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New features

WARNING! Do not convert this page until you've read what you're interested in—most of the explanations will be messed up and they will become very hard to follow!

Version browser
Older version: 0.9.3
Newer version: 1.0.9

New features in Converter 1.0.0

This is a major release, featuring several significant changes. This version also introduces the Premium version.

Type Feature Example Comment
* Premium feature Released Premium version n/a The Converter has always been intended for casual browsing. However, in time I discovered there are several people who are using the Converter for rather specific purposes, and the default set of features included in the Converter are not enough to satisfy their needs. I decided it was high time the Converter catered to these specific needs as well. This is what the Premium version is all about.
feature Automated price comparisons Visit Amazon I have partnered with the folks at Superfish to provide you with instant price comparisons on millions of products in hundreds of stores.

Price comparisons are automatically performed when you visit registered online shops (see list on the Superfish site). The technology is rather interesting, because they compare the products' images, not their descriptions. In order to activate the comparison, you need to hover or click the Superfish icon that is shown on the product's image: Superfish icon

The implementation is non-intrusive, and the Converter does not enable any kind of personal information collection or user tracking. Of course, Superfish may set some cookies, but that's business as usual.

* Premium feature Specify precision for conversions
  • 135.7654 RON
  • 3.138 cm
By default, the Converter performs a generous rounding which is meant to provide you with a good estimate of the measurement or value for casual text reading. The Premium version now allows for finer control over this setting, in case you're using the Converter for more specific purposes.
* Premium feature Customize currency cache timeout n/a By default, the Converter stores the exchange rates for 24 hours, in order to avoid making unnecessary requests to Google -- and 24 hours is frequent enough for casual browsing. The Premium version now enables you to change that value, in case you need more frequent currency rate updates.
* Premium feature Secondary currency n/a Most people use a single currency, that of their own country -- and the free version of the Converter serves them just fine. But there are also those who use more than one currency -- for instance some Brits migh want to compare the local prices in British pounds to those on the continent, in euro. This is what the secondary currency is useful for: define British pounds as your preferred currency, and euro as the secondary currency. That way, all prices in foreign currencies are converted to pounds, but prices in pounds (the preferred currency) are also converted to euro (the secondary currency).

Thanks Chris for suggesting this feature.

feature Support for dollars
  • 10$
  • $10
People have been killing me with requests to convert dollars. This was a nasty piece of business to implement, because there are all sorts of dollars out there: US, Canadian, Australian and so on. The Converter tries to determine the currency based on the URL you're visiting, so "$10" will mean "10 USD" on web sites based in US, and "10 CAD" on web sites based in Canada (and so on). If everything fails, the default is USD.
new preference Auto-convert pages n/a Many people have asked for auto-converting pages upon loading. While I don't think this is a good idea because there are known and unavoidable limitations in any piece of software that works with natural language, I have implemented this option.
important internal feature Support for natural currency formats
  • 100 Yen
  • 100 lei
  • 100 euro
  • 100 dollars
  • 100 Kč
Support for currency conversions written in ISO format ("10 USD") only goes so far, because people tend to write in a more natural and less formal way. I implemented the infrastructure necessary to add natural formats, such as the ones shown here. The list of supported formats is very limited right now, but I'm expecting you to report more formats so I can add them to the Converter. Please always indicate an example URL where the format you're suggesting is actually used in the wild, so I can test against a real case scenario.
new format Support for Yen notations
  • 100 Yen
  • Yen 100
  • 100 ¥
  • ¥100
  • 100 円
  • 円100
These formats are now recognized.
feature Improved situational awareness n/a The Converter is now more aware of whether a page is loading, whether it has been converted or not, and whether a conversion is in progress. These states are visually illustrated by the Converter icon. This improved awareness was needed internally for the auto-conversion feature, so I implemented the whole shebang (with icons, and enabling/disabling options depending on the situation).
new format Support for fractional timestamps
  • 12:33:44.5 UTC
  • 12:33:44.12+0500
  • 10:33:44.5 PM
  • 22:33:44.5
The Converter now understands the timestamps in the examples shown here.
bug fix Fixed a problem with currency conversions
  • 9.207.466,50 RON
  • 9,207,466.50 RON
In Converter 0.9.3, the values in the examples were incorrectly interpreted as 466.5 RON, and converted as such. That was fixed.
new format Catalog-like prices are properly converted
  • 22.680,- RON
  • 22680,- RON
  • 22,680.- RON
  • 22680.- RON
These formats are now properly converted.
new format Knots are now recognized when written as "kts" 15 kts This format seems to be widely used, so the Converter now recognizes it. Thanks Dave for letting me know about this.
bug fix Fixed a problem with source formatting 3'3 1/2 If the HTML source contained a line break within a measurement (as is the case in the example), the Converter was unable to identify the measurement. This problem was fixed.
interface update Changed logo, icons n/a The original Converter icon, logo and theme was related specifically to unit conversion (the icon used to represent the Imperial vs. metric divide). Since the Converter is now also converting time zones, timestamps and currencies, I decided update the imagery. The new icon is an "appange", because that's the best metaphor I could come up with: comparing apples and oranges.
rare format Support for Unicode Double Prime 12″ That's not a quotation mark -- it's a double prime. Ironically, Unicode has specifically defined this particular symbol (U+2033) for specifying seconds and inches. Obviously, nobody's using it -- it took more than six years of maintaining the Converter before somebody actually found this notation in the wild and reported it. (Unfortunately I can't remember who it was, sorry.)
rare format Support for new form of sq ft A 175-square-foot studio This is now converted. And yes, there is such a thing.
minor bug fix Fixed a very particular situation 6:00 and 7:00 PM PST The code used to get confused by successive time specifications, like shown in the example. No more.
minor feature Persistent preferences tab focus n/a The Converter now remembers which tab you fiddled with last time in the preferences window. A small improvement, but it's useful when you're experimenting with the preferences (which I am a lot).
internal improvement Further streamlined preferences system n/a I finally decided to unify all preferences in a single structure, which enables me to manage them with ease (that is, adding new preferences or altering the existing ones). This change shouldn't affect the end user in any way.