Coming Soon, A Command Line to the Web in Google Chrome?

Having been a user of the Chrome browser for several months now, I am completely sold on the idea of having a single text box to double up as both a search box and an address box. On the occasions I use the Safari browser, I’m more likely than not to end up with a “page not found” displayed as the result of typing a search query in to the location bar…

As with most browsers, Chrome is extensible through the addition of plugins (I’ve just started using these again, starting with the Awesome Screenshot plugin). With the opening up of an API for the Omnibox (labelled as “Onebox” in the screenshot), developers will now get a chance to “add their own keyword commands to the omnibox”.

(Reminds me of a time when I had umpteen different smart keyword powered searches in my Firefox browser to activate searches on different search endpoints.)

What suddenly occurred to me was that when Chromium devices start shipping (computers where all you get is the browser), the omnibox could also become the command line to the web for folk who like the command line. Google already has a range of command line commands (Google CL: the Google command line tool), so I wonder – could these be supported in the omnibox, and if so, when will they be?!;-)

(In the meantime, the omnibox could also provide a command line from the web for Chrome users who want a web command line in their browser, rather than firing up a terminal?!)

PS on the Chromium front, it seems that the development of Native Client support is continuing apace. Which if I understand it correctly, means you can write and run C applications within a sandboxed container inside Chromium. And which I guess also means it could provide support for applications running on their own virtual machine?

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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