Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab

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Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Edward Lee 6/16/11 9:18 AM
Check out Abhinav Sharma's introduction post about a new experiment to
explore making suggestions on where you might want to go when opening
a new tab.
https://mozillalabs.com/prospector/2011/06/16/suggesting-where-to-go-next-with-predictive-newtab

Ed

Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab sheepoverfence 6/16/11 1:22 PM
could you add an option to show thumbnails of suggested sites? Possibly to the left of each link.  Also the ability to promote sites or demote/remove would be a nice touch.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Maaren 6/16/11 1:51 PM
This is a first version, so not calling about the in-effectiveness of now…


I'd like to see a delete button in this page.
I know now the results are not yet optimal;

But some sites I dont need to visit again.
When these links appear in this list, it is easy to delete them directly from my computer & history.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/16/11 1:56 PM
There is a thumbnail service built in but its not very refined for now. The main reason we didn't add it for now is because the layout is experimental and we want to be as informative as possible without being a distraction. If you're interested in messing with the source, then:

https://github.com/mozilla/prospector/blob/master/predictiveNewtab/bootstrap.js

uncomment the parts that say "thumbnailer" and set the "SHOWNICE" flag to true.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/16/11 2:00 PM
Hi Maaren,

Thanks for your feedback. I wanted to clarify some things:

- when you say "delete" do you mean never show in this list again, or irrelevant to the topic at hand, or delete outright from history. #3 is not really part of the goal, and there's other ways to delete things from Firefox history. #1 and #2 are definitely approaches for the future.

Also, if you get very ineffective results, it would really help if you could tell me what kinds of links they are or if they're irrelevant to the topic, not really a home page. Browsing habits vary across people and its hard to generalize, so the more examples I could have of why things fail, the easier it would be to improve the service.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Maaren 6/16/11 2:26 PM
- when you say "delete" do you mean never show in this list again, or irrelevant to the topic at hand, or delete outright from history. #3 is not really part of the goal, and there's other ways to delete things from Firefox history. #1 and #2 are definitely approaches for the future.
 
I meant #3. Because I now directly saw results and I thought 'what the hell is that for a page'…
Seemed like a page I visited once, but that is not need anymore.
With #1 and #2 I am also happy :)

 
Also, if you get very ineffective results, it would really help if you could tell me what kinds of links they are or if they're irrelevant to the topic, not really a home page. Browsing habits vary across people and its hard to generalize, so the more examples I could have of why things fail, the easier it would be to improve the service.
 
I can give some examples, @ you to see if they are usefull…

A few days ago I had searched for this:
http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=internet+explorer+back+forward&biw=1434&bih=712
When I have only this group open, there is not directly a link. (except they are both of Google, I see now, indeed)
Google search results are (imho) not directly relevant for Predictive NewTab …
And so I had a whole list of searched images & info, the only link was the owner of the site (Google)



Second was:
http://forums.idx-design.com/index.php?topic=925.0
I have visited this page only twice (and for that also I wanted the delete button)
there are more and better forums that I visit regularly.
The only link between that page and this page (the only one open currently) is they are both a sort of forum.
Think there has to be a second link between the two pages, before showing them in the NewTab.
But for this case, I think NewTab will become better as I use it more…
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/16/11 3:28 PM
For your first example, you're right, showing Google when you're on Google is fairly redundant. There is the option to not show any results from websites presently open (its two commented out lines of code in mixer.js if you're interested), but that had the effect of removing a lot of potentially relevant results in the case of other websites (like Quora or CNN for example). I could hard code this for Google or other popular services, but I'm trying a more general approach first. Its a hard trade off to make, and its one of the hardest parts of doing predictions like these, but we're working on it :)

For two, yes the primary method for determining similarity right now is essentially a keyword match, much like search engines do it. Another thing we're looking into incorporating is "sites frequently browsed together", for which we can track extra behavior and learn over time, hopefully we can have that in a new version soon. Thanks again for all your feedback!

