Mozilla Labs introduces Ubiquity

Filed as Features on August 27, 2008 5:24 am

Mozilla Labs has introduced Ubiquity, a new method of interacting with the World Wide Web – and one that allows you to create mashups and more integrated communications.

We’ll let Aza Raskin from Mozilla Labs explain:

You’re writing an email to invite a friend to meet at a local San Francisco restaurant that neither of you has been to. You’d like to include a map. Today, this involves the disjointed tasks of message composition on a web-mail service, mapping the address on a map site, searching for reviews on the restaurant on a search engine, and finally copying all links into the message being composed. This familiar sequence is an awful lot of clicking, typing, searching, copying, and pasting in order to do a very simple task. And you haven’t even really sent a map or useful reviews—only links to them.

This kind of clunky, time-consuming interaction is common on the Web. Mashups help in some cases but they are static, require Web development skills, and are largely site-centric rather than user-centric.

It’s even worse on mobile devices, where limited capability and fidelity makes this onerous or nearly impossible.

Their solution is a new extension to the Mozilla browser (Firefox) that allows you to create these mashups using clear english queries. The article on the Mozilla Labs site also has a great presentation video that explains this concept in more details.

While the initial release (it’s a v0.1 after all) is rough and certainly does not contain all of the features that are outlined in their vision – it does contain enough to clearly show the promise of what Ubiquity could be…

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