Just the Text Ma'am
December 15, 2012 9:02 AM   Subscribe

For shell grumps and net.curmudgeons and people who think Internet search is just too cluttered with bitmaps, DuckDuckGo (previously) offers TTY search. Sadly, there is no telnet interface, you'll need to use a newfangled web browser.
posted by pashdown (26 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
you'll need to use a newfangled web browser.

Let's not go crazy, I bet you could use Gopher.
posted by 445supermag at 9:13 AM on December 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


...you'll need to use a newfangled web browser...

I installed lynx on my mac just to try... but it does not work.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:15 AM on December 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


It’s interesting, but that you’ll need to use a newfangled web browser was not an understatement. This did not work on the iPad’s Safari and probably on no other mobile browsers.

It uses a terminal emulator that catches all keyboard input wihout any form fields. (Try using a keyboard shortcut on that page, something like cmd/ctrl + r, it will not work.) On touch browsers where the keyboard is not shown unless you have selected a form field you will have no way to communicate with the site.

Of course this is also why your favourite terminal browser doesn’t work.
posted by Martijn at 9:32 AM on December 15, 2012


Neat. But DDG's standard search actually works great on lynx in a pinch, unlike Google which requires some 10+ keypresses just to reach the input field.
posted by Lorin at 9:44 AM on December 15, 2012


<3 DuckDuckGo. Also: LOL!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:45 AM on December 15, 2012


DuckDuckGo has become my standard browser. It's tricky to get any browsers on Android to switch from the default browser, though.
posted by jiawen at 10:02 AM on December 15, 2012


They made a "tty" search utility that doesn't work in actual command-line browsers, doesn't use a remotely POSIX-like syntax, and doesn't have advanced expressions or command flags (that I can see, at least; would have been good if they'd given it a proper manpage system)? Congratulations DuckDuckGo; you've created the Instagram of search tools.
posted by fifthrider at 10:04 AM on December 15, 2012 [21 favorites]


Chrome on iPhone: can't get to keyboard
posted by zippy at 10:05 AM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've been tty-barred
posted by zippy at 10:05 AM on December 15, 2012


It’s no pizza_party.

if you don't know how to install Perl modules, you're clearly not hard enough to be ordering pizza at the command line.
posted by migurski at 10:15 AM on December 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


And then there's this fun item, 60's style: http://www.masswerk.at/google60/
posted by Shadan7 at 10:48 AM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are very good reasons to avoid these web browsers. Many of them can introduce viruses and other problems into your computer. That's why I recommend my new service. If you wish to perform an internet search, simply send the keywords to me, along with a self addressed stamped envelope and a $5 handling fee, and my service will perform the search for you. Within days, you will receive a listing of internet search results in the mail, which is guaranteed to be safe by the U.S. Postal Service.

When you find an interesting link among the search results, simply send another envelope and another $5, and I will click on the link for you and send you a copy of the resulting webpage.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:54 AM on December 15, 2012 [18 favorites]


how is it possible that someone would go to the trouble to do this and not make it work with lynx!
posted by pjenks at 11:14 AM on December 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I do not like Domino's pizza at all, and they don't deliver here, but I still want to use that thing to order one from the command line. Holy cow.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:16 AM on December 15, 2012


@Lorin:

Just press 'g', then enter 'g' + your search terms and it'll send you to Google automatically.

---

It really says a lot that we can no longer implement a simple TTY interface w/o gobs of Javascript and HTML5 :)
posted by word_virus at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ever read a TTY driver? There's always been great horrible gobs of something.

This is neat, but I only seem to get three or four results per search (even with repeating "m" and "r").
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:43 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


They made a "tty" search utility that doesn't work in actual command-line browsers, doesn't use a remotely POSIX-like syntax, and doesn't have advanced expressions or command flags

I dunno. It kinda reminds me of the terminals they had set up in my local library to search the catalogue, circa 1987. I like it.
posted by Jimbob at 1:04 PM on December 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


DuckDuckGo has become my standard browser.

This is also my experience. A year into using DDG and I have found no issues with it.
News.Google is the only search I use Google for anymore.
I even Bing! for images using DDG.

It's tricky to get any browsers on Android to switch from the default browser, though.

I don't really use my phone to search, but this is an excellent point. My phone is so infested with Google that it's akin to a virus.
posted by Mezentian at 3:40 PM on December 15, 2012


When you find an interesting link among the search results, simply send another envelope and another $5, and I will click on the link for you and send you a copy of the resulting webpage.

I hate to break this to you, but I hear rms has written a small shell script that completely obsoletes your business model.

Also, another vote for DDG - I actually e-mailed them about some font weirdness a while back and they were pretty responsive and helpful.
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:42 PM on December 15, 2012


Ever read a TTY driver? There's always been great horrible gobs of something.

Yeah, I was going to say that TTY code has the reputation of being some of the snarliest, nastiest code in Unix. This is probably gloriously simple in comparison.
posted by Malor at 5:56 PM on December 15, 2012


There's also Google60, for that 1960s search experience. (Works on iOS.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:31 PM on December 15, 2012


This isn't a new thing, I've been using DuckDuckGo to search for TTYs for months now. Thank goodness for no search-history tracking...
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:47 PM on December 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


On iOS, you can use this by adding a query string with your search term to the url.

Like so: http://duckduckgo.com/tty/#q=doctor+who
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:40 PM on December 15, 2012


I think the reason that it doesn't have a telnet interface is that it opens new windows in the browser. If you were doing it with a telnet interface, it'd hafta open up lynx or something and it'd be awkward.

What someone ought to do is to write a duck duck go CLI client that runs natively, and opens up a browser using either mailcap or freedesktop commands.

Unfortunately, this evening, I have a test to study for. But perhaps tomorrow...
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 3:22 PM on December 16, 2012


Starting points:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11722465/duckduckgo-api-not-returning-results
https://launchpad.net/xdg-utils
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 3:52 PM on December 16, 2012


I like that they implemented tab completion.
posted by whir at 10:34 PM on December 17, 2012


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