Thursday, June 28, 2007

Making Search Fly: On-The-Fly Custom Search Engines

The Custom Search Engine team at Google recently released CSE On The Fly a truly amazing feature. Incidentally Google Custom Search is the same piece of magic that brought us Accessible Search last year.

So in the spirit of continuing to enhance the Web Command Line in Emacspeak for every smart Web tool that becomes available, I've checked in two new url templates that demonstrate how one can leverage this to be smart and selective about what one reads.

Searching Favorite Feeds
So I read a lot of Blogs, my current Blog Reader is Google Reader via --- you guessed it -- Emacs module GReader (part of the Emacs G-Client package). But I often feel the need to search my favorite feeds. URL-template Reader Subscriptions lets you do this; what's more it's not specific to Google Reader. All you need do is to publish an OPML file listing your favorite feeds and customize Emacs variable emacspeak-url-template-reading-list-opml to point to that location.
Official GoogleBlog Search
Google has a large number of Google-specific Blogs --- I usually read them through this aggregated feed: All GoogleBlog Stream Emacspeak wizard Official GoogleBlog Search builds a CSE from this feed to let you search articles from all of Google's blogs.

Eventually, I'll also add a meta search wizard that lets one construct any CSE on the fly --- with Lisp such meta-programming is a snap!

Later yesterday evening, I checked in a third url-template called On The Fly CSE that prompts for a search term and the URL for the feed of feeds that specifies the content to search.