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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!

6 Comments | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: , , , ,


Oracle Bookmarklets, The Easiest Way to Search Documentation and More

In addition to the Oracle documentation Firefox plugin and extension, you now have another easy and quick way to search Oracle documentation and other Oracle and non-Oracle related web sites.

Introducing Oracle Bookmarklets

A bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be stored as a URL within a “bookmark” (or a “favorite”) in your browser. Bookmarklets are simple one-click tools that can add substantial functionality to the browser. Below you will find Oracle specific bookmarklets as well as other useful bookmarklets. They work in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

How to install the bookmarklets

In Firefox:

  1. Make sure your “Bookmarks Toolbar” is visible (ensure View/Toolbars/Bookmarks Toolbar is checked).
  2. Right click on the bookmarklet.
  3. Select “Bookmark This Link…” from the menu.
  4. Select “Bookmarks Toolbar” in the “Create in” drop down list and click “OK”.

Alternatively, you can just drag and drop the bookmarklet on the Bookmarks Toolbar.

In Internet Explorer 6:

  1. Make sure your “Links” toolbar is visible (ensure View/Toolbars/Links is checked).
  2. Right click on the bookmarklet.
  3. Select “Add to Favorites…” from the menu.
  4. If you get a security alert, click on “Yes” to continue.
  5. Select “Links” in the “Create in” drop down list and click “OK”.

In Internet Explorer 7:

I have successfully tested the bookmarklets in Internet Explorer 7 (RC1). The installation is similar to IE6. However, for the bookmarklets to work properly you may need to disable IE7′s built in pop up blocker and tweak the default security settings, otherwise you will have to explicitly allow the bookmarklet script to run everytime you use it.

How to use the bookmarklets

The bookmarklets below can be used in two ways:

  1. If you select (highlight) text on the web page you are browsing and then click on the bookmarklet on your toolbar, the corresponding search for the selected text will be performed and the result displayed in a new window (or tab).

  2. If you do not select (highlight) any text on the web page you are browsing and click on the bookmarklet on your toolbar, you will be asked to type in your search terms and then the corresponding search for the entered text will be performed and the result displayed in a new window (or tab).

Oracle Database Documentation Bookmarklets:

Oracle Resources Bookmarklets:

Other Useful Bookmarklets:

Bonus:

I have created these bookmarklets and used them to research a topic I want to blog about or a work related problem I want to solve. I hope you will find them useful as well.

2 Comments | Filed in Firefox, Oracle | Tags: , , , , ,


maxlength: Firefox vs. IE

I bumped into an issue while testing one of my ColdFusion applications. The issue is how Firefox and IE render HTML. Take the following HTML input tag in test.htm for example:

<input name="field" type="text" value="1234" maxlength="3">

Now, if you view it in Firefox (1.5.0.1) you will only see 123 in the input box. However, if you view it in IE (6.0) you will see 1234. Looks like Firefox truncates the value based on the maxlength attribute, but IE does not.

However, in the example above, both browsers do not allow you to enter a value more than 3 characters in length.

2 Comments | Filed in ColdFusion, Firefox, Tips | Tags: , ,


Testing with IE7

As you may already know, I have been developing applications in Oracle and ColdFusion for a few years now, thus the theme of this blog. When developing quality web applications (using any technology) you have to test your application in as many browsers as you can. Most importantly, IE and Firefox. With IE7 just around the corner, how do you test your application against this Firefox contender without messing up your IE6 installation? Jon Galloway has the trick: Continue reading…

Comments Off | Filed in ColdFusion, Technology | Tags:


IE Thanks Netscape

Netscape has just released an updated version that addresses the issue of XML rendering in IE. Now, that is not the news. The news is that I read this information on the the IEblog. Not only the Microsoft IE people put a link on their blog to download Netscape, but they actually thanked Netscape for fixing the issue!

I’m not that much surprised because the latest version of Netscape is not much of a stand alone browser per se, rather than a wrapper for the IE and Firefox engines. I have actually installed Netscape on my machine just to see how it looks and acts. Well, it acted badly. It crashed several times. So, I uninstalled it. Go Firefox.

Comments Off | Filed in Technology | Tags: ,