I spend a lot of time in my browser. So much time, in fact, that I notice when I drop down to a command-line to type things. I wanted to look up a day later this year, so I typed “cal 2008″ into a Unix terminal window. I caught myself thinking, “Hey, why doesn’t Google add a onebox shortcut for searches like ‘cal’ or ‘cal 2008′?”
On one hand, I could bug someone at Google with my request. To be honest, not many people would benefit from a feature like this. Then I realized that I could still solve the issue for myself with Google Subscribed Links. It takes 2-3 minutes to define a shortcut that says “When the user types query X, show a link to page Y in the search results.”
If you’d like to add this subscribed link to Google too, you can subscribe to my calendar subscribed link with one click.
Anyone that is subscribed can search for [cal] or [calendar] or [cal 2008] and you’ll see a link like this:
And clicking it will take you to my calendar page.
You could have more fun with this, but I’ve already spent more time writing about it than the original hack took. Other thoughts:
- Google Subscribed Links can do more powerful things (e.g. use a feed file), but I didn’t need that power for this simple hack.
- I could have made a script to dynamically show the current year instead of 2008. But compared to the time to copy/paste a text file, I’d almost rather just change the text file once a year.
- If you wanted some practice with Google App Engine, an app to show a calendar for the current year would be a pretty good starter project.