution: Besides seeing all your pages, this item could use your credentials (cookies) to request or modify your data from websites.


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Essentially, Sidewise requires this level of access because it has to communicate with each individual tab/page for various pieces of information that are used to construct and display the tree's contents. 


For example, Sidewise uses the referrer (opening page's url) of each page to help it uniquely identify which page goes with which row in the tree (e.g. during session restore). Currently, this information can only be obtained in Chrome by asking each page for it. Similarly, Sidewise needs to communicate with each page to ensure that we have the correct page titles and favicons at all times.


Other features such as the Youtube timer also rely on this kind of page communication. And future features, such as "search text on all pages" from the sidebar, will require this permission as well.


The real problem, from an extension developer's perspective, is a lack of fine-grained control over what an extension needs to see on a page. Currently, it's basically an all-or-nothing affair. If I need one bit of information from a page, I have to request permission to see the whole page.


I will give some thought as to whether page-access could be made into an optional permission. Having it disabled would definitely impact some pretty core aspects of how Sidewise works, and I'm not sure the penalties in tree functionality/accuracy would be worth it. I suspect users might find the limitations it introduces to be annoying or confusing.


I will be open sourcing the Sidewise codebase in the not too distant future, at which point other developers can independently verify that Sidewise does not do anything bad with its access to these permissions.


Until then, the best I can offer you is my personal promise that Sidewise does not, and never will read or collect any of your personal information without your explicit permission.

I think the YouTube video timer feature is one of the things this extension requires that permission for. (Try playing a YouTube video and looking at the sidebar.)


As well as the Reddit and Groveshark features?

I think the YouTube video timer feature is one of the things this extension. (Try playing a YouTube video and looking at the sidebar.) As well as the Reddit and Groveshark features?


@Joel, Perhaps look into "Optional permissions" if you want to try implementing this.


It doesn't affect me personally. (Hence my use of the extension. :P)

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This came up in comments at my blog: http://silverwav.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/goodbye-firefox-its-been-fun-hello-chrome-my-cool-new-friend/


See the comments, I dont think the commenter is a disinterested party... but I do like the extension a lot and would like to help it be sucessful.


If this permission could be removed I think it would help.

Answer
Searching answer

Essentially, Sidewise requires this level of access because it has to communicate with each individual tab/page for various pieces of information that are used to construct and display the tree's contents. 


For example, Sidewise uses the referrer (opening page's url) of each page to help it uniquely identify which page goes with which row in the tree (e.g. during session restore). Currently, this information can only be obtained in Chrome by asking each page for it. Similarly, Sidewise needs to communicate with each page to ensure that we have the correct page titles and favicons at all times.


Other features such as the Youtube timer also rely on this kind of page communication. And future features, such as "search text on all pages" from the sidebar, will require this permission as well.


The real problem, from an extension developer's perspective, is a lack of fine-grained control over what an extension needs to see on a page. Currently, it's basically an all-or-nothing affair. If I need one bit of information from a page, I have to request permission to see the whole page.


I will give some thought as to whether page-access could be made into an optional permission. Having it disabled would definitely impact some pretty core aspects of how Sidewise works, and I'm not sure the penalties in tree functionality/accuracy would be worth it. I suspect users might find the limitations it introduces to be annoying or confusing.


I will be open sourcing the Sidewise codebase in the not too distant future, at which point other developers can independently verify that Sidewise does not do anything bad with its access to these permissions.


Until then, the best I can offer you is my personal promise that Sidewise does not, and never will read or collect any of your personal information without your explicit permission.

>I will be open sourcing the Sidewise codebase in the not too distant future, at which point other developers can independently verify that Sidewise does not do anything bad with its access to these permissions.

Until then, the best I can offer you is my personal promise that Sidewise does not, and never will read or collect any of your personal information without your explicit permission.


Good enough for me :-)


Thanks very much for the extension, it was the enabler that allowed me move to Chrome.

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Bit of a late post... but has there been anything on the source code release front or the optional permissions?



First, thanks for your work on this extension!

I had used this extension before and liked it - but probably hadn't noticed the permissions. On my new laptop, I've been trying out "Tabs Outliner" which does a lot of the same things but doesn't require the permissions that sidewise does ("Read and change all your data on websites you visit"). I like sidewise better but until the permissions are reduced I can't use it - there is way too much hacking online