My Dream Browser

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Jun 7, 2011, 2:11:02 PM6/7/11
to webian
I am not a developer. I was excited when I saw this project hoping it
would be the web browser I was dreaming of. I am not so sure it is but
maybe it can be.

Here is my idea:

No more Email, Blogs, Messengers, Facebook, Twitter, Flicker or
Youtube. Sound crazy? I think not.

Desktop are mostly used to create whereas browsers are mostly used to
consume and this browser will be all about consuming.

The closest thing to what I envision is a combination of and
the Facebook newsfeed just way more complex in what it can do but way
more simple in its design.

You find the friends and sites that you want to follow and subscribe
to their feeds.

The browser is full screen and displays nothing but content. No menus,
address bar or buttons. When you need to access a control you move
your mouse to the top, bottom or sides of the screen and the options
slide in.

All the controls will be used as filters so the browser will only
display what you want it to.

On the top:

Address Bar/Search: Here is where you go to find the content you want
to subscribe to or view

Categories: Personal, Work, News, Entertainment, Friends, Family and
custom categories. When you make a selection you will only view
content from the category or categories you selected. You can also
select a particular person from within each category and in the news
category you can select a particular topic/location.

Media Type: Here you can select what kind of content you want to view:
Text, Audio, Photos, Video etc. For example in "Categories" you can
select "Family" and in "Media Type" you can select "Photos" and your
feed will be populated with just family photos.

Post: Here is where you can share you content and define the nature of
the content. You can choose to share with the world, a group of people
based on your categories, a few people or just one person.

On the right side:

Date Filter: Here you can filter what the browser should display based
on date: Today, This Week, This month or a particular date.

Length Filter: Here you can select the length of the content you want
to view: If you want to view an in depth article or a short video you
would select the length you want and only content that matches your
selection will display.

On the bottom:

Content Nature: Here you can select the nature of the content you want
to see: Latest, Priority, Random or select what your in the mood of:
Live Event, Funny, Cute, Odd, Music, Inspiring, Engaging, Intellectual

On the left side: Browser settings and preferences.

All your content is stored on your personal internet connected hard
drive. You can log in to your browser from any device and access your

In summary: You don't see the browser you just see content and only
the content you want to see. You don't go to find content, the content
comes to you.

What do you think?


Jun 8, 2011, 6:42:00 AM6/8/11
to webian
Wow. Radical stuff, man ;)
But it sounds like an excellent idea and something that - now i think
about it - I would use most of the time I'm on the web.
However, correct me if I'm wrong Ben but webian sounds like a project
to create a cleaner, faster desktop OS in the cloud as it were.
Meaning you'd be using webian to create as well as consume. I do
wonder though whether your idea could be applied to the homescreen or
whether that could be one "perspective" - and you would have a Create
perspective as well which would be a similar idea but for documents
and stuff instead of feeds ...

I'd like to hear more opinions on this, definitely something worth
discussing methinks.


Jun 9, 2011, 5:15:46 AM6/9/11
to webian
OK, some REALLY rough mockups (terrible alignment and everything -
there are many changes I can make but can't be bothered to right now).
Is this kind of like what you were thinking? Almost a cross between
your idea and the Windows 8 UI. There are heaps of issues like tabs/
multiple apps (maybe you could have some way of 'pinning' content or
perhaps a taskbar beside 'Consume' [needs a better name] and
'Create'?) but the general idea might just work ... way different from
anything else though so I'd still like to hear those opinions!
My idea for autohiding the UI is to do something similar to Windows
Phone - have just the edge of the text/control visible so new users
don't panic wondering where everything's disappeared to.

Something clicked on (expanded):
Autohidden UI elements:


Jun 9, 2011, 10:57:36 PM6/9/11
to webian
Cool. I wasn't expecting to get mock ups! Thanks.

I have a lot to say but for now I just want to clear a few things up.

