April 23, 2008

Unintended awesomeness

I ran into a very useful and satisfyingly simple use of the awesomebar today that I think is at the edge of what it was originally intended for. I wanted to create a new Google Docs document, so I opened a new tab and was about to start typing some terms to navigate to the site. I stopped, though, and tried out a little experiment:

I typed "new document" into the awesomebar, and there, in first place, was what looked like a promising link. I selected it, and got the following:

In other words, I was delivered directly to my real goal — not navigating to the front page of the Google Docs site, but to the "new document" I was trying to create. What's interesting, and newly possible through the awesomebar, is that I could find the appropriate link. Clearly I'd been there before, but I never would have remembered this kind of interstitial non-manually-typed-in URL. It helps, of course, that the URL/command in question uses actual human-language words.

As a result, I have functionality similar to a "New Document" button in my browser without having Yet Another Button on the screen, and the browser becomes an even more sophisticated intermediary between me and my online life than it was before.

Incidentally, Dria's written a great overview of the Awesomebar in Firefox 3. If you're interested in what else you can get out of this new feature, go read it!

Posted by madhava at April 23, 2008 01:40 PM

Being able to quickly get to all your existing documents is also way more awesome than using the Finder, Nautilus, or Windows explorer :)

Posted by: Alex Faaborg at April 23, 2008 09:56 PM

ha! Very cool :-)

that is interesting to know as a web developer, make sure URLs are human readable :-)


Posted by: monk.e.boy at April 24, 2008 03:31 AM

Cool, but what if you weren't an English speaker? Does the awesome bar do word translation? Could it?

Posted by: David Illsley at April 24, 2008 04:17 AM

I thought I'd give this a try, having recently created a new Firefox profile and being pretty sure I hadn't been to Google Docs with it. I popped open a new tab, typed "New Document" into the awesomebar, hit return, and ended up here:


Pretty sure I've never been there either. Awesome, I guess! :)

Posted by: Jay Goldman at May 5, 2008 11:07 PM