Deepanshu Mehndiratta, a second year engineering student at BITS-Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus, has reportedly created a instant Wikipedia search called ‘Wikilive‘, writes I See India. The website interface is simple and minimalistic (I tried it on a Macbook Air). You can type in a search query and it offers all relevant Wikipedia search results along with a preview of Wikipedia article itself in realtime, which is pretty good.

For instance, if you type in ‘Nokia’, you would get related search results such as ‘Nokia’, ‘Nokia Siemens’, ‘Nokia N900’ at the top, followed by the whole Nokia Wikipedia article in an Ajax-based Window. You can then click on any other search results on the top bar like ‘Nokia N900’ to switch to the Wikipedia article pertaining to Nokia N900 in the same window. The report states that this service uses Wikipedia’s APIs, Ajax, jQuery libraries and Javascript at the backend.

The emergence of Google Instant, a Google service launched last year which delivers search results as users start typing their query, seems to have inspired many student developers to create similar projects for other services. Last September, we had seen a Stanford student Feross Aboukhadijeh create a real-time search engine for YouTube, called ‘Youtube Instant‘, which reportedly recorded one million vistors in ten days and YouTube CEO Chad Hurley offering him a job.

Wikilive is certainly a refreshing approach for searching through Wikipedia archives, which becomes quite cumbersome and time-consuming process if you are a researcher or have a job like mine, where we have to browse through hundreds of Wikipedia articles every week. There is a caveat in the website though – it currently supports only Wikipedia (English).We wish that Wikimedia Foundation notices this project and incorporate this feature across all its properties like WiktionaryWikiquote and Wikimedia Commons for quicker access of information, thereby saving users time.

It would also be brilliant if we get this or a similar functionality either as a browser extension or enabled in the browser search box itself, since I personally use only the browser’s search box (in my case Omnibox in Google Chrome) for almost all my searches and I honestly don’t remember when was the last time I visited Google.com or Bing.com to search for anything.