I'm Aza Raskin @aza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm VP at Jawbone, focusing on health.


You-Centric: A Sketch of The Future of Browsers

We’ve been thinking at Mozilla Labs about what it means for the web to be more personal, more social, and more about you. It breaks down into four area:

  • Identity
  • Social
  • Deep Integration
  • Task-Centric

What does that mean? The video of my keynote from FOWA London below presents a sketch of what this might look like, and what it means for the future of browsing. This is all still in embryonic form, so now is the time for feedback to provide the greatest change. So let’s here it! Are the API’s and directions proposed here useful or compelling?

RT @aza You-Centric: A Sketch of The Future of Browsers | Follow @aza on Twitter | All blog posts

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My thoughts that assimilate with your ideas (which I loved watching btw)

1.weave should have access to voice database recognition in the ff mobile side

2.If you are concerned about owned tightened pipes of delivery…you should be concerned about the evangelism and shrinking of a tube where Comcast buys NBC (which is rebuilding it’s MS/explorer/Bing partnership)

3 weave should have the ability to sync in real tiem via infrared or wifi (and since wifi standards going to get a significant passing this week chances opening up that ability in youre home)

4. security piece should have amex, visa, mastercard at the table.

5. as a storyteller/content creator I would like the browser to be more accessibly modeled to persons individual story journeys… wish FF could set up instructions and interface and modeled programming program for your lowest common denominator to be able to take advantage of ff’s biggest + …the ability to customize…just like I want couch potatoes to be able to customize their story experience/viewing …and hopefully encourage them to learn and get off their asses. lol

6 ubiquity is the most underrated tool on the web (just gratuituos)

all of these imho

7. again use the phone and audio translate..and ar stuff to get people to reinterface with the world

all of these would make my job easier in setting up a place for all independent content creators to create a stronger community with an open market of ideas


Billeter Fundet is *not* Dutch! Looks like Danish much more ;)

But in all seriousness, the Identity manager is something to look forward to!

yes that is in fact danish :)

great talk !


what application do you use for your presentations?


i also like your coat with the cap on it. the design is awesome.

Great thinking.
I think the idea to move back on “localhost” is the best. More data in your hands. That’s why I like mozilla :)


Great talk Aza. Thanks for sharing.

I know you were strapped for time and this isn’t directly related to the topics at hand but…

You didn’t address how Mozilla is stopping a repeat of the incompatible “feature wars.” I.e. Netscape had the scroll tag and Microsoft had the blink tag. Is Identity management becoming a browser feature or a browser standard? If your browser knows about your social relationships, can you export those relationships and import them into another browser? Or better yet, sync them? Putting your eggs in one browser so-to-speak seems awfully like the current situation.

I wonder, is this the best way to form standards? First, browser vendors create their own “prototype” versions of the same features and then they all get together to form a standard? The HTML5 video tag seemed to be made like this but then we get one prominent browser only supporting certain codecs (Safari/H.264).

Again, thanks for giving the talk and allowing comments.

P.s. They had proper lighting so the hat didn’t shadow your face this time. :P


This must be the fourth time I saw your Ubiquity slideshow, but you seem to make your point better every time.

Something that concerns me a bit about this approach to the Web in comparison with Google’s, is that things like Ubiquity and Weave make me depend more on the local Web browser again. I want to be able to go to a random pc, enter my password and just have all of my interfaces and data available. Without having to install a Mozilla browser.

This is probably something that could be solved in the future by standardizing sync protocols and an Ubiquity-like interface, but intuitively having ‘less browser’ and relying more on Web page-based interfaces feels like a more logical approach to me.


All of that is well and good but whilst thinking in this high-level way, Mozilla is failing to see some very important low-level issues for web developers that STILL exist.

Whilst you said HTML5 is supposed to take over having to write calendar widgets and so on, here it is in 2009 when I still have to type into a tiny search box that has no rich editing abilities!


We need not !!

