Walters had an awesome post showing off the cool new stuff on the Big Board Application Browser and there’s even more featuresf in the pipeline for the application browser.
We’ve been continuing to work on improving application browsing and adding some nice searching of applications. The default view from the Application Browser shows the applications you use in your desktop while the rest of applications you don’t use are not shown immediately. If you browse into a category you’ll see the full set of applications you have installed in that category. And searching is performed across all the applications you have installed, not just the ones you use.
Getting what you want and wanting what you’ve got
Searching for applications is where things get especially cool. We’ve essentially integrated the idea of an application install search with the regular application finder. The two actions are so closely related together it just makes sense to have them be the same.
Lets say you search for presentation and you don’t have Open Office Impress installed on your system. A typical application search system would just display no results. However the Online Desktop Application Browser searches not only your local system, but also the application listing to find applications that match your search terms and returns links to those applications inside the window. So if you didn’t have a presentation application installed before it’s about 1 click away now.
There are lots of next steps to improve this system. Already the application pages are wiki like so people who created or use the application can make sure it has updated and useful descriptions and icons.
But we could also allowing tagging applications with keywords, which would help a lot of searches perform better. If Liferea and other RSS readers were tagged with the RSS keyword then someone could easily find it when searching for the term RSS.