Spending a little time with docs.google.com
I’m writing this all in Google docs (or is it in my Google drive now? I’m not sure.)
Right clicking on a word gives me…a new context menu that’s really pretty nice. It gives me an option to do research on a thing I’ve just typed and selected.
Like, I saw Truman Capote in a YouTube video the other day and ended up referencing him a day ago when I saw a similarly-mannered man at Swill. So now I’ll just select Truman Capote, right click, and hit research. What I hope happens is that on this window, a bunch of easily-understood boxes of information will fly at me, ordering themselves by relevancy.
What happens is:
Oh cool. It opens a side panel, that slides out from the right, squishing my page down. Well, not really, there are still margins and I still have my document right here.
So Google knows Truman Capote is a person, gives me a few pictures of him, his real name, and a few things about him like where he was born and where he died, which, if you’re putting that information in any scholarly text, you might as well turn it in with 16pt font and 1.8em line-height. Margins anyone?
So we could probably provide more useful information about the man up front. How about a video? Google, you own YouTube, right, and what better use for what has previously only been a repository of racist comments than to help me learn about Truman Capote, and how he talks and moves?
Under that I’m given web results. Which I can scroll down. Then I click a link. Oh now, what I’m really afraid of is the website sending me somewhere else as soon as I hit the link. I hope it stays in the panel. I really…okay here we go.
Yep, makes a new tab and switches me to it, takes me to the Wikipedia page, which I DID NOT want.
Huh, also, if you squeeze down the Wikipedia page, you get a mobile version, completely fluid. Which means Google could have injected this Wikipedia page right into the sidebar of my doc! You guys can fake user agents, can’t you? Just make my sidebar a touchscreen!
Even if this only took place every once in awhile, like on Wikipedia articles, that would be extremely cool.
Anyway, let’s see if I can find that voice thing. Which, it should be here. Somewhere.
It’s not. Which is a bummer, since I know it’s supported in the browser.
So I’m going to write a quick script that gives the document the attribute we want.
Okay. So, and I would never recommend this, I found out the attribute I want to add to my things is “x-webkit-speech,” I’m going to add that attribute to every item in the DOM. Yeah, freak out.
Let’s run that bad boy and see what happens.
Okay, apparently adding jQuery kills the JS on the page. There has to be another way!
This SAVING… thing is useless over the long term. After five seconds I don’t care if I’m saving. Just keep it a black box and make me believe I’m using something that just works without me having to see if it’s working or not.
Using Dev Tools, I’m going to manually add the webkit speech attribute to this page. The next thing you should see is something I spoke.
I failed. Looking at Google Docs on a div-by-div basis, it’s clear the Docs team has decided to go the div-as-molecule route.
And only one element on the page even has the attribute contenteditable. I’d have to simulate webkit speech by adding a secret textarea to speak into and then copying that to the page, or simulating a paste event. It would be extremely complex.