Opensearch in Firefox 2 and IE7

We recently rolled out the Google Search Appliance at work, replacing the ageing (and dreadful) htdig (wikipedia link since the website appears to be down).

I’d previously put together a Firefox search plugin for htdig, but it wasn’t very good because the htdig search gave poor results and took ages to deliver them. Since we rolled out the GSA, I went to update the search plugin and found to my delight that Firefox 2 now uses OpenSearch for defining search plugins. So, ten minutes later and I had a working plugin, which was great. A week later, when IE7 RC1 came out I realised that IE has supported OpenSearch plugins for months, so I pointed it at my plugin, only to find that it didn’t work.

It turns out that IE doesn’t appear to support the nested Param element, although I freely admit that I haven’t checked the OpenSearch 1.1 specs to see if something changed from 1.0 (although a first pass of draft 3 doesn’t seem to include the Param element – I suppose the Firefox docs on the topic could just be out of date).

To install the plugin, go to the University’s GSA tools page To see the working plugin XML looks like this, the Firefox2-only XML looks like this

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