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Hello Macintosh users, and MozillaBrowser users (on any operating system)!

I've managed to write a Sherlock plugin, and set up a FormattedSearch, that lets you search a TWiki web from the Sherlock search tool (on MacOS) or the MozillaSidebar (which has a built-in search feature using the XML-like Sherlock file format).

The result is that you can search TWiki alone, or with several search engines in parallel, and see the results in the Mozilla sidebar. If the main TWiki search is enhanced with some simple markup (invisible to non-Mac/Mozilla users), it will even populate the sidebar with search results when you search from the main TWiki search page.

To try this out:

  1. Have a look at Sandbox.SidebarSearch (use ?raw=on to see the source), and if necessary install the source of this into a topic of the same name in your local TWiki, perhaps in the Test web.
  2. Download the attached .src file (which defines a Sherlock / Mozilla Search plugin) and install it as described at PhpWiki:PhpWikiSherlockSearch.
  3. Modify this file to point to your local SidebarSearch page (or just leave it pointing to the TWiki test web).
  4. Restart Mozilla if that's what you are using, and make sure the Search sidebar is enabled via Preferences (enable Navigator | Internet Search | Search Results).

Now you can just start searching as normal. You may want to define a search engine category just for TWiki, or perhaps across TWiki and PhpWiki.

This is just a quick hack, and could do with being improved, e.g. to allow searching of different webs without defining a .src file per web, and to support topic name searching perhaps - I know very little about Sherlock plugins, and this is largely borrowed from what PhpWiki has done.

(NOTE: I'm not a Mac user, so this has only been tested on Mozilla - also, please feel free to correct/extend the above.)

-- RichardDonkin - 13 Mar 2002

Yes, it works. It searches the content of the files, or so it seems (maybe the description, though, I don't know). Sadly you have to modify the source to select different Webs, but that can't be changed I think.

Good work.

-- ArneBab - 13 May 2002

Hi, I assume you are a MacOS user? Which version, out of interest?

The plugin just does a normal search of topic contents - it wouldn't be hard to use a different search URL to search on topic names, of course. Also, we might be able to auto-generate the plugin, one per web, since it's just a matter of varying the URL - see the URLPARAM variable.

-- RichardDonkin - 13 May 2002

Richard - I had tried out the Sherlock Twiki search plugin a while back and didn't see much immediate utility in it at the time so didn't think any more about it. Then recently I got interested in sidebars again out of my exploration into MacIESidebar. Based on this , I came back to check out the Sherlock plugin again and I think I can give you some more feedback now.

The main limitation of this approach on the Mac is that it involves switching back and forth between two separate programs (Sherlock and browser). Sherlock doesn't show the results in a sidebar to the browser, but rather it's own search results window. So the upshot is that what I suspect is the main appeal of this plugin from you, displaying the search results in a convenient browser sidebar, doesn't play out that way on a Mac. Furthermore, when you click on one search result, the "more info" window in Sherlock doesn't offer any additional useful information and we don't get the benefit of the SidebarSearch you designed.

While I love the MacOS, I should confess that I've never been all that enamored with using Sherlock to search the web. I've always found it easier and quicker simply to search from within a browser. It seemed to me that the Sherlock search was slower than a regular search of TWiki within my browser.

Now, what I would love to figure out is how to display search results within the "Page Holder" in IE, or better yet, in place of the fairly useless MS search sidebar. I think the sidebars in MacOS versions of IE are pretty much the same concept as the Mozilla sidebar. But that's another topic. I hope this is useful feedback and I appreciate your giving some attention to MacOS. BTW, I'm running the most current version (10.1.4) and I'm pretty sure the src file you created would run in almost any version of Sherlock going waaay back (I think it was introduced in OS 8).

-- LynnwoodBrown - 29 May 2002

Have a look at the JavaScript links I mentioned in MacIESidebar - they actually generate search sidebars in IE under Windows, so you could probably adapt the Sherlock plugin code somewhat to generate a search sidebar instead under IE.

-- RichardDonkin - 29 May 2002

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Unknown file formatsrc TWiki-test.src r2 r1 manage 0.6 K 2002-03-15 - 22:59 RichardDonkin Sherlock / Mozilla searching plugin for TWiki
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Topic revision: r7 - 2002-05-29 - RichardDonkin
 
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