I was watching The Screen Savers yesterday on TechTV and they featured John Seely Brown, Chief Scientist for Xerox PARC. As you may (or may not <g>) know, Xerox PARC has been responsible for the introduction of quite a few innovations in the computer field – the most notable being the GUI itself. One of the most interesting things that came out of this particular interview is a new kind of browser which sort of lets you keep track of where you are on the web and to search for information much more easily. You can find more information about this browser at Inxight.
I didn’t download the Star Tree Viewer myself yesterday since I was at home and was on a dial-up connection but one thing that struck me was that that the Star Tree Browser may not actually be a browser in the common sense of the term from what I could see since it seemed to need pre-created web hierarchies to actually work. But this made me think more about how I could do a browser which might provide at least some of the capabilities of what the Star Tree Browser was trying to do.
Instead of going with the common Back and Forward navigation buttons and the drop down lists of sites under each button as most browsers do, what if I created a browser which had two panes – a tree view on the left and the actual browser on the right? The treeview would actually show all the sites that you visit during the current session hierarchically and so you can simply select any branch of the tree to instantly jump back to any point in your current browsing session!
I liked this idea so much that I am actually considering trying to do this myself 🙂 Now the problem is this – I already have a browser, Scope, and Scope is written in C++ and I know it’s gonna take me way too long to do this in C++ :p So, I’m thinking of doing something that I’d considered before – convert Scope to Delphi and then modify it to have this new navigation method that I’m talking about. The only disadvantage that I can see is that the file size for Scope will probably jump to around 1MB from the current really svelte 200KB+ and the upside would be that I’d get things done faster and I Scope would get updated more often :p
So what do you think? I do appreciate the input of users and I would like to know what you think. Do you think that a really tiny file size is important? Or can you put up with a more heftier download as long as it has lots of new spiffy features and is updated often? I probably should put up a poll for this on the Scope site … and I will if I can find the time 🙂