[whatwg] SearchBox API

Tony Gentilcore tonyg at chromium.org
Thu Oct 14 16:53:40 PDT 2010

> If this is meant to be vendor-neutral, there needs to be some way for
> arbitrary search engines to advertise support for this feature to
> supporting browsers.  In the experimental Chrome implementation, does
> it just not work if the search engine isn't Google?  If Bing wanted to
> make use of this too, how would they do it?  If advertising support is
> necessary, then OpenSearch seems like the way to do it.

This is a good point that wasn't in the initial API proposal. The page
needs to advertise support for instant. But the decision is more
complicated that simply "provider A supports it and provider B
doesn't." The Google SERP determines on a case-by-case basis whether
instant is supported. For instance, for users with a high RTT time, we
don't advertise instant support because it would be a bad experience.

The simplest way to address this is probably to advertise support via
an agreed upon meta tag. e.g.
<meta name="NavigatorSearchBoxSupport" content="true">

The UA populates the API only if the page advertises support via the
metatag. Otherwise, it works as it does today.

> But I might be misunderstanding something here, since the proposal
> only gave an API, and didn't explain conformance requirements for UAs.
>  So maybe my inferences from the demo video are wrong.

Yes, the API requires a bit of imagination at this point. I'll write
up conformance requirements in more detail, but thought it worthwhile
to get high level feedback and gauge interest first.

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