Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Ubiquity: Quicksilver of the Firefox browser

Category: Firefox, Utility

Aza Raskin and the Mozilla Labs team have launched Ubiquity the command line tool that they have been talking about for awhile.

Ubiquity is “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.”

The overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.

The screencast explains more:

What is cool about the system, is that it is a platform. If you fancy adding a new command, it is as easy as the following ‘date’ command:


  1. CmdUtils.CreateCommand({
  2.   name: "date",
  4.   _date: function(){
  5.     var date = new Date();
  6.     return date.toLocaleDateString();
  7.   },
  9.   preview: function( pblock ) {
  10.     var msg = 'Inserts todays date: "<i>${date}</i>"';
  11.     pblock.innerHTML = CmdUtils.renderTemplate( msg, {date: this._date()} );
  12.   },
  14.   execute: function() {
  15.     CmdUtils.setSelection( this._date() );
  16.   }
  17. })

Fancy a go? Download Ubiquity 0.1.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 3:00 am

4.9 rating from 22 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

Looking quite good. I only wish FF was fast enough on mac to use as my primary browser. As such, I can’t stand it’s little minor lagginess, so I still use safari for my daily life. Ubiquity might just push me over the edge, we’ll see.

Comment by skwp — August 27, 2008

having been playing around with this for a couple of hours i honestly say this is a fantastic plug-in :)

Comment by ReneKoch — August 27, 2008

Okay, that is seriously freakin’ cool! I already love it enough to have signed up for *yet another* account just so I could leave a comment saying how cool it is and than Ajaxian for mentioning it to me.

Comment by Takuan — August 27, 2008

It does set off a firestorm of notifications in FireKeeper, though, when you try to email anything. If I could figure out how to whitelist Ubiquity-initiated actions while still being warned about other XSS concerns, I’d be quite happy.

Comment by Takuan — August 27, 2008

This sounds very cool, I’m definitely gonna try it out.

Comment by iliad — August 27, 2008

This will be one of the 1st Firefox add-ons/plugins you’ll install when setting up Firefox just to enable subscribing to Ubiquity Plugins (sort of a meta plugin). Then it’ll be integrated into Firefox. This is going to be huge!

Comment by methym — August 27, 2008

Between Ubiquity, Enzo, Gnome-Do and Quicksilver, how will one decide which “command line tool” to use?

Comment by tj111 — August 28, 2008

I’m definitely gonna try it
I like the sound of it

Comment by Remedies — December 8, 2008

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