Internet Explorer 8 WebSlices

ie 8 webslicesWebSlices, what?
Internet Explorer 8 has introduced a new feature, WebSlices. In a nutshell, WebSlices enable websites to connect with users by allowing them subscribe to content directly within a webpage. WebSlices behave just like RSS feeds, but instead of subscribing to XML feeds you subscribe to portions of a particular website and receive updates when the content changes. The slices corresponding to a particular website are polled at user-defined intervals to keep the content fresh.

With the help of WebSlices you can keep your users connected to your site. Any content on your site that regularly changes can be tagged as a WebSlice. For e.g products, horoscopes, weather, stocks, news, photos.

For example ebay has a search page for ie8 that supports WebSlice. Lets say I have to track a particular product on eBay for bid amount and other details. Whenever you navigate to a website that supports WebSlice a discovery button highlights as show below for the following url:

Now whenever you hover over a portion of a WebSlice, a icon pops up which you can click so as to add the WebSlice to your favorites bar.

Shown below is the WebSlice for the above link.

Whenever the content for this particular portion changes, the corresponding WebSlice is automatically updated. Now I don’t have to visit eBay to see the latest update on the product I’m interested in. I get to see the updates on the particular WebSlice. Whenever the slice content is updated the title of the slice on the favorites bar turns to bold.

The HTML that is displayed in the WebSlices details view comes from the description property of a WebSlice, which is set by the developer during design. The preview window has limited ability though; for example, the window allows no scripting or form controls.

Creating your own WebSlices:
You just have to wrap whatever content that you want to become a WebSlice in a div tag, and set the class name for the div as ‘hslice’.

There are a few sub elements that you can use to further define the WebSlice: ‘entry-title’, ‘entry-content’ and ‘ttl’ … among others.

<div id="1" class="hslice">
<p class="entry-title">Item - $80.00</p>
<div class="entry-content">high bidder: buyer9 …</div>

At first it looked a little unremarkable but after trying some examples myself I think it could be a neat feature to add to your web pages.