RefTagger Anywhere

Several years ago I created Bible Refalizer: an extension for Firefox that automatically hyperlinks Bible references in any web page to an online Bible. I’ve made a few minor improvements over the years in response to user feedback, but I haven’t implemented the most commonly requested feature, namely, the option to add tooltips containing the Bible passage to the hyperlinks. I haven’t added that feature because, in all honesty, it would take too much work and I don’t have the time and motivation.

Most of the people who have asked for this feature make a comparison with RefTagger. Created by the clever folk from Logos Bible Software, RefTagger is “a tool that lets your website visitors instantly view a Bible passage by hovering their mouse over a Bible reference.” It’s very nicely done and you’ve almost certainly seen it in action on one of your favorite blogs or websites (if you have JavaScript enabled in your browser). However, while RefTagger’s processing is done on the client side (i.e., in the user’s browser) the code to enable it has to be added on the server side (i.e., by the owner of the blog or website). For this reason RefTagger only functions on sites that have chosen to implement it.

Until now, that is.

Recently it occurred to me that it should be possible to create a Firefox extension that would simply add the RefTagger code to any web page once it is loaded into the user’s browser, so that RefTagger functionality could be enjoyed when viewing sites that haven’t added the code themselves. The user of the extension could also specify the various RefTagger options (which Bible translation to use, whether to show tooltips, etc.). I put my theory to the test, and the result is RefTagger Anywhere.

If you want to give it a try, please go ahead. You can send me feedback via the email address on the extension download page. Please note, however, that this is an experimental extension. It seems to work fine, but it hasn’t been rigorously road-tested. Use it at your own risk!

I should also state that it has not been endorsed by the RefTagger team, although I hope it will bring greater attention (and add value) to their excellent tool.

Update: Unfortunately the extension is no longer available at addons.mozilla.org, because for security reasons extensions hosted there aren’t allowed to access external scripts (i.e., scripts hosted on websites rather than embedded in the extension).

I understand the reasoning behind this restriction, but for the RefTagger Anywhere extension to work effectively it must access an external script (the RefTagger script hosted on the Logos website). One way to get around this would be to embed a copy of the RefTagger script within the extension, but there are several reasons why that isn’t a satisfactory solution.

So for now I will simply host the RefTagger Anywhere extension on my personal website (click here to install version 0.1). You’ll have to grant Firefox permission to download and install it (click ‘Allow’ and then ‘Install’) but once installed the extension should work just fine. Check back here occasionally for updates!

14 Responses to RefTagger Anywhere

  1. Great idea! Thanks.

  2. Greetings James,

    I just found this page via Google. And since Firefox just updated (as it fairly often does), I was wondering: Will be updating RefTagger Anywhere?

    I’m a brand new blogger with WordPress.com (no posts yet).

    I certainly could understand how this could be time consuming and hard to keep up with!

    Thanks.

  3. Hello James,

    FF updated to 6.0.2 a few days ago. Thus, the download didn’t take.

    I’m used to old-fashioned forum posting, like even from a few years ago when you had to manually type in HTML tags, etc. So ‘copy & paste’ for posting verses isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just that blogs and forums that have RefTagger, well, maybe I’m getting spoiled!

    It seems like FF has been updating every couple weeks in the last little while. Sometimes, the next day even. So if you’d have to continually update for each one … that might be a hassle!

    Anyways, thanks & God bless you & yours!

  4. It says,

    “RefTagger Anywhere could not be uploaded because it is not compatible with Firefox 6.0.2.” (Thursday it said “FF 6″ even though I had 6.0.2).

    Thank you, James.

    • Hmm. My hunch is that you’re getting a cached version of the old file rather than the updated version.

      Drop me an email at the address here and I’ll send you the installation file directly.

  5. “not compatible with Firefox 7.0.1″

    Is there a new file out there? Would love to use this! I’m currently using Bible Tooltips through the Greasemonkey script runner.