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Ubiquity – the awesome web task engine for Firefox


ubiquity2 Ubiquity   the awesome web task engine for Firefox

I’ve been playing with Mozilla’s new free Ubiquity plugin for Firefox and it’s fab. It basically provides instant access to a whole bunch of web applications and other useful tools via a really easy to use command line interface. Now don’t get scared, it’s really really easy to use and incredibly flexible.

ubiquity3 small Ubiquity   the awesome web task engine for Firefox

To access the proglet you hit CTRL key and spacebar together, and up pops a small box waiting for your instructions. There are 50 commands in existence right now, but it’s trivial for people to create new ones, so expect this number to rise exponentially over time. What can you do with it?

Well for one, if I’m on a foreign web site and I want to translate something, I can just highlight the words, fire up Ubiquity and type tr, hit the enter key and it instantly inserts the translation it thinks you need into the page directly. No really. Awesome.

ubiquity4 thumb Ubiquity   the awesome web task engine for FirefoxUbiquity5

You can specify languages etc etc, but that’s just the immediate version of the translate command. There are commands for creating and sending emails from Gmail instantly (other email services to come), converting stuff, doing search, asking questions (e.g. what is the capital of …?) and even twittering.

Ubiquity1

One favourite is the ability to fire up your Gmail client and then embed a map in the message simply by typing map into the Ubiquity box (u-box?) and clicking on the ‘insert in page’ link. Fab. OK, so it’s Google mail only again, but fab.

Ubiquity6

This is one of those deceptively simple and yet game changing technologies that could really power the web browser to another dimension if it takes off. The accessing of information and services from your browser just got a whole lot easier, and more importantly, fast. Here’s a tutorial, now go download and play with it. Really.

 Today we’re announcing the launch of Ubiquity, a Mozilla Labs experiment into connecting the Web with language in an attempt to find new user interfaces that could make it possible for everyone to do common Web tasks more quickly and easily.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • http://gracehead.com GraceHead

    reminds me of greasemonkey but better / easier to boss around and … well … mashup.
    Thanks for sharing this!

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