I think websites would still exist but the site would leave the
navigation to the browser - letting you see only what you want to

CNN has done something to this effect - check here:

I like how you added "popular" - this way if someone wants to see
something beyond what they subscribed to they can. There can also be a
"recommended" so you can see things related to your interests

I think one of the media types can be files so you can pass things
around to your contacts. There would need to be a contact list built
in. Also you will have a user name and password so all your settings,
contacts, and content come with you when you log into another device.
Also you wont have to be busy putting in your passwords at a bunch of
sites. You log in once to access everything. No more social media
sites - they are nice but there is no reason you have to use a bunch
of different sites to share. If someone is online what you sent would
be sent a a message, if they are offline its sent as "email" (it would
not be called that) (Google Wave had some of these concepts

Here is a screen shot of the Safari RSS feed - notice the slider for
the length of the articles
- You can have two one for articles and one for video//audio with 1
minute - hours

I saw windows 8 but I guess I didnt see enough cuz I didnt see the UI
peeking out. I would rather that new users would see an opening window
that points in each direction and lets them no where they can find
what. It's a new way of using the web and people would get used to it.
The idea is to have a 100% clean interface so people can focus and the
surfing experience would be immersive.

I keep remembering of different things that have gotten close - this
has the immersive aspect as well as the idea of content coming to you

Jono - whats your background in? Developing? Designing? Thanks alot -
really didnt expect mock ups

Anyway I'l get into the create side next post. I have ideas on the

All the best!


Jun 10, 2011, 7:19:41 PM6/10/11
to webian
> I think websites would still exist but the site would leave the
> navigation to the browser - letting you see only what you want to

How do you mean / for example? I guess the idea with my tiles is
something like NewsPulse in that they show a snippet (I really should
have done an example, but
shows roughly what they'd be like - there would obviously be news,
facebook, etc. like the mail and twitter ones) and then when you click
on them you get the whole page on the site or the whole article or
whatever. One other idea I had was 'chains': When you go to (for
example) a youtube link on a Facebook page and then go back to the
homescreen from there, the Facebook tile would be 'chained' to the
youtube tile - which would have moved beside it. Or perhaps the tiles
could be on top of each other. This might make what you've done in the
past easier to remember and manage ...

> There can also be a "recommended" so you can see things
> related to your interests

Yes, Recommended would need to be there. BTW I assume you realised
that the '+' signs on the "People" up top and the "Topics" on the left
are designed to let you add/remove categories: My parents wouldn't
want "Odd" or "Cute" things but my sister definitely would, and
probably wouldn't want "Intellectual" ;)

> I think one of the media types can be files so you can pass things
> around to your contacts .. (that whole paragraph)

You're right, and there would need to be some view of your contacts
readily accessible. Maybe you could actually drag any tile to a
contact or a group to share (a file) or recommend/retweet/whatever (an
article) to them. Then your picture would appear at the bottom of the
tile on their screen, and they could mouse over it to see whatever
message you attached to the recommendation ... or something.
There would definitely be a password manager built in, something like
LastPass probably so that you can just add all your accounts to it
when you first start up the shell and ... hmm. How would creating
accounts on new sites work? Like if you didn't have a Facebook and
wanted to get one at some stage, how would you go about that? - that's
one area where you're not purely consuming.

> Here is a screen shot of the Safari RSS feed - notice the slider for
> the length of the articles

Ah, I didn't think of having a slider. Much better than "long" and
"short" ;)

> I saw windows 8 but I guess I didnt see enough cuz I didnt see the UI
> peeking out. I would rather that new users would see an opening window
> that points in each direction and lets them no where they can find
> what.

I was meaning more Windows Phone style - their "pivot" controls
etc ...
What do you mean by "an opening window that points in each direction"?
You're right about Reader Play being immersive - but I don't think the
approach of having an article taking up most of the screen with more
at the bottom would really work in this case because there would just
be too many articles and too many ways of filtering them. It would
probably be better to have a list (like newspulse) and open each item

Anyway, I don't really have a background - I've just started a double
degree in Japanese and computer science/software design, with some art/
design as my optionals. I'm just starting to get more involved online
(now I'm a student I have so much free time! It's awesome :) )

I'd like to hear your ideas on the create side - considering the
quality of your previous ideas I'm looking forward to them!


