CC Open Source Blog

Upcoming improvements/features in CC Search Extension


by Mayank Nader on 2020-06-01

This blog is part of the series: GSoC 2020: CC Search Browser Extension

CC Search Extension is a cross-browser extension, which lets you search for and filter content that is under Creative Commons licenses. It was developed as one of the CC projects during Google Summer of Code program of 2019.

The story so far

It's release on the extension stores of Chrome, Firefox, and Opera was accompanied by several announcements on twitter, which were well received by the community and thus the number of weekly users (i.e the number of users that have used the extension at least once during last week) drastically increased. After several weeks, the extension reached 22,000+ weekly users. But, now this number fluctuates between 9,000 - 10,000. So, what happened? Well, the majority of initial influx were the "curious" folks who just wanted to check out this new tool and later thought that this was not something that they might find useful. But, there are also users that are looking for a similar tool and the lack of sufficient features and capabilities of the extension made them stop using it and look for better alternatives.

What's the plan

The plan is to transform the extension to become competent enough to contribute to the user's workflow and be an important part of their toolkit. This will be done by adding valuable new features in addition to other enhancements and improvements.

In this section, I will list several improvements and features that will be added to the extension during the upcoming months.

New Filters

The extension, currently supports only 3 filters: license, sources, and use case. The support for new filters like image type, file type, aspect ratio, and image size will be added. This will give more options to the users and let them be more specific about the content they want.

Showing related Images will help users find a variety of images that fit their requirements and also explore the images that would not usally show up on the initial pages of the search result. Whereas, Image tags will let the users incrementally make their queries better and more specific.

Adding "Browse by Sources" section

Even though the users can see the number of sources supported by the extension from the drop-down filter, they might not be familiar with many of them and what kind of content they provide. Adding a "Browse by Source" section would make users appreciate the sources available for them to choose from.

Improving the bookmarks section

Significant improvements will be made to the bookmarks section. First of all, the bookmarks data will be cached so that unnecessary requests to the Catalog API can be avoided. The bookmarks will be organized by the dates and this will also facilitate adding some type of filter mechanism. In addition to this, pagination in the bookmarks section and support for named bookmark file exports will be added

Syncing as much data as possible

An effort will be made to sync as much extension data as possible between the user's system. Syncing the user's preference/settings will ensure a familiar experience across systems and syncing the bookmarks data and the previous session search results would make them feel like they are continuing from where they left.

Integrating CC Vocabulary

The extension uses a very outdated version of CC Vocabulary. It will be replaced by the latest version for a refreshing new look.

Adding support for Microsoft Edge

The new Microsoft Edge browser is based on chromium. This paves the way to add support for it thanks to the power and flexibility of the WebExtension API. This will then allow us to also officially release on the Microsoft Edge Addon Store.

Join the discussion

If you have any feedback/suggestions or just want to say hi, please join the #cc-dev-browser-extension channel on slack. You can also track the progress on the project's Github Repository.