In association with heise online

27 August 2008, 09:26

Mozilla Labs announces Ubiquity

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Ubiquity in action, displaying a map
Zoom Ubiquity in action, displaying a map
Ubiquity, a new project from Mozilla Labs, has been announced and aims to change the way people use the internet by bringing the ability to type commands.

The developers of Ubiquity had noticed that users and developers were trying to "mash" together different web sites using a number of approaches, such as bookmarklets and GreaseMonkey scripts. These approaches all had differing limitations, and the developers wanted to come up with a ubiquitous solution to the problem, hence Ubiquity.

Ubiquity is a framework for commands and scripts designed to always be there, just a keypress away, during your browser session. When the hotkey is pressed, a command line pops up over the page, where the user can type commands which are able to use information in the current page and use resources from other web sites. A simple example would be the "highlight" command, which will highlight any selected text on the page, whilst the "email" command will take your current selected text and compose an email using that text through Google Mail.

A more vivid example of what Ubiquity can do is the map command; select some text referring to a location, call up Ubiquity on the hot key and type "map" without pressing return and immediately in the command window, a Google Maps view of your selected text is shown.

The commands are written in JavaScript and can be added to or modified with a Ubiquity command "command-editor". Already there are over 50 built-in commands, ranging from queries for Amazon, Wikipedia and Digg, to posting to Twitter, getting translations and converting page content.

Mozilla Labs is looking for people to start working on and sharing their own commands for Ubiquity and test out the prototype release. The official Mozilla Labs page for Ubiquity contains a number of resources for developers, but the announcement for Ubiquity, containing backgrounds articles and links to the download, is probably the better starting point.


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit