Who’s ready for some mash-ups?
Mozilla has released Ubiquity. It’s an experiment in allowing (as Mozilla says on their site) “everyoneâ€“not just Web developersâ€“to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.”
The idea is to marry a command-line interface with your browser, allowing you to quickly mash-up Web-service data to create new streams of data that you can view in multiple ways or even embed in, say, an e-mail to a friend.
Apple’s Safari does something sort of similar. It allows you to create “Web clips” of data that you regularly want to access on a Web page and turn it into a widget that lives apart from your browser and updates when you want it to (e.g., sports scores, weather data, and other details that aren’t necessarily available as an RSS feed).
In some ways, what Mozilla is attempting to do is change the way users interact with the Web and move people away from viewing the Web as a series of “pages” and toward a process of customizing and personalizing the data that flows through the Web (ideally using natural language instead of code-speak). This might be heady stuff for most Internet users, but it is definitely an admirable goal, and it’s a very interesting step forward for Mozilla — and potentially everyone else.
I know that I’m not a complete dummy when it comes to using the Internet, but this command-line approach does take some getting used to for those of us who aren’t developers. It will undoubtedly spur curious Firefox users to take notice and ask, “What is this new technology? Can I try it out? Um, I got stuck adding a source of data into my calendar… now what do I do?”
That’s where we come in. The Mozilla section of Get Satisfaction has already blossomed/exploded with a wealth of new questions, problems, ideas, and discussions about Ubiquity. What is most impressive, but perhaps not surprising considering this is really just a prototype, is the number of “idea” topics that people have started about Ubiquity. Mozilla users on Get Satisfaction have quickly said, “This is great, but what I’d really like is this….” That’s great feedback for the developers behind Ubiquity.
Got an idea of your own? Let the ideas flow on Get Satisfaction as everyone explores the potential of Ubiquity.
Want to know more about Ubiquity? Check out this video primer from the folks at Mozilla.