Taskfox – guineapigs wanted

Two months ago I introduced Taskfox – a project aiming to introduce some of the ideas from Ubiquity into a future version of Firefox. There’s more information about this project in my initial introductory blog post and on the Taskfox wiki page.

We’ve been working steadily on the project since then, and a lot of progress has been made – to the point where Taskfox is both usable and useful. Which also means the project is at the stage where its very important and beneficial to have a lot more people run it daily – using it, testing it, and providing feedback. That’s where you come in.

There’s links to the latest builds at the end of this post, if you want to just jump right in to playing with it. But I’d like to go over a few things first.

Development Status

Since Taskfox is still in development, there are only a limited number of tasks that are available for now. As of today, these are:

  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Images
  • Map
  • Music
  • Netflix
  • Translate
  • Video
  • Weather
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo

Additionally, your installed search engines will be automatically available as tasks. A list of other potential tasks is here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Taskfox/Verbs

There’s also a few features that simply aren’t implemented yet:

  • Simple keyboard navigation
  • Localization of tasks
  • Showing the task in the URL bar when visiting a related web page
  • Task management
  • ???

Thoughts and Feedback

I’d like to go over what thoughts and feedback would be most useful for us right now.  Of course, any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated – whether its big or small. But there are a few things we’d specifically like to get answers to for this round.

As you may recall, Taskfox has three basic principles:

  • Taskfox must help users accomplish tasks
  • Taskfox must be useful to all Firefox users
  • Taskfox must be fast, secure, and extensible

We want to make sure that Taskfox sticks to these principles.

Beyond that, we want to know how it feels:

  • Does it feel like Firefox?
  • Does starting a task feel right?
  • How does the process of performing a task feel?
  • How does it meld with your workflow?

And finally, we want to know what you would change to make Taskfox even more useful.

  • What tasks do you do regularly, that you wish could be done in one simple step?
  • What tasks do you wish you could do in your browser, but are too complicated?

Where to provide feedback

There are plenty of ways you have give us feedback:

Getting Taskfox

Now for the goodies I promised. I’ll be generating builds regularly – some may have major changes, while others simply bug fixes. These builds are based off Minefield – a developmental branch of Firefox that contains the newest experimental code. While I try my best to make sure things aren’t broken, there are no guarantees.

Note that these build’s won’t (yet) automatically update. You’ll need to manually update them periodically. To make that easier, I’ll be updating the Latest Build link on the wiki, posting information on the dev-apps-firefox mailing list (also available through Google Groups), and posting to my blog (which is aggregated to Planet Mozilla).

I should also point out that since these are development builds, they’re only available in the en-US locale for now.

Builds are available for all platforms that Firefox ships on:

Happy testing!

9 thoughts on “Taskfox – guineapigs wanted

  1. Yep, thats the video I was talking about…thanks for clarifying…any idea timeline of being able to use something like that with TaskFox?

  2. Vin: No idea on the timeline for that yet. But it’s something I’m going to be bugging people about again – so hopefully there will be some movement in the design process again.

    (And yes, I suck at answering comments in a timely fashion. Sorry.)

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  4. Thanks again for the info and no worries on the timeline; i subscribed to the comments feed on this thread

  5. Pingback: Taskfox, the screencast edition « Blair’s Brain

  6. Pingback: New Taskfox builds available! Come try it out

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