Alan Bell, an open source developer, announced a couple of days ago, December 30, 2012, the immediate availability of a Shopping extension for GNOME 3’s user interface, GNOME Shell.Called Shopping Search Provider, the extension allows users to search and purchase things from Amazon’s online stores, straight from the overview mode of GNOME Shell.
This extension comes as a response to the default Shopping Lens created by Canonical for Ubuntu operating system’s Unity user interface.
Alan Bell explains on his blog why he created the shopping extension for GNOME Shell and why the Shopping Lens for Unity is not good for users: “The shopping lens in Unity has been one of the most talked about features, not always in a good way. Personally I quite like it, I have purchased several items through it and it seems to be a faster experience at simply finding stuff than using Amazon itself.”
“Producing a lens that makes money clearly caused a lot of people to look up and examine the situation in more depth and it was then discovered that it should have been using https for the transport and issues around privacy and sending search terms off the local machine were raised.”
The Shopping extension for GNOME Shell can be download it and installed from its official web page. It has support for the following Amazon domains: .com, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, .es, .ca, .co.jp and .cn.
Once installed, the users are in control of the shopping extension thanks to a comprehensive configuration dialog, which allows them to modify the affiliate code, the shop domain, the backend, and a few other settings related to look and feel.
The configuration dialog of the GNOME Shell Shopping extension – Image courtesy of Alan Bell
The Shopping extension for GNOME Shell in action – Image courtesy of Alan Bell
Even if it’s better than the Shopping Lens from the Ubuntu operating system, this shopping extension for GNOME Shell has various flaws, which can be easily fixed with the help of the community.