Jun 14, 2011, 3:24:57 PM6/14/11
to webian

Il just explain the basic idea of the "Create" side...

When I have more time - Il go through more details.

1. There are no more applications/programs. Only tools.
2. Whatever you are working with is flexible and can be changed to
match whatever your needs are.
3. Developers work on new tools/effects similar to "plug ins" as
opposed to working on an entire application.

Let's say your working in graphic design, photo/video editing,
powerpoint/keynote, documents creation - heres how things would work:

All the above mentioned types of projects all use most of the same
tools so instead of learning and dealing with each program - you just
learn the tool once and then use it for whatever project you need

You would have the following tools:

Text tool: This would include fonts, tips on what fonts work with well
for the style you want. All the basic text options - justify, align,
bold, italic etc. as well as more complex things like the ability to
draw text around a shape

Color tool: Helps you find colors that work together and is where you
select the color you want

Transitions tool: For videos, slide shows, powerpoint... the OS would
come with some basic ones and developers would sell the more complex
ones... The tool will let you work with the timing, direction of the

Shapes tool: Create shapes to use in graphic design, video editing,
presentations. The shapes to would go beyond just making a shape. It
would let you drop a video or image into a shape to make a circle

Textures tool: You can use these textures in any of the above
mentioned project types. You can buy new textures.

Effects tool: Want your image to look old - you would grab the effect
from here. And you can use the same effect for your video.

Elements tool: Like in Apple's Motion - but these can be used in video
or frozen in time to be used in graphic design etc

Backgrounds tool: A collection of backgrounds - All the colors in can
be changed to your desire - you can use them in video or freeze a
moment to use in it in design. You can buy more designs...

I can go on... But If you dont get the idea now Im probably not making
any sense so going on and on wont help.

In short: You have an open space in front of you - you never open up
software to work on something - you just start creating in the open
space - using all of the OS's tools to manipulate the elements in your

When you want to save a project you can save it to audio, video,
image, document, presentation etc

Lets see you were working on a video you can click "Save as" photo and
it would give you a freeze frame

If you were working with a photo - you can click "save as" video and
it would add a ken burns effect and would start a video projects

If I am making any sense... let me know and Il post more...

On Jun 10, 7:19 pm, Jono <> wrote:
> > I think websites would still exist but the site would leave the
> > navigation to the browser - letting you see only what you want to
> How do you mean / for example? I guess the idea with my tiles is
> something like NewsPulse in that they show a snippet (I really should
> have done an example, but

adi cahya

Jun 14, 2011, 10:19:47 PM6/14/11

I agree with you. I also think there is some weakness in "app"
approach. It even got worse with current app race going on in mobile
devices. There are to many app with similar function, and when
installed, it not as accessible as it should.

In my term, i would call it "services" (not to confused with
background services) . All user activity, draw, read ebook, video
editing and so on is provided by this services. third party developer
will provided add on (it used to called app)  to enable this services
or expand the OS capability.
And it should follow some GUI standart, so the services will look
consistent with the whole OS and feels integrated or part of the OS.

The user is free to use/select any addon she/he like to enable these
services. For chat services for example, user can choose to use addon
from Fring or ebuddy. And that Fring/ebuddy addon will
integrated/blended with the OS.

Here are some services that i can think right now
social network
image - extend to gallery and image editor
media - single player for both audio and video files

Anyway.i think game is an exception. It will still be a stand alone
app. But, it will be some kind of game hub inside the OS. Kind of what
microsoft do with their mobile phone 7 approach.

It would be interesting to create a UI for this kind of approach.


