Mozilla Labs Introduces Firefox Taskfox Prototype
Article by George Norman
On 10 Apr 2009
The goal that Mozilla is trying to reach with Taskfox is to uplift the Ubiquity project and at the same time allow Firefox users to gain rapid access to information and seamlessly perform tasks that would normally require more than one step. There are differences between Ubiquity and Taskfox, such as the fact that Taskfox will be part of the Firefox existing UI and will be localized; other differences include the fact that Taskfox will not include a natural language processing feature. To put it bluntly, Taskfox is an Ubiquity inspired feature that can be sued for numerous uses (see here).

“As a user experience exploration, Ubiquity has been incredibly successful. Over a million downloads have highlighted the need for the web to be connected more tightly with by the power of task-based interfaces. Due to the passion of users, the user tutorial has been translated into ten languages. Similarly, the thousands of commands written for Ubiquity illustrate a latent desire to be able to write tiny amounts of code that enhance the web in fundamental ways. We are currently working on bringing some of that power to Firefox. See the link for the goals and non-goals for Taskfox, which is what we call the Firefox feature inspired by Ubiquity,” comments Head of User Experience with Mozilla Labs, Aza Raskin.


Mozilla Labs has posted a video showcasing Taskfox, alongside other useful information here. If that isn’t enough to make it clear what Taskfox is all about, a demo is available here (has few working commands, things like translate, calculate, but should be enough to give you an overall idea). A word of warning though: the demo is written in HTML and JavaScript and has been tested in Firefox only (might not work in other applications, unlike Google’s Chrome Experiments which works on other browsers as well); the prototype is rather sluggish so be patient and type slowly.

One other interesting feature recently presented by Mozilla Labs is the Cognitive Shiled Tab concept - details here .

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Taskfox
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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