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Java.net, community, GlassFish, OpenSearch Search Engines, Firefox ...

Posted by km on May 6, 2007 at 6:53 PM PDT

A while ago, I blogged about OpenSearch plugin for Firefox-like browsers. I got interested in it and then the java.net Guru Kohsuke gave me some nice ideas about making it more generic. This post brings about little things that prove that the Web is burgenoning and community is important.

Problem

Well, it is not really a problem. It is an improvement. You have seen the Search Engine integration for the Firefox browser. It simply adds a set of "search engine" in the top-right corner of the browser. In my first blog, I added a customized GlassFish Issue Tracker Engine (and Nitya enhanced it for NetBeans).

But then Kohsuke gave me the idea that Firefox, when contacting a particular site, looks for a particular OpenSearch compliant XML file that corresponds to a particular mime type and automatically adds a menu item in the list of search engines available. This is how it looks.


search-engine-box-java-net-contact.png

image-2: Search Engine: "Add Java.net Issue Tracker" Search Engine Menu Item! (Click to Enlarge)

When you simply click on that menu item, it adds the search engine to your list of search engines and is ready to go!

Then Kohsuke made changes to the templates of various java.net project and the search engine will be added to the list, when you connect to any one of the several key GlassFish-affiliated java.net projects. For example, if you go to http://jaxp.dev.java.net or http://grizzly.dev.java.net, you will see this menu item added!


Click to Enlarge

image-3: An Example Usage (Click to Enlarge)

What this enables is a cross-project issue tracker look-up in an intuitive manner. Suppose you are at http://glassfish.dev.java.net home-page and you want to see how many grizzly bugs are assigned to Jeanfrancois (jfarcand is the java.net ID), then you simply type:

grizzly jfarcand

in the search box and you will see all the bugs assigned to jfarcand for project grizzly. The following queries are supported:

  1. Participating java.net project name (e.g. glassfish, jaxb, jaxp, grizzly, ...) followed by java.net id -- shows the issues assigned to this java.net id.
  2. Participating java.net project name (e.g. glassfish, jaxb, jaxp, grizzly, ...) followed by an issue id (an int) -- shows that issue in detail.
  3. Just the java.net id -- shows GlassFish issues assigned to this java.net id (degenerate case of 1).
  4. Just an issue id -- shows the GlassFish issue with given id in detail (degenerate case of 2).

The real enabler of this is shown in the following picture.

search-enabler.png

image-4: The Real Enabler - HTML Head <link> (Click to Enlarge)

What Kohsuke just did is he changed the theme-engine for a number of java.net projects and that enables this seamless integration.

Let me know if you like it. Use it if yes.

I will check in the source code somewhere on the java.net project and then we can enhance this project ...

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