On Jun 15, 2011 2:24 AM, "Zalman" <> wrote:

Pawan Hegde

Jun 15, 2011, 12:15:11 AM6/15/11
It's revolutionary, but doable; avoiding the usual application environment paradigm and having the same environment reused with different tools which could be added as plugins. I don't think it would require a lot of work. Except the extensions framework should be powerful/flexible enough, which would be useful in itself.


Jun 15, 2011, 5:26:03 AM6/15/11
to webian
Definitely interesting, I might try some more sketches ...

Adicahya, Im not sure what you think about having 'consume' and
'create' totally separate like in my idea - I guess then you would
have two distinctly different types of services, one to display a tile
(or whatever) on the create screen and then open up a web page when
it's clicked on (maybe simple XML markup or something) and one for
Create services which would use a much more advanced programming
And you're right about games. They would be the only true "apps" that
wouldn't conform to the service model, so they should have their own
"hub" or whatever like in Windows Phone - I originally hated that idea
but if all other apps have a uniform look and feel it would be the
only logical thing to do.

Zalman, I like your idea of 'tools' ... But I'm not sure how well it
would work with, say, documents and video - would each page in the
document be a keyframe in the movie or what? I guess when you create
something new you would basically select a canvas size which could be
HD, A4, screen (for slideshows) etc ... Just thinking aloud. This is
something I'll definitely try some mockups of in the next few days, I
think for me at least it'll be the only way of seeing if it would
work. Not sure about a colour tool if it doesn't actually modify the
document ... But maybe it would? Do you mean applying the colour
scheme as well as helping you pick it?

Hmm, no idea if I'm making any sense here either ;)
Anyway, my point is that I like your ideas (and as you say Pawan, it's
certainly doable) and I'll post some more mockups in the near future.


adi cahya

Jun 15, 2011, 12:43:31 PM6/15/11
Hmm...yes, i guess i didnt think "consume" and "create" totally
different. Both are activity. But, since this is a browser based UI,
browse activity is like "pinned", it will be always accessible.

I just draw a rough mockup. This UI only show how "activity" could be
presented, and yes, browsing (consume) is a part of activity.

In this concept, like my other previous mockup (see concept layout
thread) has activity cluster at the bottom of the screen. There is
home button for showing of course, home screen where widget placed.
There is expose/panorama button.
And there is add new tab button. When this button clicked, it shows a
bar that contain commond user activity and integrated adress bar,
I also remove top tittle bar, i want to make the experience full
screen, just like on the mobile devices. activity/website can be
closed with right click (or long press in touch based devices) - a pop
up close button then appear.

Anyway, i found that this approach is scalable. i then make a mobile
phone size UI based on this concept. And i think it could be working
fine..and quite different from current mobile phone UI.

And thats it. I have think more about how the overall UI look like,
you make the experience smooth and consistant.

Here are the mockup. Please see and tell me what you guys think



Jun 16, 2011, 6:06:34 AM6/16/11
to webian
OK, I see what you're getting at. What do the other options (below
activities) do? I wonder whether the URL/search bar could filter what
you're looking at - so you would type the first few letters of an
activity while in activities view, the first few letters of a URL/
title when in bookmarks or history and in browse mode it would
function like firefox's search bar. This to me would make it more
intuitive - I'm not sure what your opinion is?

I've started on my own mockups but I haven't had much time to do them
today and there's a lot I want to show ... Hopefully tomorrow I'll
post them.


Jun 19, 2011, 5:40:53 AM6/19/11
to webian
OK, a belated new post ... Sorry, I've been busy with family and
social stuff the past couple of days

So ... No mockups unfortunately. I made some, but since then I've
changed many of my ideas about how the interface should work so I'll
just describe the concept for now. Here goes:

When you start up this OS, you'll be greeted by a screen full of
tiles, like the windows 8 interface. This screen would be very minimal
- the only things on it would be the tiles themselves, "Browse" and
"Create" headers at the top left, a link on the top right to "show
contacts" and possibly a clock/wifi/battery/sound/other indicators.

