opensearch - Dave's Blog

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"The application/opensearchdescription xml media type" - Frank Ellermann

2011 Nov 14, 1:26PermalinkCommentstechnical mime mime-type opensearch xml ietf

Windows 7 Accelerator Platform COM / C# Interop

2010 Aug 20, 11:20

For a new project I'm working on involving IE's installed Accelerators and OpenSearch search providers via the Windows 7 Accelerator Platform, I've created a C#/COM interop class for those APIs.

Download the osinterop.cs interop file here.

PermalinkCommentstechnical accelerator csharp com

Engineering Windows 7 : Federating Windows Search with Enterprise Data Sources

2009 Jul 17, 4:36"For Windows 7, we’ve added support for Federated Search using OpenSearch v1.1 and worked to make the experience a seamless one." Explorer in Win7 supports OpenSearch descriptions (that use RSS)PermalinkCommentsopensearch search windows win7 technical

OpenSearchDescriptionToHTML Tool

2009 Jun 10, 3:36

I've made an OpenSearchDescriptionToHTML XSLT that given an OpenSearch description file produces HTML that describes that file, lets you install it, or search with it. For example, here's a Google OpenSearch description that uses my OpenSearchDescriptionToHTML XSLT.

I had just created an OpenSearch description for WolframAlpha at work and was going about the process of adding another install link to my search provider page so that I could install it. Thinking about it, I realized I could apply an XSLT to the OpenSearch description XML to produce the HTML automatically so I wouldn't have to modify additional documents everytime I create and want to install a new OpenSearch description. While I was in there writing the XSLT I figure why not let the user try out searching with the OpenSearch description file too. And lastly I made the XSLT apply to itself to produce HTML describing its own usage.

Incidentally, I added WolframAlpha at work to replace my FileInfo search provider for the purposes of searching for information about particular Unicode characters. For instance, look at WolframAlpha's lovely output for this search for "Bopomofo zh".

PermalinkCommentstechnical xml wolframalpha opensearchdescriptiontohtml xslt opensearch

Thoughts on registerProtocolHandler in HTML 5

2009 Apr 7, 9:02

I'm a big fan of the concept of registerProtocolHandler in HTML 5 and in FireFox 3, but not quite the implementation. From a high level, it allows web apps to register themselves as handlers of an URL scheme so for (the canonical) example, GMail can register for the mailto URL scheme. I like the concept:

However, the way its currently spec'ed out I don't like the following: PermalinkCommentsurl template registerprotocolhandler firefox technical url scheme protocol boring html5 uri urn

G1 Android Phone

2008 Nov 9, 11:29

T-Mobile G1 Wallpapers by romainguy
I finally replaced my old regular cell-phone which was literally being held together by a rubber band with a fancy new G1, my first Internet accessible phone.

I had to call the T-Mobile support line to get data added to my plan and the person helping me was disconcertingly friendly. She asked about my weekend plans and so I felt compelled to ask her the same. Her plans involved replacing her video card so she could get back to World of Warcraft and do I enjoy computer gaming? I couldn't tell if she was genuine or if she was signing me up for magazines.

I was with Sarah in her new car, trying out the phone's GPS functionality via Google Maps while she drove. I switched to Street View and happened to find my car. It was a weird feeling, kind of like those Google conspiracy videos.

The phone runs Google's open source OS and I really enjoy the application API. Its all in Java and URIs and mime-types are sort of basics. Rather than invoking the builtin item picker control directly you invoke an 'intent' specifying the URI of your list of items, a mime-type describing the type of items in the list, and an action 'PICK' and whatever is registered as the picker on the system pops up and lets the user pick from that list. The same goes if you want to 'EDIT' an image, or 'VIEW' an mp3.

I wanted to replace the Google search box gadget that appears on the home screen with my own search box widget that uses OpenSearch descriptors but apparently in the current API you can't make home screen gadgets without changing parts of the OS. My other desired application is something to replace this GPS photo tracker device by recording my location to a file and an additional program on my computer to apply those locations to photos.

PermalinkCommentstmobile personal api phone technical g1 android google

Search and Archive of Dave's Things

2008 Apr 7, 10:31

Photo of crates in a warehouse. Licensed under creative commons by Don Jones.I now have search and an archive available for my site. I previously tried to setup crappy search by cheating using Yahoo Pipes and now instead I have a slightly less crappy search that works over all of the content that I've produced on my blog, uploaded to flickr or youtube, or added to delicious.

You can now read my first LiveJournal blog post or, for probably much more entertainment value, view all the photos and videos of Cadbury by searching for 'bunny'.

The search is only slightly less lame because although it searches over all my content, I still implemented it myself rather than getting a professional package. Also, the feed supports the same search and archive as my homepage so you can subscribe to a feed of Cadbury if you're so inclined and just skip all this other boring stuff. My homepage and feed implement the OpenSearch response elements and I've got an OpenSearch search provider (source) as well.

PermalinkCommentstechnical search archive opensearch homepage

Gmail integration with Internet Explorer 8

2008 Apr 3, 9:00

Internet Explorer LogoGmail Logo licensed under CC by Victor de la FuenteWith the new features of IE8 there's several easy ways to integrate Gmail, Google's web mail service, for mail composition, searching, and monitoring that I enjoy using.

