Sunday, September 28, 2008

Baby's First Verb: Yet Another Url Shortener for Ubiquity

I threw together a command (or "verb") for Ubiquity this evening. The url shorteners seem to be the "hello world" of Ubiquity, so I made one for url shortening service ( tends to produce really short urls, and has a dead simple API.)

Previous coverage of Ubiquity here, or just check out Aza Raskin's inspiring concept/tutorial video.

The devs pioneering Ubiquity are clearly trying to push extensionability far further than even add-ons went in Firefox.

I am not a professional programmer by a long shot, yet this was no real sweat to throw together. The biggest hitch I had was sharing the code, but GitHub has already made that part easy.

If I can do this, I'd expect a flood of useful Ubiquity commands in short order. (Yup, there are dozens already, also check out the requests being filled.)

After playing around with this script, I'm now completely sold on the Ubiquity paradigm. I'm ready for the day when we stop loading websites and instead just shout natural language requests at our personal homepages (which will incorporate data from around the internet, constantly restructuring themselves on the fly to please their human masters meet the user's needs). I wonder how advertisers will feel about that model.

My script is hosted by GitHub. If you have Ubiquity installed, which is admittedly very beta, FF will auto detect the script so you can install it and try it out.

UPDATE: changed almost everything now that the script is up. I had a rant here about textarea and pre tags that no longer makes much sense, but html is the devil. I asked EP for the keys to the CSS, hence his comment.