Try It Out
If you want to check out the AnnotateUrl plugin, do the following:
- How to setup the plugin:
- Start WBI and
setup your browser to use WBI
as a proxy.
- Register the AnnotateUrl plugin on the WBI console by typing
(on one line):
Alternatively you can register it using the Graphical User
- Check to see whether the plugin is registered and enabled. Go
to the WBI Setup page. The AnnotateUrl
plugin should be listed in the table with a checkmark next to
its name. If the plugin is not listed, try registering it again.
If the checkmark is not there, click on the box to the left of
the plugin name. If you are using the GUI, open the plugins folder
in the left pane, click on the AnnotateUrl plugin and check the
right pane. If the plugin loaded correctly it is "loaded
- Open another browser window. Use that window to try out the
plugin, and use this window to display the documentation. (To
open another window using Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to File
-> New -> Window. To open a window using Netscape Navigator, go
to File -> New -> Navigator Window.)
- How to use the plugin:
- Go to the setup page _annotateUrl/setup and enter a
number of urls or parts of urls in the form. Choose a color for
each of them. You can skip this step and use the three urls that
are set up for demo purposes already. These urls are: www.ibm.com,
www.almaden.ibm.com and ibm.com.
- Visit a few Web sites in the ibm.com domain. You'll
notice that most links on these pages have colored backgrounds.
The backgrounds indicate where in IBM these links lead.
What It Does
When browsing a Web site you sometimes would like to know if a link will
lead you out of that site. Alternatively you would like to know when any
Web site you visit links to your site or company. This is not always obvious
from the link anchor or context. The AnnotateUrl plugin provides an easy
way to monitor links on Web pages for a couple of domains or url parts
you specify. So if you want to see which links lead to .gov sites, or
which links in a publication list lead to .pdf files, you can now have
all these links color coded.
How It Works
The AnnotateUrl plugin consists of two main parts. The first of these
provides an interface to the plugin, so you can setup which urls you
would like to mark and with what color. The other part is the actual
plug-in. It consists of two DocumentEditors. One of them inserts a stylesheet
into the page and the other one modifies links on the page to use one
of the defined styles if there is a match.
The setup part consists of two generators. The first generator creates
a Web form so you can enter urls you are interested in and pick colors
for these urls. The second generator interprets the form data submitted,
adjusts the plug-in settings, makes sure these changes are written to
the persistent store and then creates a result page reflecting your
- The SetupGenerator creates the setup form. The rule to configure
this generator is
(host=%null% | host~_annotateUrl) & path=/setup
The first part makes sure we are using WBI as a
proxy (otherwise we would have a domain name in there). To access
the setup page we go to the page _annotateUrl/setup. The resulting
form is populated with the current settings of the plugin. The
html of the form is first constructed in a variable. The SetupGenerator
then creates a StaticHtmlGenerator with this variable and forwards
the RequestEvent to this generator to send the form to the browser.
When the user clicks the Submit button in the form, the data is
submitted to the url
This translates to a url: _annotateUrl/_setupResult
and is processed by
The SetupResultGenerator has the rule
(host=%null% | host~_annotateUrl) & path=/_setupResult
It receives the results from the submitted form. The generator first
extracts the form data, sets internal variables and writes the new
settings into the persistent store. Then it creates a simple result
page reflecting the new settings (again using a StaticHtmlGenerator).
- The Stylesheet is added to every page the plugin processes,
including the result page from the SetupResultGenerator. If you look
at the code of that generator you'll notice that we do not use styles
to color the links, yet the resulting page definitely contains colored
links. The reason is that also this page is processed by MyLinkAnnotator
(see below). This has to do with the sequence in which generators
and editors process requests. Generators run before all editors. This
means that the output from the SetupResultGenerator gets processed
by MyLinkAnnotator, like any other Web page. Therefore the links in
that page are color coded as well.
- MyLinkAnnotator is a LinkAnnotationEditor and although it
is relatively short in code lines, it does the actual work in this
plugin. Like all LinkAnnotationEditors it overrides the editLink
method. It first extracts the url of the link from the LinkInfo object.
If the url matches any of the partial urls defined by the user it
has to modify the link (otherwise it doesn't have to do anything).
We use the color of the first match we find. This allows a more specific
match to override a more general one if it is earlier in our list.
If this link has to be modified, the MyLinkAnnotator gets the entire
link (the html) from the LinkInfo object, splices in some code to
make the link display using a specific style and sets the html for
the link to this modified code.
Some key WBI classes that were used:
- Contains the entire plugin source.
- Contains the necessary code to register the plugin with WBI. Registration
is done through WBI during runtime.