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goosh, the Unofficial Google Shell 310

ohxten writes "Stefan Grothkopp has come up with a pretty neat tool called goosh. It's essentially a browser-oriented, shell-like interface that allows you to quickly search Google (and images and news) and Wikipedia and get information in a text-only format. This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've seen in a good while."
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goosh, the Unofficial Google Shell

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  • by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:27PM (#23632843) Journal
    Getting excited from old functionality in a commandline enviroment.
  • Lynx (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FST ( 766202 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:28PM (#23632855) Journal
    In all seriousness, why not just use Lynx if you want text only?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Because this is new and exciting.
    • Re:Lynx (Score:5, Informative)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:34PM (#23632931) Homepage Journal
      links [] is superior.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mario_grgic ( 515333 )
        Lynx is more like VI, links is more like using GUI (it has popup dialogs, menus etc).

        Some people prefer vi style of navigation through pages, myself included.
        • Its technically superior as well as having a better UI. :P

          I have actually used it with popups. It handles javascript to a certain extent.
      • I agree with the sibling poster: links is good if you want a browser that acts like a GUI browser and is good with a mouse. I prefer lynx to links because if I am using a text-based browser, I usually want to control it with the keyboard, and I find lynx works better for that.
        • links also has a graphical mode. It doesn't support much in the way of modern web features like advanced css and javascript, but it gives a rather nice old-fashioned browsing experience, and some sites such as freshmeat look just as good as in a modern browser.
      • by antdude ( 79039 )
        I prefer Elinks [].
    • The shell is text. Navigating to the link is not. Not the same as Lynx.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by peragrin ( 659227 )
        yes they are
        type in the number of the result you want.

        to see more results type in more

        try typing in help if your confused.

        it's actually really clever. you don't have to remove your hands from the keyboard.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by grizdog ( 1224414 )
      Maybe the plan is to make this the built-in shell on a thin web interface. We've had lots of discussions about this on /. - There are a lot of people who don't want much more than a browser, email client, and a word processor/spreadsheet. This might be the first pass at a shell for this market - they'll probably just use the standard browser, but if there has to be a shell in there somewhere, this might make more sense than bash.
    • Because you may only want Google to be text only, since searches are only made of text anyway. That doesn't imply you want all sites to be text only.

      This gets rid of the ads too.

      It also gets rid of Google's link tracking that also sometimes slows things down, because you are redirected through their servers. (do know that Google manipulates the browser status bar to "lie" and hide the link tracking, and that you're actually always passed through Google servers)
    • by Reapman ( 740286 )
      have you even tried goosh? it's a command line but allows graphics.. try an image search. plus if you want to click a link your not worried if that page supports text browsing (all pages should but that's another topic)
    • Actually, google's interface is fairly cluttered in lynx; the text box is preceded by about 15 links.
  • source code says (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LordMyren ( 15499 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:29PM (#23632879) Homepage
    source code says "readable" source code will be posted soon.

    i await that.

    theres a lot of cool text interfaces happening on the web. theres in browser vi (jsvi), and source code editors like CodeMirror, CodePress, and more[1]. all very cool!

    [1] []
  • Whoops. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:30PM (#23632891)> web penis
    Error: Operation timed out (1212449383081).
    I broke it.
    • Re:Whoops. (Score:5, Funny)

      by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:43PM (#23633013)
      it's not broken> web penis
          1) Human penis size - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Human penis size refers to the length and width of human male genitalia. Interest in larger penis sizes has led to an industry devoted to penis enlargement. ... []

          2) Penis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external sexual organ of certain biologically male organisms. The penis is a reproductive organ, technically an ... []

          3) Things You Didn't Know About Your Penis, Interesting Facts That ...
      (WebMD) Here are some things you might have wondered about your penis, but were ... Here's how to avoid penile fracture: don't use your penis too roughly. ... []

          4) YouTube - Is it a penis
      ok first of all this is not my video, please to not think it is, i had recently seen it at my friends house and decided to upload it from! []
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Now I know what a goosh is:> web goosh
            1) Urban Dictionary: goosh
        Man the girl has such a small goosh i could barley fit two fingers in! ...
  • Create an interactive site, then post it to slashdot. Anyone opening book on how long the server will last?
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:35PM (#23632935)
    So I loaded it and watched it work -- reminiscent of ANSI BBSs but with AJAX instead.  It was quick on my laptop but on my mobile device it took longer to load that Google did itself and while I could enter search terms I couldn't submit them.  But it's in BETA and it's a Google side project so we should all bow before its greatness.

