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A javascript based browser home page app

Hi all,
I have worked an open source javascript + html page that has the
potential to replace your existing browser home page. If you are
interested in trying it out, or learning more about it, it is freely
available at http://code.google.com/p/tphp/

I would love to hear from you if you have any comments.

Thanks,
Vishal

PS.
Here is a clip from the introduction section -
Imagine you could have a browser home page, which is loaded faster
than even the Google home page, provides recommendations based on your
past searches, and provides powerful "switches" to route to the the
world of internet with you in the back seat ?

If that appeals to you, this is a project designed for users like you.
Give it a try and you will not be disappointed, but will simply be
instead asking for more out of it.
Jun 27 '08 #1
3 1890
goldenv wrote:
I have worked an open source javascript + html page that has the
potential to replace your existing browser home page. If you are
interested in trying it out, or learning more about it, it is freely
available at http://code.google.com/p/tphp/

I would love to hear from you if you have any comments.
Trying to reinvent Web 0.8, yes? Sorry, given mature apps like Firefox,
Opera or Safari, and the increasing number of people who don't even know
what a command line is, I don't think you get anyone hooked by this,
especially not developers. For example:

1. I have to "install" tphp as browser home page to get its functionality.

My Firefox (2.0.0.13) is already there, and it shows the home page that
*I* developed, on my local Web server (which has a number of advantages
over a local file).

2. tphp provides me with a way to do quick Google searches by just
typing text.

So what? In Firefox, I type Ctrl+K (to get to the Search Bar)
and enter the query, and I'm there. And I can install any number
of search engine extensions there from the Mycroft project site.

3. tphp provides me with a way to use keywords to quickly navigate
to sites of interest.

So what? Firefox provides me with bookmarks and bookmarklets
that can be triggered by typing a keyword followed by options.
I can run them by pressing Ctrl+L (to get to the Location Bar)
and begin typing.

I have "babylon" (Babylon.com lookup), "bahn" (Deutsche Bahn
timetable service, with options for start and end point, written
in JS), "bug" (Bugzilla bug ID query), "chk" (W3C Markup Validation
of a given URI-referenced resource), "chk-css" (W3C CSS Validation
of a given URI-referenced resource), "chk-xml" (Christoph Schneegans'
XML Schema Validator), "css" (CSS 2 Spec), "grp" (Google Groups query)
"imdb" (Internet Movie Database query), "wiki" (Wikipedia query, with
support for non-ASCII letters and and option to preselect the language,
written in JS), to name just a few.

4. tphp provides recommendations based on previous searches.

So what? Firefox's search bar already remembers previous searches
and even makes a lookup to provide me with Google suggestions as
I type.

With the myurlbar extension (old and a little buggy, but nonetheless
helpful) those recommendations include even titles of Web sites
previously visited and that of URLs and titles of bookmarks as I type
in the Location Bar.

5. tphp allows to go to the site as if you used Google's
"I'm feeling lucky" feature.

So what? That's a Firefox built-in (Location Bar again), and you can
even change it or disable it if for some reason you don't like Google.

And I can do 2. to 5. while viewing *any* site.

6. You write that you intend to set up a Python-powered web site that
people can set as their home page, to provide an extensible interface.

Then I will have to live with whatever keywords my fellow users
define, even if I don't agree with them. That does not sound very
user-friendly.

And finally:

You don't expect people (and especially developers) giving you the chance
of further spying on them (given the spying that Google already does, and
they have a reputation to keep), whatever your sincere statements and
true intentions, are you?
PointedEars
--
Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on
a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web,
when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another
computer, another word processor, or another network. -- Tim Berners-Lee
Jun 27 '08 #2
There is actually no installation step, it is just getting the home
page file on your disk. I have updated the page to clarify that. As
for as spying or privacy concerns, since this is a local javascript
file/implementation the browser will never allow sending anything to
any host on the internet. Even the cookies can not be accessed by any
other site. And since the app is just one file, it is easy to get rid
of.

I appreciate your input but unfortunately it is not constructive
enough for me to make any design or implementation changes. I don't
think this app is for everybody and since you know your way around
different FF features, you especially might not need, but there are
few how might, and like to have all these features in a single place
of use, your start page. There are also many who do not use FF.
Imagine getting consistent search and command features across all
browsers.

Vishal

On Apr 16, 11:38*am, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn <PointedE...@we b.de>
wrote:
goldenv wrote:
I have worked an open source javascript + html page that has the
potential to replace your existing browser home page. If you are
interested in trying it out, or learning more about it, it is freely
available athttp://code.google.com/p/tphp/
I would love to hear from you if you have any comments.

Trying to reinvent Web 0.8, yes? *Sorry, given mature apps like Firefox,
Opera or Safari, and the increasing number of people who don't even know
what a command line is, I don't think you get anyone hooked by this,
especially not developers. *For example:

1. I have to "install" tphp as browser home page to get its functionality.

* *My Firefox (2.0.0.13) is already there, and it shows the home page that
* **I* developed, on my local Web server (which has a number of advantages
* *over a local file).

