December 11, 2004

Google Suggest

Everyone has been unanimously raving about this cool new thing by Google. I posted this to the sidebar, but this is too important to not get its own post.

As always, don’t take my word for it, try it out. First of all, this saves a lot of keystrokes while searching, which is always a good thing. Also, it helps us refine our search terms before we start searching. We can see what terms give the best results, as we type them. You’ll probably need a modern browser with decent Javascript support to use this.

Also, the technology is really cool. You’d expect this to be slow, but its not. From what I get, there is a Javascript library that does all the work. They have pretty much obfuscated the code, I can’t read any of it. Although it may be because I don’t know Javascript.

Whatever you type into the search box is queried to get the suggested results. This query is not actually carried out, it seems like Google just has an index of popular queries (probably in memory!) which is used for this purposes. The results are in, you guessed it, Javascript form. Check them out, for an example entry of “black”. Pretty cool, I think even I can write some app using that.

This is similar to the way GMail works, passing information in the form of Javascript data. Which is a lot faster then sending whole HTML pages.

Read this Slashdot thread for more info. Or read Hacking Google Suggest by Adam Stiles.

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