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Other Software > Developer's Corner

Resurrecting Ubiquity for Chrome

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I've been interested in the Ubiquity add-on for Firefox since I first heard about it, and wished that it had fared better.  It seems mostly dead now, but I think we can fix this.  

Here's a quote from the developers of Ubiquity:
Being relatively new to the Mozilla world, we found it difficult and time-consuming to write extensions to Firefox. There is something largely last-decade about requiring restarts to add a new feature to your browsing experience. It’s ironic that the entire Web is on a push model, yet the browser—the most fundamental tool of interacting with the Web—is on a pull model.
--- End quote ---

Well, in the case of Google Chrome, that problem has been solved.  Extensions do not require restarts, they are auto-updated by push, and they are written using standard web languages - XML and JavaScript.  This video shows a basic overview of creating Chrome extensions.

The core idea of Ubiquity is, in my opinion, a lofty but worthy goal:  Allow users to not just find, but DO things with the web, in the way that is most natural to them - telling it what to do.  That's my interpretation, anyway.

FARR and other launchers were built to do things with your computer, using objects that are (compared to the web) static and rigid.  Tools like Ubiquity are different because they should be designed to do things with the Internet, in all its 404 error glory.

I know it would be a tough project to tackle, but that's just the sort of thing that I know the valiant coders here at DC can handle.  As for myself, I just learned JavaScript from the excellent tutorial in the Programming School section, and I know basic HTML.  

Ubiquity is open source, so at least there'd be a starting point.
I've come across some other things that I think are relevant:

* Siri - A personal assistant that performs tasks on iPhone based on voice queries.
* WordNet - A categorized database of the English language.
* FreeBase - A huge database of all sorts of interconnected topics.

Perry Mowbray:
I love Ubiquity (and the name too), it was like FARR in my browser. I obviously haven't been following closely enough as I had no idea it'd died  :(

It seems mostly dead now-pyrohacker (February 13, 2010, 03:24 PM)
--- End quote ---

Latest code commit: 6 days ago.

The group seems pretty active to me.

The developers seem pretty reactive to problems, and even acknowledge they haven't been on top of anything other than development builds...

Perry Mowbray:
OK... I'm happy again...  :Thmbsup:


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