Posts tagged as autocomplete

The everyday hero of attention data

This story is about something that most of us use on a daily basis and have come to take for granted: Autocomplete. Autocomplete is the younger and cuter version of command line completion, which started life as a tool for speeding up the shell in the Berkeley Timesharing system. Command line completion, now in a improved and less aggressive version, then found its way into Tenex operating system, and was later adopted for use in the Unix systems that are widespread today.

Autocomplete as we know it today eventually found its way to almost anyone who uses a computer by appearing in web browsers, email clients and the shell of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

What’s interesting about autocomplete is that by trying to solve the problem of effectively getting valid input from the user, it became one of the first examples of using attention data to help the user. Read the rest of this entry »