What if there was a faster way to access the services you use on the internet without having to go to the websites those services run on - what if your browser and a few strategically placed keystrokes could let you access those services as fast as Gnome Do can launch a program? Luckily we have a new project from Mozilla Labs that does all of that, and more - say hello to the most useful inerface for accessing the internet since the invention of the web browser itself. Ubiquity.
Now, for those of you who are new to Ubuntu, you might not be aware of Gnome Do, so be sure to check out our article on Gnome Do here. What Ubiquity does, is provide a command interface for Firefox that knows everything about you that Firefox does (it can access your Gmail, Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter if you have chosen to stay logged in in Firefox), and also likely has commands for your most-used web services either already installed, easily downloadable, or soon to be released. Ubiquity is still in the earliest stages of its sure-to-be revolutionary existence so even a lot of web developers haven’t discovered it yet.
To install Ubiquity, you will need to click here and allow Firefox to install the add-on.
Firefox will ask you to retart the application to enable it. When you first relaunch Firefox, Ubiquity will display its documentation page.
Be sure to note the shortcut or set your own here. When you summon Ubiquity it launches a command interface window with a text field. The default shortcut, alt-space doesn’t work well for me, so I set mine to shift-space instead.
As you type it displays the closest available commands, and gives you a description of their usage. You can navigate the list up and down using the
arrow keys and you can auto-complete with
Some of the most useful commands are Google, Twitter, Facebook friend search and Wikipedia, but some of the other tools like Google maps, tinyURL and define make reference simpler than ever.
Not only does Ubiquity save you time, but it’s also themeable and highly customizable making it easy for anybody to make a theme or a command plugin.
Watch this video to see some of the things you can do with Ubiquity…