Of late I have been tinkering with Mycroft, which is the search bar widget used by Firefox and the Mozilla / Netscape suites. I have discovered a couple of cool things that I’d like to share with you.
First up, you can delete unwanted search plugins. There’s no GUI for this, but it’s very easy.
And next, you can make your own plugins using a simple SGML markup derived from Apple Sherlock. The documentation for this is here. It looks a bit intimidating but it’s actually no more difficult than writing HTML (and there’s a great validator tool at Mindzilla). If you want to support people using a Moz or Netscape suite, or Firefox with the Search Sidebar extension, you’ll need to read up on the Mycroft sidebar documentation.
The great thing about rolling your own plugin is you can set the search defaults. For example, I like to shop for DJ records at the Juno Records website. Since I mainly buy drum n bass, I have written a plugin that restricts its search to the drum n bass section (as well as a genre agnostic search that I hope Mozilla will one day get around to uploading).
To install them, find you browser search plugin directory (on Firefox for Win32, it’s Program Files/Mozilla Firefox/searchplugins) and unzip the supplied archive into it. Feel free to play around with the code while you’re at it; it’s all plain text, and the <input> name attributes correspond to the target search engine’s <input> elements.
Update: Here’s one for the Chemical Records d n b section.
Update: Some enterprising soul has written a delete GUI for Mycroft plugins.