I’ve been pointed twice in one week to YubNub, which bills itself as a “(social) command line for the web.”
YubNub is the result of a “program like hell for 24 hours” project, in fact, it came out of one guy’s attempt to win a contest around the new Ruby on Rails framework.
The idea of search as the command line for the web is well established, this takes the idea one step (or more) further, letting you set up commands in the search line itself. You can use the search line as a single point of reference for searching just about any web resource, and you can add your own, if you’re geeky enough (others will do it for you if you’re challenged like I am). From the post explaining YubNub:
I was tired of setting up the same Firefox keywords on each of the 5 computers that I use. By putting my keywords into YubNub, I can hit “am mark twain” for an Amazon search, or “gmap vancouver” for a Google Maps search, no matter which computer I’m on.
But on a bigger scale, YubNub is the realization of a very big idea: the URL command line of the web OS.
Web applications were once considered slow and unreliable, compared to their desktop counterparts. But these days, people are increasingly choosing web applications over desktop applications. Amazingly, GMail is found to be faster than desktop email programs. The snappy Google Maps interface feels as responsive as a desktop application. The web is morphing into the desktop, and today we are witness to the command line making its appearance in this new world, as YubNub, the (social) command-line for the web.
The beauty of YubNub is that anyone can help to extend it. If there is an existing web service with a submit form, they can add it pretty easily (like I did with the Amazon example above). But even more interesting is the adding of complex data-processing services (like validating an RSS feed, or converting webpages to audio using text-to-speech).
Very Web 2.0.
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