First, there was the test with "search using your keyboard only" (I can't find that link no more.. looks like its shelved). I thought to myself, "Cute, no WEB developer seems to be interested in doing keyboard shortcuts"

Then, Gmail raised the bar for both WebUI and Web-based Email.. not only the much gossiped 1GB space and content sensitive text-ad by the side... but also the wonderful keyboard shortcuts.. and their wonderful show-and-hide style that reduces the (now) unnecessary network round-trip...

Now, checkout Google Suggest and public discussion of how it was done.

Sidenote: This has further impressed upon me, the incredibulously upside-down truth of Joel's view of the real number 1 problem of a company / CEO.Number 1 problem, excerpt " be able to convert money to code through programmers... this can solve any other problem. Hire smart people, and they will produce good stuff that you can sell and make money off. Then everything else follows..."

I wonder if there's soon to be a defacto enhanced-web-ui project to better the experience of using future web applications. Then again, the future of such a project might be short-lived: The waiting-to-be-incorporated-into-browsers-or-html features may run obsolete by the time its fully done.. Then again, it may not.

Update: Courtesy of Bitflux, whom already carry Google-suggest-like search-as-you-type javascript, I'd written a standalone JSP version. Give it a shot, download-and-run, its really easy to understand and extend.

Update: Try the Rails version embedding Bitflux javascript.