    So here: <bow></bow> :)
  • Shells (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:38PM (#23632965) Homepage Journal
    I'd be more impressed if it were an actual shell.
  • That'd be nice to have a usable bash shell via web interface, for those times when we have access to a kiosk etc that has a web browser but no terminal/ssh. With the right web page we could ssh into our machine at home.

  • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:41PM (#23633001)
    Just tried it. Wanted to read its documentation. Realized too late that 'man goosh' was a really poor choice of phrase, but just got> help goosh

    help: goosh

    Error: command "goosh" not found.

    • by Joebert ( 946227 )

      Realized too late that 'man goosh' was a really poor choice of phrase

      I'd seen the "/web>" at the end of the command line and tried "cd /" which fetched me some music results, but I've got tears in my eyes after reading yours, that's freaking hilarious !
  • by Anik315 ( 585913 ) <anik@alphaco r . n et> on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:50PM (#23633065)
    You can actually take something like JavaScript Shell [] and add JSON based query features to it. This would allow things like command line based search, news... etc and has the advantage of using JavaScript as command syntax. You can write JavaScript functions to access and manipulate JSON variables. (easier said than done, from someone whose done it )
  • by jaxtherat ( 1165473 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:54PM (#23633109) Homepage> man woman

    help: woman

    Error: command "woman" not found.
  • Ive tested it and i can say it now: pure beauty.

    I need this as a bash-completion plugin. I need it NOW, NOW, NOW.
  • Totally my new home page now. Since half my web searches start with me using a Google keyword search in Firefox anyway, this is just that much better. Wow. Now it just needs "open in new tab," which I'm sure will come about in short order...
  • by Zouden ( 232738 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @07:59PM (#23633143)
    One of the biggest advantages of a command-line interface is that you can pipe programs together and create a workflow. You can't do that with this since it's just a command-line imitation in a web browser.
    So no neat things like piping the images from an imagesearch.
    Secondly, a mouse is still going to be required when you browse to one of the sites returned in the search, so this interface is only useful while you're actually searching.

    It's cool, but really only as a novelty.
    • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:10PM (#23634389)
      I posted this in another comment already, but here's a version with more details: if you use surfraw and w3m together, you can essentially have clickable google results inside an xterm, and a first class piping mechanism. You might have to change the color scheme in w3m if it clashes with your *term settings, or just try this out in a plain vanilla black and white terminal.

      apt-get install surfraw w3m

      export PATH=$PATH:/usr/lib/surfraw

      export SURFRAW_graphical=no

      export SURFRAW_browser=/usr/bin/w3m

      export SURFRAW_text_browser=/usr/bin/w3m

      export SURFRAW_graphical_browser=/usr/bin/iceweasel

      export SURFRAW_graphical_remote=yes

      google hello # (clickable results "in" the terminal)

      google slashdot | grep Cached | head - 76k - Cached - Similar pages - 13k - Cached - Similar pages - 83k - Cached - Similar pages - 34k - Cached - Similar pages
      Cached - Similar pages - 44k - Cached - Similar pages - 451k - Cached - Similar pages - 40k - Cached - Similar pages
      Cached - Similar pages - 45k - Cached - Similar pages

      It's also possible to write some scripts so that w3m can open new terminals when clicking a link, and if you cannot live without images inside a terminal, there's the w3m-img package you can install.

      I also like to use w3mman as the system man pager, which lets me click on urls and file paths referenced inside a man page.

  • Enhancement request:
    For Full command line emulation, you should be able to put the command into a query string: " slashdot"

    Seriously cool stuff

  • Konqueror (Score:4, Informative)

    by slashqwerty ( 1099091 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:03PM (#23633175)
    Konqueror [] has this functionality built into the location bar. To search Google, just type "gg: search phrase". To search wikipedia, type "wp: search phrase". Forgot what Moore's law is? "fd:Moore's law". Someone created a new search engine? You can add your own shortcuts.

    You can even set a default search engine. In that case anything that doesn't look like a valid URL goes to the default search engine. To top that off, you can select text, then middle-click on the background and it will be just like tossing the text into the location bar and pressing return. You can select a phrase from a web page and middle click to instantly run a web search on the phrase. It's one of Konqueror's coolest features.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:04PM (#23633181) Homepage Journal
    I'd been excited in the 1990s about a browser growing to include all commandline functionality. Netscape started a project called "XMLterm" which used the browser to send commandlines to the local or a remote host, then display the output in the browser. Which showed some results as clickable icons in that resulting page. But the project never produced a usable release, and seemed to die sometime before Netscape itself turned into Mozilla and then Firefox.

