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The Web Browser Address Bar is the New Command Line


Nothing about Ubiquity, Taskfox, or Vimperator (which actually has the ability to pass input to the command line)? This article is really lacking. At least do more research than the google help page. There’s a great article that could be written about this concept, but you didn’t put the effort in to do so. I’m disappointed.


This whole entry is a case of blog now, think later. (if at all) In fact its like a overstretched tweet. and possibly another comment-bait article.

There is so much stuff you can do on a UNIX command-line, such as but not limited to create modify files, invoke so many programs and utilities , pipe output from several utilities to others, and more.

A browser will always be a browser, you don’t get work done with a browser, you just do research.

The comparison is ridiculous.


Comparing the address bar to a command line is not very favorable to a browser. It’s really an example of how the keyboard is superior to the mouse when you’re looking for data. The command line and address bar share an ability to do that.


This my favourite bit of js to put in the address bar, make sure you have plenty of images on the page!

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI= document.images ; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; iDIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position=‘absolute’; DIS.left=Math.sin(Rx1+ix2+x3)x4+x5; DIS.top=Math.cos(Ry1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval(‘A()’,5); void(0)


The above comment says it all.

Also it’s about a browser search bar becoming more intuitive like a very high level command prompt. Which it is.

All you Unix CLI guys stop being so protective over the prompt you’ve all totally overlooked the point of the post.


The Web Browser Address Bar is the New Command Line

No it isn’t. Don’t be silly.


Another interesting blog article on browsers (particularly IE8 vs Chrome) published just today:



Seeing the world through Google-colored glasses


I use Vimperator - a Firefox extension

It gives browser based command line a whole new meaning.


I do believe the point has been missed.
No one said it was powerful as a command prompt for an operating system. But there is a world of people that are not geeky as we are and for them the address bar is as close to using a command line as they will ever be. Especially since it fits the definition of a command line interface.


What Google has done with Chrome is essentially to formalize the confusion that not-too-clued-up Internet users have had from day one. Large numbers of users seem to have no clear idea of the difference between the browser address line and a search field. They will cheerfully type search terms into the address line, and the fact that many browsers will automatically add ‘.com’ to the end of single words on the address line and get them roughly where they want to go at least some of the time means that they’ve never had to unlearn that behavior. Conversely, some users will type whole URLs into any single field that they see in the body of any web page they’re looking at.

Other users already use Google (or whichever factory-default site pops up when they start their browser) as their point of entry to the web. They don’t use bookmarks, they don’t type URLs, they don’t even seem to be reliably able to click on URLs in messages. They just open a web page and paste or type into the search field, then go to the first entry in the result list. Some of these users display amazingly little awareness of what page they’ve actually reached, making them prime candidates for phishing.

I can’t decide if Chrome has rewarded bad behavior or is simply bowing to the inevitable, but it’s a safe bet that the other browser makers will follow suit. This is how it’s going to be, so we may as well get used to the implications now.


You’re basic programmer


http://www.udefn.com takes a swag at bringing this concept to sms txt world. You have bots/apps (it has api to build apps on). You can define a keyword (think shortcut or symbolic link) for apps. Its free for users and app developer gets paid for each request they respond to.


While an astute observation, I think there’s one small flaw in your prediction: The average Joe User doesn’t even know what a command line is, nor will he ever, nor does he care. The only folks that are going to be using the address bar as a pseudo-command line, are just a subset of the guys who actually still use a REAL command line. A dwindling proportion, at best.

That said, I like the general statement of the article, as per the last sentence of bolded text.



CLI is not the future, nor the past. It’s diachronic.
CLI is good (and powerful) interface for geeks, not for all users.


This post is a perfect example of how badly a windows fanboy can misunderstand what the command line actually is! Jeff, the command-line is not just a glorified search bar that you shove terms into. I understand why, having been accustomed to the windows command prompt, you might not understand how much power a command line can offer. Just think how easy it would be to rename those 4,000 files with a simple command-line script as opposed to hours of wrist-wrenching, finger-snapping hell!

The UNIX command line is a thing of pure beauty; the windows abomination that tries to emulate it is horrible. Please take this into account when making comparisons with browser address bars.


I would prefer to not throw away the elegant, mature command line that we already have - i.e. zsh, bash, and the Linux/Unix toolset - and instead make the browser a server that can be addressed from the shell.


http://vimperator.org for Firefox is even more fun…


I cut my teeth on unix - and not a gui based unix system either. I learned the command line and loved the command line. In fact, I still do. If you come over to my computer, I usually have multiple prompts open.


This gets the Meh. :slight_smile: More a feature of Google than chrome.