2. tphp provides me with a way to do quick Google searches by just
* *typing text.

* *So what? *In Firefox, I type Ctrl+K (to get to the Search Bar)
* *and enter the query, and I'm there. *And I can install any number
* *of search engine extensions there from the Mycroft project site.

3. tphp provides me with a way to use keywords to quickly navigate
* *to sites of interest.

* *So what? *Firefox provides me with bookmarks and bookmarklets
* *that can be triggered by typing a keyword followed by options.
* *I can run them by pressing Ctrl+L (to get to the Location Bar)
* *and begin typing.

* *I have "babylon" (Babylon.com lookup), "bahn" (Deutsche Bahn
* *timetable service, with options for start and end point, written
* *in JS), "bug" (Bugzilla bug ID query), "chk" (W3C Markup Validation
* *of a given URI-referenced resource), "chk-css" (W3C CSS Validation
* *of a given URI-referenced resource), "chk-xml" (Christoph Schneegans'
* *XML Schema Validator), "css" (CSS 2 Spec), "grp" (Google Groups query)
* *"imdb" (Internet Movie Database query), "wiki" (Wikipedia query, with
* *support for non-ASCII letters and and option to preselect the language,
* *written in JS), to name just a few.

4. tphp provides recommendations based on previous searches.

* *So what? *Firefox's search bar already remembers previous searches
* *and even makes a lookup to provide me with Google suggestions as
* *I type.

* *With the myurlbar extension (old and a little buggy, but nonetheless
* *helpful) those recommendations include even titles of Web sites
* *previously visited and that of URLs and titles of bookmarks as I type
* *in the Location Bar.

5. tphp allows to go to the site as if you used Google's
* *"I'm feeling lucky" feature.

* *So what? *That's a Firefox built-in (Location Bar again), and youcan
* *even change it or disable it if for some reason you don't like Google.

And I can do 2. to 5. while viewing *any* site.

6. You write that you intend to set up a Python-powered web site that
* *people can set as their home page, to provide an extensible interface.

* *Then I will have to live with whatever keywords my fellow users
* *define, even if I don't agree with them. *That does not sound very
* *user-friendly.

* *And finally:

* *You don't expect people (and especially developers) giving you the chance
* *of further spying on them (given the spying that Google already does, and
* *they have a reputation to keep), whatever your sincere statements and
* *true intentions, are you?

PointedEars
--
Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on
a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web,
when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another
computer, another word processor, or another network. -- Tim Berners-Lee
Jun 27 '08 #3
goldenv wrote:
There is actually no installation step, it is just getting the home page
file on your disk.
I was well aware of that, hence the quotation marks.
I have updated the page to clarify that. As for as spying or privacy
concerns, since this is a local javascript file/implementation the
browser will never allow sending anything to any host on the internet.
As long as you don't set up that Python script on your Web site and people
start using its output instead.
[...] I appreciate your input but unfortunately it is not constructive
enough for me to make any design or implementation changes.
It was not intended as such, but to point out that I found your concept not
very convincing, to say the least. Therefore, I would consider it a waste
of resources to continue there, and a good idea to invest development
resources elsewhere. I know this might seem a bit harsh at first, but you
asked for comments and there you are.
I don't think this app is for everybody
Even more a reason not to use it. If not everybody is the target audience,
it would be prudent if people would learn to unleash the full potential of
their favorite browser, and you should be writing cross-browser
bookmarklets, instead.
and since you know your way around different FF features, you especially
might not need, but there are few how might,
There are a number of bookmarklets available on the Web, they are easy to
install and easy to use. Supported by fellow de.*-Usenet regular Andreas
Borutta (thanks again), I happen to have published one (of the many that I
am using) under the GNU GPL v2 or later that did not appear to be this
unpopular at the time:

<http://borumat.de/firefox-browser-tipps.php>

(I don't know why this is offline here now, will check back with Andreas.
JFTR: The bookmarklet allows to do a quick lookup in the German phone book,
using the service of telefonbuch.de. If anyone's interested in the
bookmarklet, please just drop me a note.)
and like to have all these features in a single place of use, your start
page.
But that is its major drawback, don't you see? As I have mentioned, the
built-in features are available while viewing at any Web site. tphp is not,
is it?
There are also many who do not use FF.
Netscape, Opera, Safari, Konqueror, and even Internet Explorer share many of
these features. All of them support `javascript:' bookmarklets to begin with.
Imagine getting consistent search and command features across all
browsers.
I don't know about you, but I have only one favorite browser. The other
ones are only there for testing.
[Top post]
Please don't do that. If you go through the quote from top to button, trim
your quotes while doing that and reply below (summarized) quotates, it also
becomes easier for you to recognize the arguments made.

http://jibbering.com/faq/
PointedEars
--
Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on
a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web,
when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another
computer, another word processor, or another network. -- Tim Berners-Lee
Jun 27 '08 #4

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