I made a Send via Gmail activity that allows you to select some text, a document, or link and via the activity menu open a new tab to compose a new message with the selection. Go to my activity page and click "Send via Gmail" (source) to install it. I found info on the gmail composition URL in the comments of this gmail howto article and used that in the activity. I talked about activities previously.
I've made a search provider that searches your gmail account. See my search provider page and select 'Gmail' (source) to install the Gmail search provider. Search providers aren't new to IE8 but this fits in with Gmail integration in IE. Again in the comments of another howto I found information on a Gmail search URL.
New to IE8 is authenticated feed support and favorites bar monitoring which combined with the Gmail inbox feed means you can see when you get new mail in your favorites bar in IE. To do this, navigate to the feed, click 'Subscribe to this feed', then click on the Add button in the upper left (the star with plus icon) and select 'Monitor on Favorites Bar' to add this as a monitored item in the favorites bar. Next, right click on the new item in your favorites bar, open the properties dialog, and enter your Gmail username and password into the new username and password fields. Now when you get new mail the Gmail feed item will shine and bold and you'll be able to get to new messages in the dropdown. I described monitored feed items previously.
PermalinkCommentsactivity gmail search howto google ie feed rss opensearch

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Released with Activities

2008 Mar 5, 11:36

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 is available now. I can finally talk about some of the stuff I've been working on for the past year or so: activities. Activities let you select a document, some text on a document, or a link to a document and run that selection through a web service. For example, you could select a word on a webpage and look it up in Wikipedia, select an address and map it on Yahoo Maps, select a webpage and translate it into English with Windows Live Translator, or select a link and add it to Digg.

IE8 comes installed with some activities based on Microsoft web services but there's a page you can go to to install other activities. However, that page is missing some of my favorites that I use all the time, like Accordingly, I've put together a page of the activities I use. MSDN has all the info on creating Activities.

Activities are very similar to other existing features in other browsers including the ability to add context menu items to IE. There's two important differences which make activities better. Activities have a preview window that pops out when you hover over an activity, which is useful to get in place information easily provided by developers. The other is that the interface is explicit and takes after HTML FORMs and OpenSearch descriptions. Because the interface is explicitly described in XML (unlike the context menu additions described above which run arbitrary script) we have the ability to use activities in places other than on a webpage in the future. And because activity definitions are similar to HTML FORMs, if your webservice has an HTML FORM describing it you can easily create an activity.

PermalinkCommentsmicrosoft technical activity openservice ie8 ie activities msdn

Specifications/OpenSearch/Extensions/Parameter/1.0/Draft 1 - OpenSearch

2007 Jun 5, 5:51Draft document on the parameter extension to OpenSearch in order to support POSTs from the OpenSearch description.PermalinkCommentsopensearch search browser specification xml

Creating OpenSearch plugins for Firefox - MDC

2007 Jun 5, 5:50Firefox's notes on their implementation of the OpenSearch description.PermalinkCommentsapi browser firefox internet search opensearch programming reference mozilla mycroft specification

Add Search Providers to Internet Explorer 7

2007 Apr 8, 10:22Microsoft's page to add search providers to IE7. It also includes a simple tool to add search providers from any page.PermalinkCommentsie ie7 search opensearch microsoft tool eric-lawrence

Delicious shortcut tag

2007 Apr 8, 3:05Shortcut Tag?
I just saw this on another user's delicious links: a link to ESV search that's tagged with, among other things, "shortcut:esv". When viewed on there's a text box that lets you search using that link. I hadn't seen this before, but it seems pretty cool and I'm surprised I hadn't seen it previously. A delicious post with such a tag ends up looking like the following: I tried searching for information on this and I've found other delicious users doing the same thing, but nothing about the tag itself. If you know any information especially official information from itself please post links in reply to this post. So without further preface here's what I've learned about the shortcut tag.

To get a search box in your links make a post that satisfies the following requirements:
  1. One of the tags must begin with the text 'shortcut:'. You can have more text following that in the tag if you like but it must at least start with 'shortcut:'.
  2. The 'url' you post must be a shortcut url rather than an actual URL. It must contain a '%s' with a lowercase 's'. When you enter text into the textbox on the page the text will replace the '%s' after being percent-encoded. For example '' is the shortcut url for Google and if you type 'foo bar' into the textbox the URI you will navigate to would be ''.

This is neat but I do have a few complaints:
  1. The text from the textbox is percent-encoded before replacing the '%s'. Most sites use application/x-www-form-urlencoded which encodes spaces as '+' rather than '%20'.
  2. The shortcut url format seems to be taken from Mozilla's Firefox Custom Keywords. Its a shame it wasn't based on something more adaptable like the OpenSearch URL template syntax.
  3. A '%s' in the url means technically what you're submitting to isn't a URI as defined by the standard.
  4. Allowing text after 'shortcut:' means you can't look at all of a user's shortcut using this tag.

The next step is to create a tool to sync my IE7 search providers with my shortcuts saved to delicious...PermalinkCommentstechnical howto tagging tool tag delicious

OpenSearch / Mozilla Search Converter

2007 Feb 22, 2:35Tool I've built that allows you to turn Mozilla's search descriptions into OpenSearch descriptions that may be used in IE7.PermalinkCommentssearch ie ie7 browser me projects personal setupnewcomputer > OpenSearch > OpenSearch 1.1: Description

2006 Jan 24, 3:26PermalinkCommentssearch rss html ie internet reference
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