Hi folks. I'm sure some of you might be wondering at my rather long absence from blogging here. The reason is partly unavailability of time, and partly was saving this announcement until everything is in reasonable shape. It has been a very interesting 6 months. I was contacted by Taylor Norrish, founder of Govit.com, to work on a simple, nifty tool to clean up web pages for printing. He was frustrated to see how much paper and ink end up getting wasted due to printing this useless/needless junk from every webpage.
Working with so many browsers with something as finicky as DOM behavior, and the differences between their event models, was a relevation. Needless to say, Firefox has been the easiest to work with, and IE the toughest. Chrome and Safari behave pretty much the same way, due to their being powered by the WebKit engine. While development is a joy in Firefox due to the venerable Firebug and Web Developer plugins, it was the toughest to debug on IE7. Interestingly, IE8 has a very good developer mode. Both Safari and Chrome slightly disappoint - though powered by an open-source engine, yet not having really good developer tools to test and debug. YUI's well-documented, rock-solid libraries helped immensely in smoothing over some of these differences.
All in all, it has been a very challenging yet fun project to develop, and a huge learning opportunity on so many levels. There were ups and downs, when we were able to deploy it as the default print tool on hubpages.com, which was a great experience for us. We were excited when we got invited to interview with YCombinator, but slightly disappointed when we couldn't make it through the interview. But work continues apace, and as we always thought and PG wished, we will continue developing the tool, as the "world needs something like this".
We're still working furiously on bringing out more ways of distributing the tool - I'll definitely keep you posted about the developments. Meanwhile, go check it out, and tell us what you think. If you want a quick demo, you can test it out on this blog itself - just click on the 'PrintFriendly' button at the bottom of this article. You can mail in your feedback on support AT printfriendly DOT com or simply click on the feedback tab on the left side of the page. Thanks! Stay tuned for updates.