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OpenSearch In IE 7 and Firefox 2

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

OpenSearch In IE 7 and Firefox 2

Picture of IrvinI've been playing around with trying to get OpenSearch going for a project of mine. I finally got it to work in IE 7 many hours after I got it to work in Firefox after checking out this MSDN IE 7 blog comment. Whoever game kid is, he/she is a godsend. Microsoft should definately go back and change the xmlns for OpenSearch in all posts regarding it, they would save developers hours of time.

At any rate, at the base level, due to the great flexibility earned by using xml namespaces within the OpenSearch response, whether text/html or application/rss+xml, you can easily aggregate search engine responses, which is exactly what Amazon's A9 search engine is now doing. It is cool. I like it that Mozilla didn't break the OpenSearch standard to add enhancements like suggest, although their JSON response of [“{search phrase}”, [“result 1″,”result 2″,”result 3”]] is indeed a little strange, but it didn't take me too long to figure it out.

OpenSearch is a great idea, and it is implemented decently by most modern browsers. In many cases, it saves a toolbar developer from having to write a toolbar, and in a lot of other ways, it helps in that it can force you to make a dynamic RSS feed, or internal search engine. Another reason it helps is that it can start the push inside companies toward a service oriented architecture. In many cases, this is sorely needed.

The only thing that I still wonder about is how many users truly use the OpenSearch box, and change their search provider? If Amazon hadn't beat me to it, I'd definately write a crawler / aggregator similar to dogpile for the OpenSearch XML descriptors. Another cool feature is that since it supports link rel style linking, it is possible to have a master OpenSearch feed, consisting of many other feeds in a company, helping to organize the internal data structures.

Its simple enough to engage even beginning developers, yet the implications are huge. I wonder how Google let Microsoft and Amazon fly past them on this one, but I guess no matter how smart you or your staff are, you can't think of everything.

Specifically:

The xmlns attribute for your tag should not be xmlns=”http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchdescription/1.1/”, instead it should be xmlns=”http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/”. Again, thanks a ton gamekid, I'd throw you a link if you had left one!