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See How Easily You Can Search Oracle

Since the introduction of the first Oracle search plugins for Firefox, a few things have changed:

So, what does this have to do with search plugins? Read on and you will know:

  • What’s new in IE7 and Firefox 2 regarding search plugins.
  • You will be introduced to the new Oracle custom search engines powered by Google.
  • And you will be able to install many Oracle search plugins that will help you in your Oracle-related research and learning.

Search plugins in the new Firefox 2 and IE 7

Both Firefox 2 and IE 7 browsers now support the OpenSearch description format (XML) for search plugins. Which means that if you develop a search plugin for Firefox, that exact same search plugin can also be installed and used in Internet Explorer.

Moreover, there are now two (automated) ways to install search plugins (and they both work in Firefox 2 and IE 7). The first is to call one simple JavaScript function, the second is through auto-discovery of search plugins.

Using auto-discovery, a web site that offers a search plugin can advertise it so that Firefox 2 and IE 7 users can easily download and install the plugin. This is similar to the RSS auto-discovery of feeds.

Search Plugin Installation in IE 7 Using Auto-Discovery

In IE 7, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:

iesb.png

And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:

iesb-ad.png

If you click on that small orange down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:

iesb-ad2.png

In fact, if you are using IE 7 to browse this very page, you will be able to see it in action in your browser right now. Just look at your search bar.

Note: I have noticed that IE 7 does not discover more than 3 search plugins using auto-discovery.

Search Plugin Installation in IE 7 Using a JavaScript Link

Alternatively, if the installation is done using the JavaScript link, you will be presented with this window in IE 7:

iesb-ad3.png

Search Plugin Installation in Firefox 2 Using Auto-Discovery

In Firefox 2, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:

ffsb.png

And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:

ffsb-ad.png

If you click on that small blue-ish down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:

ffsb-ad2.png

In fact, if you are using Firefox 2.0 to browse this very page (or Wikipedia for example), you will be able to see it in action in your browser. Just look at your search bar.

Search Plugin Installation in Firefox 2 Using a JavaScript Link

Alternatively, if the installation is done using the JavaScript link, you will be presented with this window in Firefox 2.0:

ffsb-ad3.png

Oracle Custom Search Engines

I have created three Oracle custom search engines powered by Google.

  1. The first search engine is for Oracle-related blogs. It searches all the blogs aggregated by OraNA.

  2. The second search engine is for Oracle-related forums and mailing lists. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:

    Let me know if you have other Oracle-related forums you want to include in this search engine.

  3. The third search engine is for Oracle-related websites. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:

    Let me know if you have other Oracle-related sites you want to include in this search engine.

These search engines, and more, are now available to you right from your browser’s search bar.

Install Oracle search plugins

Just click on a search plugin below to add it to the list of engines available in your browser’s search bar:
(Firefox 2 or IE 7 and above only)

Oracle Custom Search Engines:

Oracle Documentation Search Engines:

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are four search bar keyboard shortcuts that will make using the search bar even faster:

  • Go to search bar: Ctrl+K in Firefox. Ctrl+E in IE.
  • Select next search engine in search bar: Alt+Down in Firefox. Ctrl+Down in IE.
  • Select previous search engine in search bar: Alt+Up in Firefox. Ctrl+Up in IE.
  • Open search results in a new tab: Alt+Enter

And here is a bonus tip to change the width of the search bar in Firefox.

Happy searching!


Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins on 21 Nov 06 | Tags: , , , ,


Reader's Comments

  1. |

    Oracle have launched their own toolbar for searching “DBA resources on OTN”:

    http://www.oracle.com/technology/toolbar/install/index.html

    But as it only supports IE (at the moment) I haven’t installed it.

    Cheers, APC

  2. |

    I use Firefox for my daily browsing, nevertheless, I installed the IE-only Oracle toolbar out of curiosity.

    Basically, it has three main functions:

    1. It adds a search box to search Oracle-only sites using search.oracle.com
    2. It adds shortcuts to a few Oracle-only places like OTN, Metalink and downloads.
    3. It adds a small rotating headlines box for Oracle-only RSS feeds.

    I guess some people may find it useful, others may find it too limiting.

  3. |

    That’s all great, but there’s a much easier way to get information than searching documentation. Just ask Tim Hall your questions directly without checking the docs. He loves that! :)

  4. |

    thanks again Eddie!

  5. |

    Am I too stupid to figure out how to add your custom searches to Firefox 2? The icon is the same and there is no java-script link.

  6. |

    Alex, assuming that you have Firefox 2 and JavaScript enabled, you should be able to just click on any link under Install Oracle search plugins heading in the post above to install the corresponding search plugin.

    Once installed, you will be able to select it from the list of search engines in the search bar (usually at the top right corner of your browser window – Ctrl+K to go there).

    An alternative approach that I did not mention in the post, is to actually manually save the search plugin XML file (http://awads.net/misc/searchplugins/OraBlogs.xml for example) to your “searchplugins” folder in your Firefox profile folder, and then restart Firefox.