Firefox Helpers for searching Second Life

Earlier, I blogged about a number of Chrome browser extensions users have developed for use with Second Life, and which Daniel Voyager had spotted. As a result of that article, Lance Corrimal pointed-out he had a number of SL-related search helpers for Firefox, which he suggested he could make available on his Dolphin Viewer website.

Well, he did – so true to my word, here’s a look at them.

The helpers are designed to allow a user to use the Firefox search option to use for terms and items using the various Second Life search engines. In all, Lance provides five helpers:

  • JIRA search – locate any JIRA directly from Firefox search (now subject to JIRA access / viewing)
  • Second Life Search – search for anything directly related to Second Life
  • Second Life Marketplace Search – search for an item in the Marketplace
  • Second Life Marketplace Merchant Search – search for a given merchant in the Marketplace
  • Second Life Wiki search – search the SL wiki from Firefox search.

All of the options can be used without you having to be logged-in to Second Life (or the JIRA or the Marketplace or wiki).

Installation

You’ll need to download and install the helpers:

  • Go to the Dolphin viewer website and download the helpers ZIP file (direct download link)
  • Open the ZIP file and drag-and-drop the five .XML files it contain into the Firefox Searchplugins folder. For Windows this is located at either: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\browser\Searchplugins or C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\browser\Searchplugins (depending upon whether you’re running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows)
  • Restart Firefox if you are already running it.

Using the Helpers

The helper options when installed in Firefox
The helper options when installed in Firefox

One the helpers have been installed, they will be available directly from the Firefox search option. Simply click on the search engine selector in the search field to display a drop-down list of your installed search engines / options, and select the required SL helper.

When a helper has been selected, its name will base displayed in the search bar, and you can type-in your search term as you would for any other search engine.

The JIRA Search

  • Typing-in a JIRA number (such as “OPEN-173”) will display that JIRA,  assuming it is publicly viewable. If not, you’ll get the “permissions violation” warning if you do not have the requisite JIRA access permissions
  • Typing-in a descriptive text (e.g. “Music stutters”) will display a list of possible JIRA matches, as with the normal JIRA search.

Second Life Search

Typing in any term using this Helper will cause the normal SL search engine to run and will return results using the search engine’s default page display.

Using the SL search option will return results from the main SL search engine - whether or not you're logged-on to the SL website
Using the SL search option will return results from the main SL search engine – whether or not you’re logged-on to the SL website

Marketplace Searches

The two Marketplace searches work in much the same way as the SL Search option, except they invoke the Marketplace search engine. Using the general Marketplace search allows you to display a Marketplace page displaying all products which match the search string, while the Merchant search will display one or more Merchants  matching the search string, allowing you to click on the required name and view the store.

Wiki Search

The wiki search helper will search the English language version of the SL wiki, returning a list of topics which may match the given search text.

An SL wiki search directly from Firefox's search option
An SL wiki search directly from Firefox’s search option

Feedback

Installation is simple, the helpers all do exactly what they same in their names, and work – as mentioned above – regardless of whether you are logged-in to the SL website or not. As such, for any Firefox user who spends time searching SL, they form a most useful suite off add-ons to Firefox (the 2012 changes to the SL public JIRA notwithstanding). Kudos to Lance for developing them and for making them available for general use!

Related Links

With thanks to Lance Corrimal.

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