09-06-10 - You win, Google

You've been desperately trying to get me to stop using you as my home page. The fading UI elements pissed me off, but I stayed. The ever-increasing stream of slow loading and distracting graphics couldn't chase me off either.

But this new animating shit has done it.

I thought briefly about doing a customized Google home, but then I have to enable auto-login and it takes all the time to login and blah blah, so fuck that. I'm just making my own, which has lots of advantages :

1. It's very simple and loads very fast.

2. I can keep it on my local disk so it doesn't have to load from the web at all until I actually choose a destination.

3. It never changes. Pointless change is infuriating to the serious thinker.

4. I can put whatever I want on it.

Here's my start : myhome prototype 1

I tried the AJAX Search API (as you might note from the vestigial title of my prototype page) but just having that script in the page makes it take 2-3 seconds to load. Maybe the cool thing would be to do my own AJAX search as a sub-page that's only loaded if I actually hit the "Search" button. The nice thing about AJAX search is I can configure how results are shown (eg., just the Web maam), and I don't have to go to a google.com page at all EVER !

I stole the basics from Simply Google , but I imagine there's probably something newer/better to steal web elements from.

It's already pretty sweet just to have a home page that loads instantly, so I think this is goodbye, Google.com home page.


Autodidactic Asphyxiation said...

My homepage is about:blank, and I just use the browser's search almost all the time. I'm used to using the address bar to search, but that doesn't quite work well in non-Chrome browsers. FF will occasionally hang on I/O, and Safari has a totally separate box for searches.

Gilles said...

1dl.us could be good. I try to persuade the guys to implement autocomplete and they are listening. Try the stylish addon with fox, you can change the logo of any site to anything. (I use a local picture) Really any time google shits out something I just remove it with stylish it's just ridicolous. As soon 1dl implemets autocomplete I am off google. The awesome thing is that I am not the only one passionately hating google's new idiot behavior and I am not the only one searching for alternatives. This "listening to the user" policy is working nicely in the official google fade forum and in the youtube ui (weekly) change forum. You bet. I like that they closed the google fade hate forum because it's too long or something silly like that. Google just lost it.

dfan said...

Mine is http://dfan.org/search.html, which I originally made years and years ago. It's probably less exciting now that everyone has search bars and address bar shortcuts and such though.

Aaron said...

Too many ex-MS hires finally bringing them down?

Lol, I didn't know what all the todo was about with this fading business but now you finally made me go look... I don't think I've been to the google home page for quite a long time (I too long ago did the 'my own home page with a search bar' thing, though I put mine on my website instead of loading from disk though so I don't have to worry about syncing it anywhere). Straight html is effectively instantaneous-loading anyway.

It's just like a 'links' page from the old days, but with a google search bar.

Having complete control of your first interface with the web is crucial for a good start to the day.

Odds are no one at google uses google.com for searches either.

cbloom said...

"I'm used to using the address bar to search"

Yeah, I use address bar as "feeling lucky".

For a while I had that thing set up so that "g blahblah" would do a full search, but I just never got used to that.

cbloom said...

New prototype is up and I'm pretty happy with it.

The only thing I don't like is I can't figure out how to make a SELECT also submit the query if I press enter while I'm in the select box. Anyone?

Jeff Roberts said...

I've been using https://encrypted.google.com and they haven't stuck any of the stupid stuff there yet...

nothings said...

There's also http://www.google.com/firefox

But yeah I think I'm gonna switch to a local one.

Gilles said...

bloom !
A question: can you implement autocomplete?
A suggestion: How shall I put it: if you leave in the last used address in the map section that can't be good. (2320)

cbloom said...

"A question: can you implement autocomplete?"

I'm sure you could do it trivially with the AJAX search API thingy.

Personally I'm happy to NOT have autocomplete, and that god damn drop down box of suggestions which refuses to close half the time and blocks me from clicking the first result.

"if you leave in the last used address in the map section that can't be good. (2320)"

Yeah that's just a placeholder, not my real address. I would use the Google Maps saved locations thing but that feature is janky as all hell and constantly breaking for me.

Autodidactic Asphyxiation said...

There's the autocomplete box and the autocomplete data. The latter is actually very easy to get to without even AJAX.

sylvain-v said...

>> For a while I had that thing set
>> up so that "g blahblah" would do
>> a full search, but I just never
>> got used to that.

Probably for you didn't have enough such keywords and you weren't using them enough :)
I've several shortcuts for Google, GoogleImage, GoogleMap, GoogleSquare, Wiki_En, Wiki_fr, WolframAlpha, Flickr, Google meter/feet conversion, Ebay, PPC instruction on IBM's site (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/pseries/v5r3/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.aix.aixassem/doc/alangref/%s.htm), etc.

After one day I just kept using them and I never used the Google search page anymore. I gave up on my personal start page several years ago because of that.

I do have a iGoogle start page, to have a quick look on the weather cast, some info sites etc. But only when starting the browser; my new opened tabs are empty.

Jon Watte said...

I've use about:blank since 1992, and I,m happy with it :-)
AJAX doesn't need any libraries. Just write an XmlHttpRequest and you're done.
Enter on SELECT: have you tried setting a key event handler? That should work.
FF address bar search => feeling lucky.
Chrome address bar search => see all results.

cbloom said...

"Enter on SELECT: have you tried setting a key event handler? That should work."

Yeah it occurred to me that that should be possible, but I didn't feel like figuring out the syntax.

"FF address bar search => feeling lucky.
Chrome address bar search => see all results."

You can of course change the behavior of the FF address bar, but I don't like the extra click when it's a site I know.

old rants