Even though the “Format results into a virtual book” has always been an option for displaying Oracle documentation search results, I have never paid attention to it until Tom Kyte mentioned it in his latest podcast. After trying out this option a couple of times, I noticed that it could easily be converted to a Firefox search plugin. Unlike my other Oracle documentation search plugin, this one is version specific. I have created three search plugins, one for Oracle DB version 8.1.7, one for 9.2 and another for 10.2. The result of the search is directly formatted into a virtual book.
I successfully tested the Oracle documentation search plugins on both Firefox 1.0.7 and 1.5 (Beta). I noticed one difference though, which is not related to how the search plugins work but to where each FF version installs them. the plugin files in FF 1.0 were stored in the FF installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins), whereas in FF 1.5 they were stored in the user’s profile directory (usually C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles...).
Back to the Oracle documentation search. Here are a couple of tips. You can refine your search results by using boolean operators and wildcard characters. Very helpful sometimes. Also note that searches are case insensitive.
Finally, it seems to me that if I use the same search string to search the documentation for versions 8.1.7, 9.2 and 10.2, version 9.2 always produces fewer (virtual book) results than the other two. Consider the following examples:
Do you notice the same thing?