snowl mozilla labs Mozilla Labs launches ‘Snowl’Messaging, these days is considered as one of the popular online activities as it is utilised by a number of online and desktop applications. With the popularity of such services comes a few difficulties and in this service the problem lies in tracking all of your conversations. Mozilla Labs are experimenting with a web browser that will help users follow and participate in online discussions. This will probably solve the issue to some extent.

They have named it Snowl. It is actually a prototype Firefox extension which will incorporate the messaging feature in the browser. The integration will be based on the following ideas:

  • It doesn’t matter where messages originate. They’re alike, whether they come from traditional email servers, RSS/Atom feeds, web discussion forums, social networks, or other sources.
  • Some messages are more important than others, and the best interface for actively reading important messages is different from the best one for casually browsing unimportant ones.
  • A search-based interface for message retrieval is more powerful and easier to use than one that makes you organize your messages first to find them later.
  • Browser functionality for navigating web content, like tabs, bookmarks, and history, also works well for navigating messages.

mozilla labs logo Mozilla Labs launches ‘Snowl’Two message sources which includes Twitter and RSS/Atom, are supported by the initial prototype. Also the prototype displays two interfaces for reading the messages i.e. the list view and the river view.

snowl listview Mozilla Labs launches ‘Snowl’

List View

snowl riverview Mozilla Labs launches ‘Snowl’

River View

The next thing Mozilla Labs is going to do is to gather the feedback which will decide the fate of the extension. Their website reads:

We want to know if the concept has promise and is worth pursuing further.  We’re particularly interested in feedback on how messaging might fit into the browsing experience and if there are other interfaces (or refinements to the two interfaces built into the prototype) that would make it easier for users to have online conversations.

According to Mozilla Labs, the prototype will probably contain the following extensions:

  • support for additional message sources, e.g. Facebook, AIM, Google Talk, etc.
  • an interface for writing and sending messages to enable true two-way conversations.
  • an API to make it easier for developers to build new experimental interfaces, e.g. an instant message view.

You can download Snowl for Firefox here.