The Burro is back — sort of

[updated 2009.9.10; 2011.12.6 see at bottom for updated version]

The drawback to upgrades is that you may improve one thing while breaking another.

Case in point: going from Firefox 3 to 3.5, I lost the BookBurro addon.

Now, BookBurro is a really nifty (and judging from posts, popular) addon for Firefox, which looks on pages for ISBNs and when you visit a page with one present, it offers a small block which you can click on to dropdown (or delete if you don’t need it).

The dropdown will show you a number of vendors and their pricing, to compare to whatever you’re looking at.  Example: I could look at something on a particular online store, it would give me prices at Amazon, Alibris, Half.com, Barnes & Noble, and several other online stores that can be selected in the options.

It also allows you to check WorldCat and a number of library OPACs which are searchable by ISBN.

There are links to the relevant pages on those sites.

Obviously, invaluable for librarians and other booklovers, especially those of us doing the ordering.

And it hasn’t been updated — despite a personal unanswered email request from me to the author, and a number of forum posts and tweets from others — for Firefox 3.5 as of Sept. 9, 2009.  It’s a freebie, after all, and perhaps the talented and clever author Jesse Andrews (stroke, stroke) just hasn’t had a spare moment to get back to it.

HOWEVER — there’s a (slightly) risky workaround hack for this.  Basically, it consists of turning off the compatibility check in 3.5 for addons.  Lifehacker provided it in one of their posts which was originally intended for Firefox 3 Beta, but works for 3.5.

This means that you can now install addons which may or may not work reliably with 3.5, without warning, and some things on BookBurro may not work completely or properly, but that’s the price of the hack.  So far, I think it’s worth it.

I dropped a strong hint to an Alibris rep today that they look at it, and encourage the author to update it.  Alibris isn’t working perfectly now anyway, as they have multiple (used and new) prices, so they need two lines or something arranged.  Any other reps that anybody sees, please suggest they ask/help to pay for this to be upgraded.

[update 2009.9.10]

Jesse Andrews kindly DID respond to my email just after I posted this, and commented to it as well.  Check his comment.  Looks good for an update!  I’m glad to hear it!

[update 2011.12.6]

This has been updated for Google Chrome as Book Burrito.

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