Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


You may have heard about OpenSearch – it’s a standard developed by Amazon for discovering search engines and producing machine-readable results from them. The next generation of web browsers – Internet Explorer 7.0 and Firefox 2.0 – will both offer support for OpenSearch so I thought I’d write a quick entry on it.
OpenSearch will make it much easier for users to add a search engine to their web browser. Currently it’s done using Sherlock plugins in Firefox, available from sites like MyCroft, but it’s not that easy in Internet Explorer. With OpenSearch, both browsers will have very similar methods for adding new search engines.
If you have a beta of IE7 or an alpha of Bon Echo (Firefox 2) then visit Microsoft’s site Windows Live. In IE7, the arrow next to the looking glass in the top-right of the window will turn orange; in Firefox, the looking glass itself will turn red (it’s not an obvious change but I don’t think the theme in Bon Echo Alpha 3 is the final one). Clicking on it will show you the existing search engines that you have installed, as well as giving you the option to install the Windows Live Search engine. Web pages will also be able to use JavaScript to ask you if you would like to add a search engine, which is the way that Sherlock plugins work in Firefox at the moment.

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