I’ve been trying hard this year not to link to items that fall into the shiny object chasing category I’d call “tech-blogger meme-of-the-day.” However, I can’t help myself on this one. Mozilla Labs (the folks behind the Firefox browser) has a concept project called Ubiquity that utilizes an interface concept that will be very familiar and compelling to users of the software called Quicksilver.
I’ve never tried to explain Quicksilver, but here goes: It a light-weight utility that I use on my Mac that allows me to navigate and operate pretty-much everything on the computer in a text-driven way so that I can by-pass all the clicking I do when using the “finder” and all the metaphors related to the desktop. Of course, writing that previous sentence and recognizing that it makes no sense, whatsoever, is why I don’t try to explain Quicksilver.
So I won’t attempt to explain how or why I find Ubiquity so compelling either (watch some of the video and maybe you’ll see why). One day, perhaps in about 10 or 15 years, people who live on the Internet will migrate to a web interface that Ubiquity points to — one where users can navigate among websites and web-apps using “verbs” or “language-driven” methods of controlling the browser and content and services they want to collect, store or share. In the old days, I would have predicted 3-5 years, but about 15 years ago, I predicted such a life-span for the fax machine — and I hear one whirling in the background.
I’m not recommending you become a lab-rat and download an early version of Ubiquity. It’s cool to use, but not yet something ready for prime-time. However, if you’re already someone who uses Quicksilver, you may want to check it out.
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