01080: Add default OpenSearch & Universal Edit Button support to PmWiki

Summary: Add default OpenSearch & Universal Edit Button support to PmWiki
Created: 2009-03-10 10:46
Status: Open
Category: CoreCandidate
Priority: 54

OpenSearch is a way to syndicate and aggregate search results. Its most prominent parts are the possibility for autodiscovery (in Firefox, the dropdown arrow in the search box glows blue to indicate that the site may be added to the search bar) and the standardised autosuggestion format (eg. as seen when searching Google using the Firefox search box).

Universal Edit Button is a specially formatted <link> in a page's <head> to edit the current page. So far, it's only made visible by a Firefox extension but is quite widely available, eg. enabled by default at least in MediaWiki and TWiki.

Cookbook recipes already exist to enable these (Cookbook.OpenSearch and Cookbook.UniversalEditButton), but shouldn't these rather be in the core? Both of these are rather non-intrusive, adding a single <link> to the page header, but still enable decent functionality where available. Admittedly OpenSearch does require a little more work to generate the description document and the autosuggestion results, but these are only activated on request.

My reason to suggest the inclusion of these in the core is the combination of their relative obscurity and unintrusiveness, along with the network effect that comes from using them. I also don't see any downside to including these in the core. If the user's end client doesn't support the technologies they're silently ignored, and if they are supported, they are presented very discreetly as part of the browser chrome.

For full disclosure, I ought to mention that I wrote the OpenSearch recipe and added an alternative implementation to UniversalEditButton.

I have the feeling that many (most?) of the sites that use PmWiki aren't open for editing and even for searching, and they don't even look like wikis. I believe those webmasters use PmWiki because it allows easy and very quick content creation/update and has excellent possibilities for customization. Open communities mostly use MediaWiki.

If many existing wikis don't need these two functions, if added to core, they will be disabled. But in that case, it would not be difficult for a webmaster who needs them, to get them from the cookbook. We could probably advertise them better (dedicated cookbook category, links from the Documentation, etc.) They could also be added in the future Community-supported bundle that was discussed a while ago. --Petko August 21, 2009, at 08:01 PM