Hack #100. Remember Everything You Read

Create a personal command line for the Web.

This hack holds a special place in my heart. It is everything I have always wanted a browser to be: a personal command line for the Web: my Web.

Firefox keeps track of pages you visit, and you can revisit them later by browsing the History window. But the Web I use is so much more than just URLs and page titles. I browse weblogs that syndicate their content through RSS and Atom feeds. I visit personal home pages of people that have FOAF files. (FOAF stands for Friend of a Friend and is an RDF vocabulary for expressing personal information and relationships.) I read articles that the author has taken the time to tag or categorize with keywords.

My Web is full of metadata. And this metadata is more memorable to me than a URL. If I read an article on Monday morning about a cool CSS hack or an upcoming conference, by Wednesday afternoon, I've long since closed the window and forgotten where I read it or what it was titled. I remember that the author tagged it with css or oreilly or syndication, but that's it. What can I do?

This hack is with me everywhere I go. As I'm reading, it is quietly collecting all the metadata it can find: title, URL, referrer, tags and keywords, RSS and Atom feeds, and FOAF files. On Wednesday afternoon, when I want to find that one specific article again, I can press a hotkey and bring up Magic Line: my personal command line. I type a few letters, and Magic Line autocompletes ...

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