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Gnome Extension Offers a Shopping Lens We Can Live With 72

sfcrazy writes "The year 2012 has not been very good for Canonical and Ubuntu. The end of the year saw harsh criticism of Ubuntu from bodies like EFF and FSF which accused the operating system of 'data leak,' 'privacy invasion' and adding 'spyware' features. Now, Gnome Shell is also getting online shopping lens. Alan Bell has created a Gnome Shell extension which allows a user to conduct online shopping search right from Gnome's Dash. You can install the extension from this link. Once installed you can start searching for online shopping by hitting 'super' key and then enter your search term. One of the greatest differences between the implementations is who is in control. Gnome's Shopping lens shows how it should have been done in the first place, as it puts the user in control, and not the company whose OS you are using. Bell has explained it very well on his blog."
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Gnome Extension Offers a Shopping Lens We Can Live With

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  • by dominux ( 731134 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @05:48AM (#42431377) Homepage

    Hi, I am Alan and I wrote it. I am not trying to get anyone else to pick up the intermediary role, I kind of like the idea of the floods of money pouring into my Amazon account, however I wanted to point out that other people have got the software freedom to fork the front end and run their own back end and do that. For the record, the back end uses the Amazon API PHP library and has boilerplate code to set it up, including the super sekrit API keys that I can't include in an open source client then after the boilerplate there are basically two lines of active code:
            $response = $amazonEcs->category($type)->responseGroup('Medium')->search($searchquery);
            echo json_encode($response->Items);
    so it just spits out the "Items" array from the JSON it gets from Amazon as JSON.
    It isn't a personal site as such, it is one of our company servers running at Hetzner in Germany. I am a joint owner of the company so you could say it is mine :)

  • by dominux ( 731134 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @05:57AM (#42431393) Homepage

    This isn't my primary source of income, we provide consultancy services around Free Software. This is just a bit of fun and an intellectual exercise in learning to do a gnome shell extension and figuring out how I would have done the Unity shopping lens if I had the opportunity to do it properly. If one day this earns me enough to meet the payout threshold of Amazon then I will be surprised and quite pleased.

  • Re:I sense.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by dominux ( 731134 ) on Monday December 31, 2012 @07:57AM (#42431771) Homepage

    If there was an open vendor neutral API to plug into I would do that. I don't have the resources that google shopping have got to screen scrape loads of stores. I am certainly up for adding more stores, but they have to expose a search API and preferably an affiliate scheme (they don't have to do that, but realistically I am going to prioritise those that do). The code is all GPL v2 so feel free to enhance it to work with multiple APIs and search back ends. I don't *want* to limit it to one vendor.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor