Localized Search in Firefox Search Box

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Project Name

Localized Search in Firefox Search Box

Project Description

Firefox features a search box that can be customized to work with different search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, etc.). Most websites have their own search facilities, but the location of the search box on the page varies considerably. This project creates a mechanism for Firefox to pick up a web site's search mechanism and make it accessible to the user through the Firefox search box so that users have a consistent place to look for site-specific search.

Project Leader

Kerry M. Singh

Project Contributions

Web Site List

  • Please list web sites that have OpenSearch search plugins that can be "Added" to the searchbar's list of search engines. For example, the searchbar's drop-down list's button changes blue in color when Firefox detects a web site with an OpenSearch plugin.

Project Details

Release v.01

This release demonstrates my understanding of how some searchbar features currently work in the Firefox browser. I've created a patch file that outputs a series of dump("DIAGNOSTIC MESSAGE: function name - what the source code is doing") statements to the terminal window while running a debug build of Firefox (i.e. Minefield). Specifically, what functions/methods are called and what is happening in the source code with respect to the searchbar menu when the following events occur:

  • The browser auto-detects a site that has a search plugin available.
  • The user selects the button to display the search engine list when a search plugin is available.
  • The user selects the option to "Add this search engine".
  • The user changes the current search engine by selecting it from the search bar drop-down list (menu).
  • The user moves the position of a search engine using the Search Engine Manager.
  • The user removes an auto-detected search engine from the list of "installed" search engines.

Release Details

Localized Search in Firefox Search Box: Release v.01

Release v.02

The target for this release was to dynamically "Add" a search engine plugin when Firefox loads a web page with an available search plugin, and then propagate the search engine to the top of the searchbar's menu as the current engine. The propagation of a newly added search engine as the current engine in the searchbar's menu was already a behavioral feature of Firefox 3 so there were no changes required for this part of my release target. Determining how to dynamically "Add" an available search engine plugin was challenging to achieve, but in the end, it only required a few modifications to the code in the browser.js file.

Release Details

Localized Search in Firefox Search Box: Release v.02

Release v.03

The target for this release was to build upon Release v.02 by dynamically "Removing" the dynamically "Added" search engine when the user navigates away from the web site offering the search plugin if they do not choose to add the plugin to the installed engines list.

Release Details

Localized Search in Firefox Search Box: Release v.03



Mozilla Cross-Reference

MDC- Mozilla Developer Center

Search Service: Code Design - Automatic Detection

SearchLoad Options :: Firefox Add-ons

Project-Related Bugs

Bug 236587 - Allow bookmark keyword searches from the search bar

Bug 249481 – User-defined searches available not only as bookmark keywords, but also from the Search box

Bug 261124 – Textbox context menu should have "Add to Search Bar..."

Bug 335102 – support search engine renaming

Bug 335448 – Autodetect repeated use of a search field, and ask the user if they want that engine added to the browser search box

Bug 356332 – Select default search engine again after searching with another

Bug 360907 – Search current site with OpenSearch

Bug 374268 – Quicksearch/keyword should be integrated into search engine manager

Bug 384124 – Option to reset search bar engine to default when starting Firefox

Bug 394979 – Search Service is slow on startup (Ts hit)

Bug 408244 – show opensearch plugin availability same as feed availability

Bug 405443 – Making search engine discovery more discoverable

Bug 407922 – Changing the Search plug in order for en-US from alpha to category based

Project News

For up-to-date information about my project, visit my blog: Kerry's Open Source Blog

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