Last modified: 2012-12-19 14:14:34 UTC

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Bug 10500 - Create dropdown box to use external search engines on Special:Search
Create dropdown box to use external search engines on Special:Search
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Search (Other open bugs)
All All
: Lowest enhancement with 2 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
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Reported: 2007-07-08 12:52 UTC by Rémi Kaupp
Modified: 2012-12-19 14:14 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Rémi Kaupp 2007-07-08 12:52:34 UTC
On [[Special:Search]] as well as [[:fr:Special:Search]], a drop-down box has been added which allows the user to select which search engine to use before clicking on "search". This is done via some JavaScript code in [[MediaWiki:Common.js]].

It would be better to implement it directly in MediaWiki as it wouldn't prevent users without JavaScript from seeing it. Fields could be localised via a system messages (label, URL...).
Comment 1 Rob Church 2007-07-10 11:41:15 UTC
Special:Search is for users wishing to use the wiki's search service, whatever that is (e.g. built-in or Lucene, or other pluggable search engines). Users who wish to use an external search service, e.g. Google, should just...use it.
Comment 2 Rémi Kaupp 2007-07-10 11:52:45 UTC
(In reply to comment #1)
> [...] should just...use it.

Indeed, but this isn't such an easy task for newbies. After all, there is already [[Special:Booksources]] to provide external searches for books.

How about some new special page, [[Special:Externalsearch]] ?
Comment 3 Rob Church 2007-07-10 11:57:34 UTC
Users new to wikis are not necessarily likely to be unable to search the web, however.
Comment 4 Rémi Kaupp 2007-07-10 12:04:17 UTC
True, but adding the parameter "" is not intuitive, and the syntax is different on other search engines. Which drawbacks would such a special page have ?
Comment 5 dake 2007-07-10 18:49:58 UTC
The books page or the search engines are more or less the same, people could use an external search service to find a book, they could use Google or well-known sites such as Amazon. If the problem is related to some kind of "sponsoring" avoidance, well I'd say Wikimedia shouldn't be indirectly "sponsoring" Amazon as well. The "Special:Booksources" could be potentially seen as a more "commercial" portal than the search page. But don't get me wrong, the Special:Booksources is a nice page and I find it very useful. An enhanced search page is logical for the sake of completeness.
Comment 6 Rob Church 2007-07-10 18:56:25 UTC
Of course, Special:Booksources can also be extended to provide information on the item corresponding to the ISBN itself, among other things, so it's not as useless, and it's often helpful to have more direct, tailored search links for books.

If someone has a distinct preference for locating things on the web using a specific provider, then they'll just use it. From a pragmatic point of view, if you want to provide this extra to people visiting your wiki using a bit of JavaScript, then you can, and I believe that to be sufficient, since it's likely people not using JavaScript will be savvy enough to know which search service they want to use.
Comment 7 Rob Church 2007-07-10 19:02:42 UTC
Another point, of course, is that we might prefer to make some kind of deal at the corporate level before adding this sort of thing...
Comment 8 Brion Vibber 2007-07-10 19:05:09 UTC
While it might be neat to have the ability, I don't think we can explicitly support this on the site until there's a foundation-level decision about support for third-party commercial search services through that interface.

(The book services thing predates the existence of the foundation and has been hashed out many times over the years.)
Comment 9 Rémi Kaupp 2007-07-10 19:13:42 UTC
I understand your points, yet some sort of external search hack is already implemented on most main Wikimedia wikis, often with big logos such as on [[:es:Special:Search]]. Having a drop-down menu would avoid this "advertisement" effect.

Also, the selected search engines could be left up to the community, like on Special:Booksources which is customised by a MediaWiki message (I think). By default, no search engine would be activated, and each community adds its own.
Comment 10 Andre Klapper 2012-12-19 14:14:34 UTC
No idea where <div id="searchengineChoices"> comes from on some wikis, but I'm highly against adding a dropdown box to make the user interface more cluttered.
Also see comment 1.

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