Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Suggestions for Google

So, in previous posts I have indicated ways to set up the keyboard shorcuts experimental search feature in google. I predicted that signing in to google, and then clicking the 'join' button on an experiment would translate to other computers. That is, my hope was that when I logged in at the office, my google searches would use keyboard shortcuts. Well, I played with it today and that is not the case! When playing with it, it felt more like clicking the 'join' button just set a cookie. I didn't experiment with this hypothesis too much, digging into my cookies or turning them off or anything, but that's not the point. The point is, some of my google preferences don't transfer to other computers when I log in. Which is annoying. So suggestion (1) is for them to fix this.

I also think the top menu choices (upper left), the links to other google services, should be customizable. That is, I should be able to pick (in order) a handful (≤7?) of the services I want linked to up there, and then that's what I'll see when I log in. And they can put the 'More' dropdown menu there, with the remaining ones. This is suggestion (2).

The final (real) suggestion is along the lines of suggestion (2). I get annoyed with the fact that switching between services opens up new tabs (presumably new windows that firefox interprets as tabs for me). If I wanted something to open in a new tab, I'd middle click on it. Clicking on these service links at the top should open, by default, in the same window. Make it so (or make it customizable), that's suggestion (3).

So, what do you all think? You like these suggestions? Have some of your own? Know who to talk to in order to make them happen? Know how to set it up already, without google making changes on their end? I guess one could probably mess about with making a greasemonkey script.

Suggestion (4) is directed to a larger audience, not just google. Somebody should sponsor me. Give me money to live for, say, a year (I'm not asking for more than my grad school salary), with the idea that I spend the time learning whatever I feel like. No pressure to do research, no pressure to produce anything useful for others. Just learn a lot, on my own schedule. If you felt like it, you could start setting aside money to do this now, and then we can work something out when I finish with grad school. Let me know.

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