On another note, Weave relies on one vendor: Mozilla. So claiming to be vendor-neutral with this You centric concept is not quite true. User’s still have to trust Mozilla to keep their data transportable and freely available. Look how long it took Google to implement the Data Liberation Front thingy.


there’s a classic example in my above post. I typed <richeditor> not <textarea&;gt; and it was replace with “We need not !!”


I like how you started your presentation of ubiquity. Microsoft has added a feature to IE8 that they refer to as accelerators which is a right-clicking-context-menu equivalent to ubiquity, but thinking about all the possible things you could want to do with selected text, I can see a right click menu becoming extremely cluttered (even if you narrow those things down based upon context of the selected text). Which makes a natural language based interface seem a lot better. Ironically I liked what Microsoft did in Vista when they added a search bar to the start menu, which goes back on having to use the mouse to find what you are looking for, and in fact Ubiquity is just another search bar for finding things you can do with a particular piece of selected text.

I wish weave would sync browser add on usage and data Having a list of favored add ons, and so if I get a new computer at home or at work, I can log in to weave, do a sync and see my favorite add ons and install them, as well as sync their settings and other data. After all it is the add ons (and being able to rearrange my interface) that keep me from switching to Chrome.

Speaking of add ons, I have started using an add on called Kutano, which for me makes every web page commentable, which I think is a brilliant idea, there are always those websites that ask you to register in order to comment/discuss on their page. The problem with Kutano is that it doesn’t seem to have enough users and the interface needs work (it feels out of place, it doesn’t present the information in the way I would like it too :P).


@pd: Everything about Weave is open. You can run your own server. You can *write* your own server. And client.

Aza Raskin

@siep @Simon: Thanks for pointing that out — will fix it in the future version of my talk!

@LeeN: That is certainly part of the Weave plan!

We all have our favorite browser. Personally I use IE, Firefox and Opera, probably IE8 the most. But I love the competition. I don’t see that Microsoft would have moved off the IE6 (horrible!) platform as fast as they did if Firefox hadn’t have caught on like wildfire. For a long time, I’ve missed the days that IE and Netscape went back and forth trying to win our business. I think we maybe in that same situation again. Competition is good!

It seems to me that privacy policies and TOS agreements on websites should be treated more like offline contracts-you don’t get to make changes without providing advance notice of what those changes are, and users should be able to opt out. Just because Facebook is an internet-based business, that doesn’t make it okay for them to suddenly change what information about yourself you can and can’t keep private.

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I agree with Rolf that We want a similar thing for online volunteering. It is duty of the administrator and to volunteer the things.

After watching this I personally will not be using IE. I want a browser that does not crash, does not need plugin updates and does not use huge resources! Great Video well spoken

Great thinking.
I think the idea to move back on “localhost” is the best. More data in your hands. That’s why I like mozilla :)

Quinn C.

Wow! I would love to see this all implemented in Firefox eventually.

FOrefox has been my browser of choice for a long time, I never liked how IE was preinstalled on new PC’s & how targetted microsoft is by hackers

3 weave should have the ability to sync in real tiem via infrared or wifi (and since wifi standards going to get a significant passing this week chances opening up that ability in youre home)


i also like your coat with the cap on it. the design is awesome.

I think that’s a pretty neat idea. My current watch is a Timex that mimics a chronograph digitally but has both an analog and digital face: I can hide the digital part of it by pressing a button and leave the clean lines of a analog watch (which I prefer). Since I enjoy the benefits of digital for cycling and training and such, it’s nice to have that option.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2008 at 4:41 pm and is filed under WEBLOG. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

…Hey Aza – awesome mockups. Just for clarification – when you say “open in new tab,” do you mean “open in existing tab?” As far as I know, the default awesomebar behavior is opening in the current tab unless Cmd is held down.

    Two more Words: No Extensions.I think I found the peoblrm: it was with the rss feeds. I removed them all and Firefox doesn't stall out anymore.

After watching this I personally will not be using IE. I want a browser that does not crash, does not need plugin updates and does not use huge resources! Great Video well spoken

Thanks you :)

Some of the api looks useful. How’s this project coming along?

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