Ideas for Firefox 2.0

Album Cover: Pretty Hate Machine

"If I was twice the man I could be, I'd still be half of what you need."
NIN / Ringfinger

Posted on June 17, 2004 11:38 PM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

While reading an entry in Asa Dotzler's feed tonight, I came across a call to make Firefox 2.0 cool over at Blake Ross' blog.

In his "call to arms," Blake proclaims:

We are looking for one area of Firefox that would be improved through the use of machine learning algorithms. In other words, something that would benefit from a "smarter" Firefox that has observed the way you use the product.

He also goes on to say that even subtle suggestions are welcome, as saving users even just 5 seconds of their time can add up to be a huge win. The following is the idea I came up with:

How about smart bookmark categorization? Much like Thunderbird learns to analyze the text of emails to categorize them as either normal mail or junk, Firefox could analyze the textual contents of web pages to give a best-guess as to where they should be categorized based on a user's previous categorizations.

So, for example, if I tend to bookmark a lot of sites about web design in my Design folder, Firefox should have a pretty good idea of the types of terms that exist on those sites (e.g. "ccs," "standards," "accessibility," "tableless," etc.) and eventually should be able to at least guess at what folder I might want to bookmark a new site in. If it's wrong, no big deal, I can choose the correct one (or create a new one). If it's right, though, that's pretty powerful and ends up saving me some time in the grand scheme of things.

Definitely subtle, but I think it's something that could prove to be very useful. And who knows, maybe whatever comes of it could be applied to other areas of the application.

It hurts my head to think about Firefox 2.0, though, when I'm still trying to come to terms with 0.9 ;) Goodnight, all.

Comments

Anonymous on June 19, 2004 at 11:56 PM:

Did you think how "easy" it would be to find such bookmarks which the "smart" browser placed you-don't-know-where? :)

Especially if it misjudges the category and puts it under "Cooking" while you're thinking it fits in "Design"...

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Bernie on June 20, 2004 at 2:11 PM:

First off, I shouldn't even respond since you've chosen to post anonymously. However, my answer to your question is simple. While using Firefox, hit Ctrl-D. Notice how there is a dropdown in the dialog that appears, called "Create in?" That is where the "smart" guessing would take place. So, nothing is being bookmarked anywhere without you knowing about it. Firefox would simply be giving you help (if it worked correctly) as to where the page should probably be filed.

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TchuBacha on September 02, 2005 at 1:10 PM:

Dunno if this is the right place to post this but i had an idea of adding at the bottom of the browser window msn messenger, where can talk to people with out having to change the window, tabs to change between the person your talking too. That way you can talk to people and surf the net easier.

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