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Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Jithin Emmanuel 6/16/11 8:08 PM
Unfortunately I find it completely useless for my usecases. An Opera like speed dial would be most ideal for my use cases.
I find that the predictions based on the current is page is not what I want to browse. This addon makes the assumption that user's motive is to browser sites similar to current page which is not true most times.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Caspy7 6/16/11 10:29 PM
I know a lot of people, but I doubt I know anyone who bothers to tag their bookmarks.
I'm not just pooh-poohing this concept, but think such a context may affect its future direction.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/16/11 10:32 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I talked about an alternative approach to the problem, something I'm working on implementing, which may suit your particular use case better.


On Jun 16, 2011, at 10:29 PM, Caspy7 wrote:

I know a lot of people, but I doubt I know anyone who bothers to tag their bookmarks.
I'm not just pooh-poohing this concept, but think such a context may affect its future direction.

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Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Christoph Wiese 6/21/11 3:30 PM
I have to agree with Jithin: where I am is only rarely related to where I want to go on the web.

In my humble opinion the best approach yet to a new tab page was the about:tab experiment, which was unfortunately discontinued for reasons unknown to me. Which is quite ashame because I still use this addon and manually update it's version parameter, whenever a new Firefox version comes along.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Steuard Jensen 6/24/11 7:33 PM
I haven't tried the addon yet, but one detail from Abhinav Sharma's latest post left me a little puzzled. He commented that the "similar bookmarks" feature is based on tags. I've only played with tags a little bit, but a lot of my bookmarks are neatly filed away in folders and subfolders (especially the important ones that I'm likely to visit often). Are you ignoring users' bookmark organization entirely? (Are users with well-sorted bookmarks really that much less common than users with well-tagged bookmarks?)
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Jithin Emmanuel 6/24/11 8:09 PM
Tried out v5 of the addon. But for most new tabs its showing me blank page with no suggestions. Also in the blog post its mentioned that "Frequently browsed with" will take a week to get showed. But I dont under stand why this is when firefox already has a "Most Visited" folder in bookmarks toolbar. Why cant this be made use of.

Also I can see the new page tab waiting on something before it shows any similar content which is a bit distracting.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Jithin Emmanuel 6/24/11 8:11 PM
I still believe a speed dial based approach will be best for users. Something which Opera figured out long back.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab David Carter 6/25/11 4:05 AM
It wasn't working at first and I realized it was conflicting with the Tab Mix Plus add-on, which designates what to do on opening a new tab.  With that disabled, it works fine.  I thought I could assign the new tab function to this, but as there's no url, it doesn't work.  Any thoughts on getting the two to play nicely?
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/26/11 11:40 AM
I haven't looked into this just yet, because there's different potential roadmaps for this extension, but I will definitely give it a look soon.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/26/11 11:42 AM
In general, I'd say both are fairly uncommon. Its just that its more straightforward to write a search engine that uses tags though the clustered bookmarks are probably better for this purpose. However, since both are rare, we're focusing a little more on tracking user behavior directly.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Abhinav Sharma 6/26/11 11:44 AM
This is really supposed to be an early experimental version and not really the intended final product for Firefox, so i wanted to keep it unmixed from frecency based items. As far as a the speed goes, its one of the things that I'll be looking into next, we realize that loading instantly is critical to a new tab page.
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Bao Pham 6/29/11 5:48 AM
hi, could you fix the icons too, they don't display  properly  for some websites: http://cl.ly/0L3q04043A1w3x472j0j
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Bao Pham 7/15/11 1:41 PM
clicking a link that redirects to another tab sometimes causes the address bar to clear the website URL after loading
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Maaren 7/15/11 2:05 PM
"No predictions can be made."

Some better stuff than this to display:
- add an explanation why this is there (and not in that gray 'about' text, that is to far)
- add a "maybe you want to go to '…'
- a button 'my next webpage is related to the open page'…
         that way the learning process can go faster??
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Larry Holmes 8/13/11 9:42 PM
I am new to this forum and couldn't see where to post a new feedback, so I hope it is OK to post here.

