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I posten om Opera (som forøvrig slapp versjon 9-preview i dag) nevnte jeg Flock, en Firefox-basert “sosial” nettleser det knyttes store forventinger til. I dag har Flock gitt ut en såkalt Developer Preview, og det var ikke helt uten skjelvende neve og slevende kjeve jeg lastet ned, installerte og gikk igang med å teste dette nettets potensielle syvende underverk. Og resultatet? Mer eller mindre som forventet: Flott design, god integrasjon med diverse webtjenester, men ikke helt der ennå.

Andre nordboere som skriver om Flock:

De følgende forslag til forbedringer av Flock, vekker nok liten interesse i min leserkrets, men så er de er da heller ikke ment på denne akk så eksklusive forsamling. Grunnen til at jeg legger det ut her midlertidig er at confirmation-mailen fra Flock-forumet de er ment på har hatt problemer med å komme gjennom UiB sitt strenge spamfilter.

What follows are suggestions for improvement of the (very promising) Flock browser.

The shelf

  • The “shelf” is pretty useless as a floating window. Dragging objects from a page onto the shelf is hard to achieve as long as the shelf doesn’t stay on top of the main browser window. A much better solution would be to have the shelf docked within the browser
  • A lot of people will want to use the shelf for organising images in blog posts. As long as all the images are represented by the same icon, it’s hard to tell them apart. Show us a thumbnail instead.
  • There’s a bug in the shelf; adding several images from the same page doesn’t seem to work, it just adds the same image over and over.
  • Support drag and drop from localhost

    I want to be able to drag and drop pictures from my own computer onto the shelf – these are, after all the ones I’m most likely to blog. Let the user specify a Flickr account or a webserver for the images to reside on.

    Keeping style and structure apart

    There’s no way Flock could guess what the classes in people’s stylesheet mean – so let us tell it. Flock-blogging leads to content being styled the old ugly HTML-way. A workaround for this could be letting Flock know what tags should mean what. For example, I want to tell Flock to use <em>instead of < i>, and I want to tell it that I want all images should be attributed with class=”blogpostimage”.

    One top menu (or sidebar) to rule them all

    The “Flickr Photos” and “Blog topbar” shouldn’t be hidden behind a cascading menu. And why can’t I see both simultanously? Rework the topbar so that it becomes more like the side panels in Opera – powerful, well-arranged and easily available. Let the user choose where he wants to position this side/top bar. This bar could also house feeds, history and “social data”. And of course, the aforementioned shelf should sit here.

    Del.icio.us integration

  • I love that the favourites menu shows my latest additions, but I’d also like to be able to see my tags as well. Give the user easy access to the most frequently used tags, the ten last used tags etc. without having to go to the Favorites manager. For now, one might as well use an online del.icio.us manager.
  • There are just too many steps for tagging. Why do we have to click the star arrow and select “Star and tag this, before filling in the form? I might just as well use a “traditional” del.icio.us bookmarklet, and have the added advantage of seeing what others tagged the page in question, before I choose my tags. This is after all, supposed to be social bookmarking.
  • A superior solution? Include a tag entry window in the browser itself. Being able to type in tags and just press enter (or the star button) would lower the threshold for tagging a lot. There should be two other fields available: One for suggested tags (based on the cross between your existing tagspace and other users tags for this page) and one for other people’s tags. This would make Flock into a true tagging killer app.

    Flock as a social browser

    I want to see what others have said about the page I am visiting. I want to be able to see (in a sidebar or in a top menu) not only what others have tagged ths page, but also what people have said about the page. Yes I know Technorati is slow – hopefully better solutions will come along (do you hear me Google?). This would ensure a different and more social browsing experience.

    This was supposed to be the network age, right?

    OK, so the two last suggestions doesn’t have much to do with the current Flock itself, but it’s functionality I want to see in such an ambitious browser. With the del.icio.us integration, my bookmarks stay the same whereever I go. Great! But I need for more than just my bookmarks to be synchronised. I want a central server to keep track of my open windows and browser settings (not in realtime, but let’s say every hour or every time I close the browser). This way I could use different computers and still focus on what’s relevant: The browsing is. Not having to fumble with different settings and having to remember what computer I was seated at when I browsed this-or-that page. It doesn’t make sense to have different setups -unless one wants to, that is.

    But what if one wants to?

    Some people might like to keep one set of windows for work, one for play, and so on. Let me be able to drag and drop windows into groups, so I can separate the mind spheres more easily. My mind is a mess – so is the internet – help me organise.

    104 kommentarer til “Flock-realease”

    1. Webaksess Says:

      Flock, en ny nettleser!

      En ny nettleser er på vei! Jeg ble oppmerksom på den da den i går ble omtalt og diskutert på Slashdot. Jeg har skaffet meg et par skjermskudd som jeg deler med dere, samt at jeg har prøvd å samle en oversikt over artikler som omtaler Flock.

    2. børge Says:

      Jeg har ennå ikke rota meg til å skrive om Flock. Begynner å bli på tide nå.. :)

      Men visste du forresten at du, med en FF Extension, i det minste kan synkronisere de åpne vinduene og tabsene, slik at du kan fortsette der du slapp på en annen maskin? Extensionen heter SessionSaver.

    3. i1277 Says:

      Den så flott ut, ja. Er vel ingen overraskelse at en FF-extention er først ute med denne typen funksjonalitet.