The tiles will by default be "Recommended": taking into account such
factors as previous activity and time of day.
The magic happens when you middle click (or three-finger tap, or
possibly two fingers if three doesn't work well enough). Then the
tiles get overlaid by the "Filter" perspective, which would have a big
search box in the middle and lists of topics, times, people/groups,
filetypes, lengths all arranged around it. There would also have to be
a "Filter" button in the middle by the search box. Basically you'd
just click one or more of the list items and/or type in the search box
to get whatever you wanted displayed on the tiles.

Each tile would consist of a small box with an author (source) picture
in it and a large box with a summary of the article, picture title and
preview, YouTube title, preview and length, etc.
When you click on the tile it would expand to fill the screen, with a
titlebar that includes the source icon (smaller, obviously), title and
a "Go back" link.

When you click on a link in the resulting page (eg. Navigating around
wikipedia) a "chain" will be automatically created: The edge of the
previous page will be displayed on the left and clicking on it will
zoom out to show an expose style view of the entire stack. You can
also create stacks manually by dragging and dropping tiles on to each

Stacks show up on the homescreen as a tile with multiple source icons
- the current page is the one which the summary box is attached to.

Phew ... A long post already and I haven't even started on Create ...
I'll cover that soon, hopefully along with some mockups I actually
like ;)



Jun 19, 2011, 9:14:32 PM6/19/11
to webian
OK - I think I got lost in some of the other posts above - I just want
you to know I'm still following and when I get a chance I will
respond... I've also been caught up....

Have fun!


Jun 28, 2011, 5:37:52 AM6/28/11
to webian
Some quick questions: How would you handle the following things in
your idea of "consume" (or "create") if you think it would work

- Video calling and instant messaging
- Appointments and/or tasks
- Calculator
- Weather?

I do have my own ideas on most of these but I won't write them out so
as not to influence your own ideas ... And because I can't really be
bothered ...

Just answer whenever you can spare the time!

(Oh, and just an inappropriate and slightly dodgy question: is your
name really Zalman? It's a cool name but not one I've seen before
except as a company ;) )


Jun 28, 2011, 6:17:12 PM6/28/11
to webian
Another quick post (Im very visual - reading/writing is not my

Without getting into details - Yes I do want things like video/instant
messaging built in - I think in an earlier post I wrote that if
someone is online they would get your message instantly - if not they
would get it as an "email"/text update

The other apps you mention would be like any other tool - the main
idea is to be able to get used to working with certain tools and once
you master them you can use them in all different application for
whatever it is you want to create

(OK now you got me started - so Il go at it)

When I said it would be an "open canvas" I meant that you can just
drop a picture in and only once you are ready to "save" would you pick
what sort of file you are working with. There will definitely be
templates - %100 percent - in fact there would be templates for
anything and everything - the OS would come with the most basic - but
people can contribute - so if someone has a template for a CD/DVD
cover etc they can make that available to all users.

I dont know about you but I hate file types. .avi .mov .doc .jpeg ...
I would want everything to be simple. .video .text .image etc

So when you save a file you decide what you want it to be - and you
can open any video with your video player

Also I am a very big fan of "Digital Juice" -
while their product line is very confusing they have some very good

They have products for video editors, graphic designers etc. They sell
textures, fonts, video backgrounds

I love the idea of stock content... I only wish they would have more
customizable stuff - like if each element in their products were able
to be edited for color etc

So imagine you want to create a photo slide show. You would be able to
use the tools with the OS to add effects, transitions, text etc

You can use those that come with the OS or buy (for a very small
charge) a beautiful transition that really makes your slide show shine
and fits perfectly with your theme...

And remember - once you master the transition tool you can enjoy using
it for video and keynotes/power points. (As you can tell a lot of my
examples are video related - Im into video production) but if thees
tools would work for video it can definitely work for documents and
other work type projects

Why should you have to re-learn everything and be confused when you
open a new application - almost all applications used for basic
everyday tasks and even some complex apps revolve around the same

You can have a tool just to help you with "layouts"

Anyway - Il rant more another time

I really wanted to post this news item - Google Plus Project - They
are getting close - especially the "circles" idea - sound familiar?