I read a message about this add-on which said it slowed down the browser.  I feel strongly that anything which slows down the browser noticeably is going to be very unpopular unless it happens to do something so spectacular for some group of users that they will accept the slowdown.  I have been in the PC business since 1978, and I have started up and operated several small companies which provided various software and hardware products, mostly of my own design or that of my employees, and I learned that computer speed is one of the very top characteristics which all computer users are passionate about.  Only a very few don't care about it.  I developed and sold a number of speedup products, and customers were often willing to put up with all sorts of "minor" problems as long as their computers would run FAST(er).  However, if the speedup was not enough, they became very fussy about EVERYTHING. So it is my opinion, based on years of experience, that it would be unwise to put anything into your software which slows down the browser very much, as users would reject that, even if the software/add-on functioned flawlessly, unless the added functionality was so spectacular that they could overlook the speed loss.  Of course, all of this is just my opinion, but it is based on many years of experience, so I thought I would share it with you.

Incidentally, I am in the process of trying to start up a new company to develop, manufacture and sell a new technology which I have been working on for the past 15 years, which will add much speed and capacity to a computer while using the internet and other types of digital communications and networking which use serial data as the carrier of information.  I will be dealing with the "problems" of the tradeoff between speed and more functionality as well, so I will have to put my opinions to the test and hope I am right!

I have not been able to get your add-on to work yet on my system, but I believe that is my fault, as I have not had the time to work on it very much.  I have read some messages here which have given me ideas about some add-ons I use which may be interfering with yours, so I have yet to try those ideas.  If I cannot get it to work on my system, I will be sure to contact you for help.  If I understand how your add-on works, it would be of great help to me, as I often must scour the internet looking for information which is somewhat technical and obscure, so it does not show up very prominently in search engines such as Google, Bing, and so forth, unless I have the time to search through millions of "hits" to find what I am looking for!  Your add-on may be just what I need as I believe it would tend to be focusing more on general subject material than on finding matches between keywords, such as search engines tend to do.  This is a problem because so many web sites have huge keyword lists with many keywords put there to draw as many people as possible to their site, regardless of whether their keywords really match the subject of the search or not - one example of that is porn sites, which I wonder at times if they simply list every word in the dictionary so their site shows up in every possible search for any possible subject!   How else would I get hundreds of porn sites in a search for "bandwidth" or "link speed" and similar technical terms!  I have complained about this, and I am certain I am correct about their reasons for what they do, that is, they simply believe that if they can get ANY person, no matter who, no matter what their beliefs or preferences, if they can get any person to look at a very pornographic introduction page to their site, the person will not be able to resist logging in and eventually, signing up at high monthly rates, often without knowing that they are taking on a long term commitment to pay those monthly fees because the "fine print" is deliberately buried deep in the site's pages, or a check box is displayed at the end of a long blank space in the page, which signs them up for a paid membership if they continue with what is on the intro page.  This drives me crazy, as I don't wish to view porn, yet I seem to keep running into it while making  very technical web searches.  If your add-on could help me find my information in a better way, I would even tolerate a reduction in speed, as much as I believe that is a big obstacle for many people.  I would save a great deal of time and especially, aggravation, if your add-on could be set to avoid "finding" porn sites and others which use the same technique as many porn sites do.

I guess I got carried away - sorry!  My original purpose was to offer my experience with customer acceptance or rejection of add-ons which could reduce speed; the rest is just explanation of my qualification to speak on the subject and my experiences which make your add-on a potential big hit.

I hope this may be of some help to you.

regards,

Larry Holmes
Re: Suggesting where to go next with Predictive Newtab Noit 9/15/11 5:43 PM
I think adding a delete button (like in RecallMonkey) takes away from the autoness of the addon. I say leave it out and just make the behavior monitoring smarter. :)
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