What’s so bad about “the most sincere form of flattery”?

I wonder how long it takes until “web shortcuts”, a genuine [Update: probably not genuine, see the comments below] feature of Konqueror [1], are imitated by any of the other browsers (i.e. Mozilla Firebird, IE, Opera etc.).

Here’s how Konqueror’s web shortcuts work:

To search the web using Google, simply type “gg:” followed by any Google search term(s) in Konqueror’s location bar (that’s where URLs are entered).
To look up a term in Dictionary.com, it’s “dic:” followed by the term. For Freshmeat it’s “fm:”, for Foldoc it’s “fd:” or “foldoc:”, for IETF RFCs it’s “rfc:”, for OpenPGP keys its “pgp:” etc. you get it ;) (BTW: You can even search MSDN using the obvious web shortcut! ;)

Predefined web shortcuts can be edited/deleted, customized shortcuts can be added/defined (among others I’ve added some shortcuts for Leo, Linguadict, Gentoo’s Bugzilla)

For my daily use, Konqueror’s web shortcuts concept is superior (more convenient and faster) to any other web shortcut concept I know of (e.g. Bookmarklets [IE, Mozilla], Sidebar [Mozilla], Hotlist [Opera], having separate entry fields for each shortcut [Galeon]. The latter being particularly.. err.. “special” IYKWIM ;). If I’ve missed a concept, please notify me. [Update: Mozilla has a similar (hidden) feature too! Thx to Asa for the hint]

You might call browsers a “non-issue”. I don’t. “Web shortcuts” is only one feature picked out of many other features that still differ between browsers. Some of these differences are details only, but they can make a big difference when it comes to usability.

So, why hesitate imitating as long as it’s legal?

[1] Note that web shortcuts have been part of Konqueror since at least 2001-08-15! (Sorry, can’t find the first check-in of “web shortcuts” code in CVS)

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3 Replies to “What’s so bad about “the most sincere form of flattery”?”

  1. Moz has had ’em since about forever. I think it was a hidden feature of 4.x so we got it in mozilla classic and the current Mozilla codebase back in ’98 and ’99 I think. I wrote my first doc about them in ’00 and they’d been around in Moz for quite a while already.

    The basic concept in Mozilla is two-fold. First, you can have a shortcut for any bookmark. This allows you to quickly type, say “blog” in the addressfield to load the bookmark for your blog. Second, bookmarks can do a variable substitution so you can create a bookmark to google’s search, give it the shortcut/keyword “g” or “gg” (or whatever) and then typing “g foo” will do a google search for “foo”.

    I haven’t tried Konq’s version of the feature but I seriously doubt that they originated this feature.

    –Asa

  2. Opera supports a similar feature, although not covering as many different searches as Konq. To seach in google just type ‘g [search term]’. A full list of seaches can be found in preferences/search.

    I’m not sure how long it’s been supported, I only noticed it recently.

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