Google Related and the remotely related JASPAX

Google released today “Google Related“, a beautiful, well-implemented Chrome extension that let’s you see interesting content relevant to what’s on the page you’re viewing, right where you’re viewing it:


In many ways this reminds me of a project we did at Yedda (now AOL Answers) with the Toolbar team at AOL back in 2009.

We created a bar that popped from the bottom of the page you’re viewing (hence the name Popbar. duh!), from which you could ask questions (duh!) about the page’s content and to see what other people asked:



This was actually deployed with the AOL Toolbar team in one of the AOL toolbars, and generated high levels of engagements with users.

We could have stopped there. However, in a somewhat irrational fit of over-engineering we went ahead and created this as a generic platform allowing hosts (toolbars, plugins, or even browsers) to dynamically load JavaScript modules (such as the popbar) into the currently viewed browser page, and popbars could load multiple independent modules into them. We also had support for peace in the middle east, but that one never actually worked.

If you are into over-engineering yourself, I am sure you will have a blast going through the 19 pages of the JASPAX specification. Few things are as sad as a generic specification that covers a thousand use-cases but gets implemented by one, single implementation:

In case you are wondering, no, I have no idea what JASPAX was supposed to stand for.

Update: I’ve re-read the spec, JASPAX stands for JavaScript Page Extenders. Phew :)