The Not-Really-That-Much-Hype Cycle

So TheRealURL extension got “public” status at the addons.mozilla, and I guess it was on the “new add ons” or similar page for some time, which resulted in some nice graphs:

This is after about a week of pretty much flat lines, when it was still in the sandbox. The red line active daily users. Nothing crazy, but nice steady growth, all in all. I really like the way the blue line – daily downloads – matches nicely to the Hype Cycle line:

Well, there wasn’t that much “Peak of Inflated Expectations” so the “Trough of Disillusionment” wasn’t that deep either ;). 1,522 downloads in total so far, in about 2 weeks.


TheRealURL Firefox/Thunderbird Add On

TheRealURL Firefox add on (which also works in Thunderbird, Flock, and Seamonkey) lets users get URL information on links – once the extension is installed, right clicking a link will show a new option in the context menu, “Get TheRealURL”:

Clicking it retrieves the URL’s information from TheRealURL’s JSON service and displays the unshortened URL, the page title and the content type on the status bar:

You can change the information displayed via the add on preferences settings:

I find it useful for checking URLs in possibly-spam messages, which recently started using URL shorteners to mask their addresses, and generally checking short links in blogs/twitter/etc. I was happy to discover Softpedia now lists it, with a %100 clean guarantee.

TheRealURL extension’s code was contributed by Rod Whiteley, creator of Mail Tweak, following a message I posted at MozillaZine forums. It was pretty amazing to post an idea on the evening and have a working first version by morning. Rod did an incredible job, with a lot of attention to detail, which I’m very grateful for. Thanks Rod!