IE8 accelerators

Posted: October 5, 2008 in Computer and Internet


So IE8 has been out for awhile up to beta 2. Working quite nicely, still a bit sluggish at times, but at other times on par with for instance opera. I am happy to see that more and more pages render properly in the default mode in IE8 (which is standard sort of compliant). This will be a great benefit to all web page contributors out there that IE finally follows standards.

Anyhow I thought I would spread the word about accelerator in IE8, they are pretty cool and their use seems unlimited. It is an “open” standard such as that the XSD definition is open and IE8 allows you to plug in custom accelerators easily. It is all very simple, all you have to do is fill out the OpenService Accelerator Schema, more information can be found here Accelerators Development Guide.

I decided to put this to use as I have always wanted a quick way to search our internal wiki for keywords

   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
   2: <os:openServiceDescription
   3:     xmlns:os="">
   4:     <os:homepageUrl>http://merlin:8080/</os:homepageUrl>
   5:     <os:display>
   6:         <os:name>Search Consat Wiki</os:name>
   7:         <os:description>Search the Consat Confluence Wiki.</os:description>
   8:     </os:display>
   9:     <os:activity category="Consat">
  10:         <os:activityAction context="selection">
  11:           <os:preview action="http://merlin:8080/confluence/dosearchsite.action?where=conf_all&amp;queryString={selection}" />
  12:           <os:execute method="get"
  13:             action="http://merlin:8080/confluence/dosearchsite.action?where=conf_all&amp;queryString={selection}" />
  14:         </os:activityAction>
  15:     </os:activity>
  16: </os:openServiceDescription>

The only problem I had was that my IE8 just didn’t want to have anything to do with a & in the “action”, so beware you need to encode it as &amp;, perhaps obvious, but the error message I had was not obvious to me at the moment it happened.

Then all you have to do is host this XML file somewhere and give the user a possibility to install it easily, like so:

   1: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
   2: <html>
   3:     <head>
   4:         <title>Confluence IE8 Accelerator</title>
   5:         <script>
   6:             window.onload = function() {
   7:                 if (window.external.IsServiceInstalled('http://merlin/apps/wikisearch/confluence_accelerator.xml','Consat')) {
   8:                     document.getElementById('myButton').disabled = true;
   9:                 }
  10:             }
  11:     </script>
  12:     </head>
  13:     <body>
  14:        <button id="myButton" onclick="window.external.AddService('http://merlin/apps/wikisearch/confluence_accelerator.xml')">
  15:           Add IE8 Confluence accelerator
  16:        </button>
  17:     </body>
  18: </html>

You can now easily search for Göteborgs bussar


Now I just have to figure out how to get confluence to send back a better formatted preview page!

Amazingly easy and very cool


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