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IT Update

A few notes from your friendly local web nerds.

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Hey folks. Brennen in IT. I thought I'd take a minute to point out a new site feature and rehash some old ones that people may not know about.

Comment replies: A while ago Pearce in Tech Support asked for a simple notification (via e-mail) of replies to comments. It's no orangered envelope, but it's worked well enough for us that we figured some of you might be interested. If you'd like to try it out, head to your account preferences, scroll down a bit, and click the checkbox for "Reply Notifications".

sprkfn: We're not big fans of generic URL-shortening services that take a full-blown URL and turn it into a tiny, unreadable hash. It seems like these break a lot of the good stuff about the web, and make people more dependent on a bunch of inscrutable databases. That said, a lot of us do use services like Twitter, where it's nice to have some extra space to work with. Enter sprkfn.com. If you'd like to link a product, news post, or tutorial somewhere with a character limit, instead of using the canonical address like so:


...you can chop it down to:


Where "p" stands for "product" and 9950 is the id of the product in question. (You can probably figure out the pattern for news posts and tutorials.)

Spreadsheet-related band-aids: Both your order history and individual wish lists can now be downloaded as CSV files. This may be useful information if you're beholden to Excel in any way.

Embeddable wish lists: We mentioned this a while back, but I'm hoping to get a few more eyeballs on it. If you've got a wish list, and said wish list is marked public, you can find a JavaScript snippet like the following:

<script src="https://www.sparkfun.com/wish_lists/23712.js"></script>

Which will let you embed one of these:



It's probably got bugs. Do give us a holler if you find one.

Comments 30 comments

  • Yeah, you probably shouldn't implement orangered envelopes. I waste enough time here as it is ;-)

    • Fortunately, we're probably too lazy\^H\^H\^H\^H busy.

      Then again, you never know. It wouldn't be that difficult...

    •    *  

      Wadsworth constant applies here.

  • Love the wishlist sharing, makes it very easy to show it to family/friends without having to print it out.

  • This is like a new product post, but with website features :P
    It's a shame Sprkfn.com couldn't be Sprk.fn though!

  • It looks like sprkfn.com no longer works. Perhaps the domain registration expired? Do you plan on continuing this URL-shortening? I was using the short links to help track purchases.

  • I am still trying to figure out how to export my wishlist as CSV ????

  • Just noticed the xls products purchased toady. I am still unsure if I should have looked at it:).
    Any plans for making the wish list with a XML/RSS option? I also like E.Mk's idea of someone being able to buy directly from my wish list and have it ship to me if I were really lucky. Thanks for all of the hard work.

    • If you need something machine-readable right now, try appending .json to the wish list URL, like so:
      That said, while we tend to spit in the general direction of XML, feeds aren't that bad an idea. I may put something together.

  • The embeddable wish list isn't like, say, Amazon's wish list, in that other people can buy me items can they? Any plans on making such type of wish lists available?

    • There's nothing stopping them if they already know who you are, I suppose, but we haven't built anything in the way of features to facilitate that. We probably will eventually; it's a good idea.

  • "Spreadsheet-related band-aids: Both your order history and individual wish lists can now be downloaded as CSV files. This may be useful information if you're beholden to Excel in any way."
    I was enthused at first, thinking it was a CSV of order content (bill of material for an order). Unfortunately just a list of orders; sort of low value. :(

  • Can we request notification via US Mail?

  • Another thing you could do on the shortened URLs if you want to improve some of the utility is to put some slightly more descriptive tags instead of just a product number. e.g. "http://sprkfn.com/ard-uno"

  • I would like to be able to search my order history for a product, I sometimes cannot remember if I ordered something a while ago and lost it on my bench, or cannot remember what revision of some products I have bought, and also if the product is retired. It can be difficult to find in the current listings.
    cheers, Keep up the god work "IT". Been there done that, and I'm soooo glad I dont do it for a living anymore:)

    • That'd be really useful. In fact something on the order of what Mouser does, with projects (almost like a wishlist), history, backorder notification, etc. would be great. Those features, and Mouser's site design and search functions are what make me choose them over less sophisticated sites like Digikey's.

      • We support backorders, and notify when they're filled. (I know this all too well, because it introduces about 3/4 of the complexity in the way we process orders.) You can also sign up to receive a notification when something's back in stock (look for the "Autnotify" button on an out-of-stock product page, as for example here).

        I'll have a look at doing an order history that breaks out individual products...

  • I remember seeing some OSHW icons on some product pages. Do you guys plan to add these to all products (that are OSHW)?

    • Yep. We have new icons for OSHW, found in the eagle library, fritzing, and of course RoHS.
      I just need to go through the catalog and get all that setup. :-/

  • You should add the short version of the product URL on the product page so it's easily discoverable.

  • I'm in the same boat as Member255972 --> Trying to select shipping gives me an error about my address (one I have been using for years).
    Someone from support told me it's a known issue, so rather than site updates how about basic functionality?

    • I'm in the same boat as Member255972 --> Trying to select shipping gives me an error about my address (one I have been using for years).
      See note to Member255972.

    • This "news" post is actually just a "hey, look what you can do" kind of thing. The features aren't all brand new, but have actually existed for quite a while - we just thought we'd tell the general crowd that they exist.
      We do have several developers actively working on finding and fixing this shipping problem, though.
      Edit: haha, wow! Sometimes you just look too hard to find what's right in front of you.

  • I can't finish checking out an order. Sent e mail last night to customer service. Haven't received a response.
    Get message 'unable to retrieve ship quote for this address'.
    Please advise

    • Looks like we're having some weirdness with shipping APIs. Will update when we have a fix.
      Edit: Well, that took some digging. Party or parties who shall remain anonymous slipped up and missed a decimal when entering weight for a single recent product, TOL-10806, which appears to account for all of the shipping quote issues folks were seeing - most of the carriers we deal with are understandably reluctant to undertake a shipment of ~300 tons.
      Our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience. We'll be adding some sanity checks to that field.

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