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June 1, 2006

search discovery in Firefox 2.0

Tags: — 9:42 am Comments (10)

If you’re using Bon Echo Alpha 3, you’ll notice that when you visit Technorati, the search engine icon changes color. If you select the drop down from the search bar, you’ll also get “Add Technorati Search” as an option.

Here’s what needs to be embedded in the head of your page:

link rel=“search” type=“application/opensearchdescription+xml” title=“Foo” href=


link rel=“search” type=“application/opensearchdescription+xml” title=“Technorati Search” href=

Then you need to create a similar document:

I’d advise companies to have an “add search engine to browser” link/image as well using JavaScript as described here or here.

If you’re a search engine, get going on this. I’ve only seen this work on Technorati (works on too apparently) though I imagine I’ll see this incorporated with most sites — don’t need to be a search company to make this work.

Very well done. I’m assuming this is Gavin’s work. Nice!

**Updated w/ more documentation links.


  1. Definitely cool that Technorati has added support for this already. I can’t take credit for the autodetection code in Firefox though, it’s all Pam Greene’s work. She implemented it in bug 335443.

    Comment by Gavin Sharp — June 1, 2006 @ 11:08 am

  2. Actually, uses this as well, for Windows Live Search. And it works in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 as well.

    Comment by Neil T. — June 1, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

  3. this works with windows live search, too ;)

    not just technorati :)

    Comment by Sebastian Moser — June 1, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  4. This is awesome that Firefox is supporting Open Search Discovery. I actually coded that up on the Technorati site this past March at the urging of Microsoft’s Joshua Allen since the IE7b2 released at the Mix06 event supported Open Search Discovery.

    It’s nice to see that supporting an open standard “just worked” with a new implementation. Gotta love it.

    Comment by Tantek — June 1, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

  5. That UI is rubbish – clicking the part of it that changes colour just opens the default search engine’s front page.

    Comment by Greg K Nicholson — June 2, 2006 @ 1:57 am

  6. Is anyone smart enought to understand why Fx is not able to download the search plug in on my web page? ? It only gives me an error message. Do I need to set some mime type or something on the server?

    – ØØ –

    Comment by Øyvind — June 2, 2006 @ 5:42 am

  7. Øyvind: that plugin description file doesn’t include the proper OpenSearch namespace. See view-source: for an example plugin that has the correct namespace set on the root element.

    Comment by Gavin Sharp — June 2, 2006 @ 10:38 am

  8. OMG, how could I not see that. I must have been totaly blind today. Feel OK stupid right now. Well thanks a lot for your help. Works like a dream now.

    – ØØ –

    Comment by Øyvind Ø — June 2, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

  9. […] Can you tell I don’t know what to do w/ myself yet? […]

    Pingback by » bored… — June 3, 2006 @ 9:33 am

  10. […] More information on Open Search Discovery is available at […]

    Pingback by Web 2.0 Blog Network » Cool Firefox 2.0 feature prompts you to add search engines — October 19, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

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