Inquisitor -- AJAX + metasearch

Inquisitor is now my Home page in Konqueror (the native, crash-proof browser of KDE). Why? Because I'm always curious about new entries into the search space -- and it's pretty in a ripped-off-from-Apple sort of way.

Of course this a metasearch, not an offering proper -- through Inquisitor you search various other search engines, including Google. So far, so what: but Inquisitor has some tricks up its sleeve in the form of AJAX (that's Asynchronous Javascript and XML to you) enabled predictive searching. That means (as you'll see if you try it out) that Inquisitor guesses what you're searching for as you type words in the search form and offers suggested results before you've hit 'Return.'

Now you might guess that this is some hardcore functionality for a lonely coder to put together, and you'd be right: Inquisitor is not in fact a separate engine -- its predictive functionality is powered by Google Suggest. Unlike Google Suggest, which gives suggestions of possible search terms you might be interested in, Inquisitor gives you search results as you type. (More on Google Suggest in future posts.)

Readers might say I'm one fickle mo'fo' for randomly replacing my Google start page with pale -- if cute-faced -- imitators, and they'd be right. But the Inquistor experience teaches information designers a couple of important things that I'll be taking up in future MAZINE posts:

1. AJAX is not the future -- it is NOW and by allowing the delivery of applications in the cross-platform browser it will change the world of the Web. You should now be taking an AJAX course.

2. Creative uses of other people's engines mean you don't have to reinvent the wheel -- you only have to understand what's out there and make good (or even just cool) use of it.

In particular I think we should be spending more time talking about AJAX right now. It might be 'the new black', but I think it's for good reason.




Google Suggest:


Google Suggest dissected:

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