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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tech: Autodiscoverable Search Plugins For MiLB.com, Baseball Cube

Rather than getting out the latest minor league post earlier in the day, I spent most of my time running errands and working on figuring out how to make the new OpenSearch specs work for Firefox. Firefox used to use the Sherlock interface — used by most plugins previously — but this had the disadvantages of being SGML rather than XML, and requiring the use of specialized JavaScript to handle the installation.

I've created search plugins for MiLB.com and The Baseball Cube that use the new OpenSearch structure. The one for MiLB.com should be compatible with recent versions of Internet Explorer, which now support it. Thanks to a recent change at the Cube, only POST queries are allowed, which at the moment are unsupported by IE.

Those of you using Firefox 2.0 and up can simply use the autodiscover feature from the home page right here. Just click on the search icon on the upper right of your Firefox browser (which looks like this):

All you have to do is click on the "Add 'MiLB.com'" to add a link for MiLB.com's player search. (Really, it's only the last name of the player search.)

For reference, there's also a wealth of sports-related search plugins for both Firefox and IE here. Enjoy.

Update 8/6: Thanks for the link back from THT by Matthew Carruth.

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The BaseballCube one works, but MiLB.com doesn't, it says it can't download some .XML file....
Ah, fixed, I got the XML tags wrong (was using a transmogrified version of the one that Firefox had built internally, which won't work if you're developing a real OpenSearch XML feed).

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