Mozilla has released a new prototype extension that attempts to bring the command line to the browser. The extension, called Ubiquity, uses a set of predefined commands to do things like map an address the user has highlighted, shoot off an email, and more. A good example of this can be seen in the screenshot above where the user highlighted “Chicago Comics,” launched Ubiquity, and was given a list of matching addresses.
Once you’ve got Ubiquity installed you’ll be able to press Control+Space (Option+Space on Mac) to launch the command line window. From there you can use one of the 71 built-in commands (that URL will only work if you’ve installed Ubiquity) to manipulate highlighted text, perform searches, and more. Plus users can even create and share their own Ubiquity commands.
The extension is pretty powerful, and I was surprised at it’s stability considering what an early release it is. They’ve setup a nice tutorial for beginners that will walk you through how a lot of the different stuff works, and it’s something you’ll really need to go through if you want to make the most of what it has to offer. There’s also a video demonstration I’ve posted at the end of this article.
I’ve read on some sites that a feature like this could be something we see in the next big Firefox release. In the past Mozilla has said that they only add features to the browser that will be used by over 90 percent of their users. Ubiquity is undeniably appealing to power users who praise the keyboard, but anyone that is mouse-centric probably won’t touch this with a ten foot pole. My guess is that this one will remain in the land of add-ons.
So what do you think of it? Is it something you’ll use, just try out, or don’t even have any plans on installing it?