Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hey Firefox, Beagle This ... NOW!

Consider this scenario: B was writing an article when he remembered that he read a relevant blog some weeks ago but did not bookmark it due to his lack of foresight (stupid B). What to do ? He could possibly run a grep in his Firefox cache folder hoping that the cache would still be there or scan his FF history for a familiar looking URL. Anything better ?
If B was using the FF beagle extension, he could find the blog instantly

Really! Then I will pose this requirement. B has been using the new FF beagle extension for some time now. But he does not want to index all his browsing history. Sometimes he just wants to browse off the record. Maybe after a while he wants to index the pages he visits. Pretty random ... but hey, that's B's nature.
No problem. The new extension puts a small status icon, which can be  used to disable/enable the automatic index; really, at B's own sweet will.

That was easy. How about this one, a bit harder. Someone told B about FF beagle extension, and B started using it. But this time he needs a PDF paper he found online. He does remember that he read the paper and he must have read it in the browser itself. Now what ?
If B was using the new FF beagle extension, he could even search for embedded documents. Embedded content is not indexed automatically (as of now) but can be indexed as required using the status icon menu.

Hmm... But what if B visits a page with auto-indexing disabled and then decides that he better index the current page. Now what ? Does he have to enable the auto-indexing and then reload the page. Thats stupid!
Heh. You gotta be kidding. Of course he can use the status icon menu or the page context menu to index the current page.

If B wants to index an image, or take this one, sees a link to something (PDF, image, java source file, mp3 ...) and wants to index it without loading it explicitly ?
The context menu provides options to index an image and index a link; in both the cases the file is retrieved in the background and indexed. All filetypes that beagle can filter, can be indexed using the index this link feature.

This new extension seems to uber-useful. I guess I err... B should really start using it. Can B save notes while indexing on demand i.e. if he is indexing a link he might want to index a few extra keywords (for querying or for reference) ?
Yeah! B gets that too. If B checks the corresponding preference entry, the extension will prompt for extra keywords to save and index when B explicitly asks it to index something.

I will be good and share this new beagle extension with everybody, written by Tao as part of Google Summer of Code 2007. Soon to be found in beagle trunk.