    But XMLterm [] lives! Someone's completing the project. I'm really psyched to see this system work. And even more psyched for the possibility that it could support different "Web APIs" at different hosts it connect to, different DOMs and other object models, perhaps with mappings to some grand unified object model (and browser for it). It seems like a great way to implement a client for goosh, this Google shell.

    That would be really cool, and finally start to transcend some of the "CLI vs GUI" ghettoes we've stuck ourselves in. Or at least give the GUI people most of the CLI stuff, except its pure simplicity. Which, as a GUI person who uses CLIs all day long, sounds great to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      That page looks kind of evil. I think it may actually be a spam-blog that rips stuff from here []. It's just a little bit hard to credit some of the stuff they link to as official Mozilla sites given their propensity to misspelling Firefox, and the fact that the download buttons are blank. Also, I strongly doubt that the people who wrote XMLterm were peddling some of the crap that blog links to. Alas, it may be more dead than you think.
      • Good catch. I Googled some of the strings I randomly copied from that blog (all entries posted on 2007/10/20), and found them all elsewhere at . Important links like "about" and "archives" link to nothing.

        What an asshole stunt, I suppose to harvest a few emails from registrants. Targeting geeks, none of whom registered to post anyway. And helping ruin the reputation of a fascinating dormant project.

        If the jerk behind that site had spent that much time just improving the real XMLterm beta
  • *years* ago, most of us were doing this same type of thing from a commandline with lynx/links.

    If you like this, you'll probably like surfraw too []

    All the goodness of goosh without the need for X or a browser

    I actually added some of the handlers years ago, but I found that eventually Google searchbox was able to do many of them for me directly - like "quote intc" , "ufo", etc.

    I created my own handlers (elvii) for internal intranet use to do all sorts of mundane que
  • Come on, they make something as geeky as this and neglect Google Code Search []? For shame!
  • I'm suprised you are not all "gooshing" in excitement. Its like Google portable.
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @08:16PM (#23633291)
    This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've seen in a good while.

    Um, you need to get out more.

    Start small. Leave the basement for a day-trip to the garage or back yard....

  • I had the pleasure once of logging into and working on an ancient PDP-11/73 running 4.2BSD hooked up to an actual line printer/teletype machine. The noise was deafening, and kind of sexy. This web page needs a sound effect option for maximum retro verisimilitude.
  • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:17PM (#23633681) Homepage

    I can type in search terms and get the results from Google. And...


    How is this something I couldn't do before? I can certainly do this on my own (real) command line - surfraw has been mentioned, and a perl script and the Google API (or even without it) means "getting a list of links for a search term from google" is not exactly unknown.

    It has a cute CLI-like interface, but not really. "This google-interface behaves similar to a unix-shell." Um, no, not really. It's a cute interface, but not a real shell by any stretch...

    So what am I missing?

  • vi keys in Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ilyakub ( 1200029 )
    On a somewhat related note, Google is experimenting with vi keyboard shortcuts for their search interface. You can test it at
  • by phreakhead ( 881388 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @09:45PM (#23633857) Homepage
    This is really sad. It's not UNIX until I can type

    %> search "lindsay lohan\'s (boobs|tits|chest|underwear|bank account.*[0-9]+)"

    Now if it was a real shell binary that you could run IN UNIX then I might be slightly impressed. I could make this "shell" in 10 lines of CSS!
  • Cool tidbit (Score:3, Informative)

    by nog_lorp ( 896553 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:17PM (#23634063)
      If you want to extend, please take a look at the load command.
    You can see an example module at

    Code of an extension: (indented properly)
    function search_spon() { = "spon";
        this.aliases = new Array("spon","spiegel");
        this.mode = true; = "search in"; = function(args) {
            this.start = 0; this.args = " "+args.join(" ");
        } = function() {
            this.start += 4;

        this.render = function(context, results, status, details, unused) {
            if(results && results.results != "")
                this.hasmore = true;
                this.hasmore = false;
            this.renderResult(context, results, status, details, unused);
  • Great... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @10:32PM (#23634141) Journal
    So in other words, we've come full circle and invented gopher [], archie [], and WAIS [].
  • DON'T (Score:4, Funny)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Monday June 02, 2008 @11:55PM (#23634651) Journal
    rm -rf /

  • SQL interface (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hweimer ( 709734 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @04:22AM (#23635629) Homepage
    Nice idea, but I like the SQL interface [] better.

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