Here is the link - check it out -

As for your last question - its not a dodgy question at all...

My name really is Zalman - the pc fans stole it from me - and the

Its a Jewish name (Im named after this man -

I would not be surprised if the owner of Zalman has that name...

Anyway - By the time I get working on this (I dont know where to
start) Im sure between Google and Facebook and Apple (iCloud and the
old Mobile Me) will catch up and produce what My Dream Browser -
unless you can give me some tips - I have no clue how to take such an
idea and bring it to market

Thanks for your interest.

PS: The create side in my mind was always tied to a real computer and
not the cloud - Cloud software still doesnt sit so well with me - but
it definitely can be both and the cloud version will be the ultimate
once speed and reliability is not holding it back. - Ever try using
Youtube's video editor. Ehhh...

All the best!


Jun 28, 2011, 6:50:02 PM6/28/11
to webian
You know after taking another look at it - I think Google Plus is
closer to the original idea on this post than I thought at first...

Cant wait to get an invite
> Here is the link - check it out -
> As for your last question - its not a dodgy question at all...
> My name really is Zalman - the pc fans stole it from me - and the
> domain!
> Its a Jewish name (Im named after this man -
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted


Jul 1, 2011, 8:47:44 PM7/1/11
to webian
Firstly you're right, Google Plus looks really good! I can't wait to
get an invite either - just hope I can convince my friends to
join ...

(Note: This next bit is completely unrelated to anything you were
talking about, I'll get to that later)
Something I just saw in a review of the TouchPad was this layout for
Facebook content:
Those dynamically-sized rectangles look to me like the perfect way of
viewing feeds, updates etc. - I don't like Facebook's (and indeed
Google+'s) single column layout - on a big screen you either see two
enormous video boxes or thousands of skinny status updates at once, or
there's reams of wasted space like on Facebook.

The main reasons I couldn't use Google+ exclusively (not that it's
meant to be of course) are:
- Lack of reference material (no encyclopedia or anything)
- Needs more filters!
- No create side (obviously)

So. My latest thinking (except for create, still working on that) is
summarised in this mockup:

Basic interface + Social:
Essentially you have three 'tabs' up the top: Social, Reference and
Personal (I don't like the names but they get the idea across). You
also have a search box - when you enter text in it it'll split the
screen into three columns, one for each tab. You can then click on
whichever tab has the sort of thing you want. If you understand that.
So in the Social tab (and the same probably in the others) you would
have a list of filters on the left and a big area for content in the
middle and contacts on the right. Each content thing would have a
source (person or feed), a time of sending, a title and a summary (or
a sample of the photos or whatever else summarises the content type
as you can see ...). There is also a "post something" button, a clock
and status icons.

Reference would have sources such as an encyclopedia, dictionary, (for
me) song lyrics, books/manuals, etc. Personal would have stuff you've
created. You'd click on a content tile to view whatever it is full-
screen and if you own it you would get to the editing side from there.
(I'll mock that up soon)

Another thing is Pins - a sort of shelf down the bottom you can drag
stuff to so you can easily switch between ongoing things from all
three areas. The area would expand upwards when hovered so you could
see a proper preview of each thing.

Note that this is with every possible UI element shown. In reality you
could configure which ones autohide (and how) so for me the filters,
contacts and scrollbar would hide themselves but still take up the
same space (they would reappear when you moved your mouse over where
they would have been).

(If there are any weird inconsitencies in this post it's because it
was written for another, much less detailed mockup I did
yesterday ;) )

I can go into much more detail on my ideas if you want, and I'll try
to post some more mockups soon.


Jul 2, 2011, 10:29:17 PM7/2/11
to webian
I have to think about the details but that new mock up is definitely
looking good
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