Taskfox, the screencast edition

In my last post about Taskfox, I asked for volunteer users to try out the latest Taskfox build. For those of you that read it, you may have noticed I included no information about how to actually use Taskfox features. No mention at all. None. Zip. Nada.

And I did this on purpose.

My apologies to the people who were confused, bewildered, and frustrated by this. You were all (including co-workers!) unwitting participants in my experiment. It showed that the current interface for Taskfox features may not be discoverable enough, even for technologically savvy people. Thankfully, we think we have a solution – more on that in a future blog post.

In addition to the lack of information, the Map task was broken. This wasn’t part of the experiment – merely a mistake on my part. Same with the inability to enter spaces (thanks to a last-minute change). Oops.

So today we have a new build! Bugs fixed, some things added, and some information on how to get the most out of using Taskfox.

Using Taskfox

When you open a Taskfox build, its the same as any nightly Firefox/Minefield. It displays web pages the same, the toolbars and menus are the same, the URL bar is (almost) the same. But typing in the URL bar is where the magic begins, as you can see in the following screencast:

View on Vimeo.

Where to provide feedback

There are plenty of ways you have give us feedback:

Getting Taskfox

Builds are available for all platforms that Firefox ships on:

19 thoughts on “Taskfox, the screencast edition

  1. Pingback: First look to Firefox command line, Taskfox - Mozilla Links

  2. Hey,
    Interesting screencast but the sound volume is way to low.
    What happens if I want to search the Web for the Amazon river and I type in the URL bar “amazon river”. Will my favorite browser search on amazon for items named “river”?

  3. lrbabe: At the moment, yes – it will search on Amazon for “river”. You’ll need to at least put “g” in front of it to search Google. Eventually tasks will be sorted together with the normal history/bookmark results (based on frecency). This could potentially also suggest your most used tasks without you needing to type in part of the task name.

  4. This behavior is perfectly going to suit me since I’m already extensively using keywords for my search-engines.
    This has probably already been discussed and I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to follow the discussion group lately, but how “normal” users will know that they need to type a “g” in front of their query to have the same results as in previous version of their browser?

  5. Hi Blair,

    a few comments/questions: Is there a way to see all available commands in Taskfox? (other than simply type every letter of the alphabet individually into the Awesomebar)

    Also – Taskfox seems to update while I type. As much as this can be a cool feature, it becomes pretty annoying quickly when you use map for example: it starts redrawing the map with pretty much every keystroke I do…

  6. I cant express enough how much would i like to see this as a firefox addon… Now i just dont want to be using a whole different browser in which my other addons are incompatible, just to have taskfox.

  7. Pascal: There’s a plan to provide a way to see all available verbs/tasks/commands, via a dropdown in the URL bar. It’s just not implemented yet :)

    And about updating on every keystroke: Good point. I’m going to play around with changing it so that it makes a reasonable guess at the best time to update.

  8. darkmaster071: We’ve thought about providing it as an addon, but it would require too much work separating it from the Firefox code, and maintaining both versions. Also, there are certain changes that have been made to Firefox that Taskfox requires. One alternative is to use the Nightly Tester Tools addon to force addons to be compatible with Taskfox builds (use with caution!).

  9. Having gotten the gist of the video, I’m just wondering… does Taskfox do anything substantial for us, besides eliminating the need to hit Enter a couple of times? How little do people want to do when they’re on a computer?

  10. Shane Davis: I think what Taskfox provides is similar to the difference in using Notepad to store your bookmarks, and having bookmarking and history in the browser. You can do it in Notepad, but there are better ways. So no, you can technically already do everything that Taskfox provides – but there are better, more humane ways.

  11. Pingback: Primer vistazo a la línea de comandos de Firefox: Taskfox « Mozilla Links en español

  12. I had to watch the Video on Vimeo, because FF crashes repeatedly when trying to use the implemented -Tag one. And the crashreporter didnt catch the exeption. Im on FF 3.5 on Windows.

    Besides, taskfox / ubiq really rocks! <:

  13. IMHO there is no future for a completely separate, code-forked, customised build of Firefox – this functionality needs to be either rebuilt as a separate add-on for standard builds of Firefox (as Ubiquity is) or incorporated directly into the Firefox codebase itself. Perhaps the latter is indeed the plan once the concept has been developed further?

  14. Marcus Tucker: Yes, the plan is for Taskfox to (eventually) be merged with the Firefox codebase and be part of the official shipped builds.

  15. I can´t wait for it! but, even if you are trying to make it a part of Firefox it self.
    Why not release a beta version as an add-on that could be updated dinamically instead of having to install a complete build of ff?…please?….

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