Thursday, December 28th, 2006

TagBulb: Tag Search Simplified

Category: Fun, PHP

Veerendra Shivhare, who developed Amazon Tree that we covered previously, has released Tagbulb. Tagbulb offers a mashup of search engines for tags allowing searches against just about any web 2.0 site you can think of. You can search via tag using services like Youtube, Flickr, Technorati, 43Things, and many of their competitors. The interface is well done, and uses popup windows well (which is rare). I did find the autocompletion to be a bit over eager, though – it kept wanting to complete “ajax” as “ajax atlas”. Its also frustrating not to find a way to get a link to “all blog posts tagged with foo”, as everything seems stuck to the one “bulb.php” url.

I’m not sure about the practical use of something like this, but its definitely a fun experiment.

I asked Veerendra about his experience while developing Tagbulb in more detail:

on users and usability:
Users should be empowered to choose the source and type of search. I have seen lot of similar sites which search multiple sources like youtube and yahoo video. In particular there was a site called tag fetch. It hardly gave any control to end user. Once searched there were multiple async requests which goes and fetched results from various sources. In this case – there is a long delay before you get the information. Secondly users don’t get any control on choosing what they want. I intend to evolve TagBulb on user feedbacks and make it the de-facto tag search engine.

on language used
TagBulb was conceptualized 9 months back. I developed it on J2EE. Faced issues with finding a good affordable hosting provider. A few weeks back someone suggested I release TagBulb, and all I had to do was to re-write it in PHP and choose from “n” number of hosting providers. I am happy with PHP though I am an expert at J2EE.

on frameworks
Prototype (I just love this library). Its balanced to give developers all the freedom they need and provide easy OO capabilities to JS. There are many so called AJAX libraries which takes control from users in return of providing out of the box widgets. For guys like me most of these frameworks are “good for beginners”, but they fail to impress the experienced guys. Used behavior for image effects, YUI for tabs and pop ups, WordPress for Blog, and Zend as PHP backbone.

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 12:04 am
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