Here’s some of what’s new:
- OpenSearch 1.1 Draft 2
- The first draft went up in September – hopefully the second draft will become final within a few weeks. A9.com already supports it. The biggest change since the first draft? A fourth component to the specification: OpenSearch Query which allows you to reference a query. It may not sound like a big deal, but I think it is. Right now you can use it to provide spelling suggestions, related searches, etc. to A9. While not yet supported by A9, it allows for any of search parameters to be used – so it can establish a dialog between an opensearch producer and consumer using extended search parameters, even if the consumer doesn’t know anything about them. Another change is the addition of autodiscovery – imagine doing that with search tools!
- Improved documentation and developer resources
- New and/or improved: General FAQ, Developer FAQ, Developer How-to, specification changelog, guide to upgrading from 1.0 to 1.1, an index of elements and attributes, general tips. There are also listings of tools/software for producing and consuming OpenSearch feeds. This includes an OpenSearch-to-XHTML stylesheet (XSLT – very comprehensive), a converter for any XML into OpenSearch, and a converter from Sherlock plugins (used in Firefox).
- Mailing List
- OpenSearch isn’t called “open” for no reason. And to further that cause there is now a mailing list for discussing the specification, software for reading and writing it, etc.
That’s the gist of it. Although it isn’t yet, I think OpenSearch is very much on the road to become ubiquitous, just as RSS/Atom is becoming so. The support by Internet Explorer 7 gives that a huge push.
It’s amazing that I’ve been given the opportunity to put so much work into an open format, that benefits the entire industry, not just A9.com. You can be sure I’ll be saying more about OpenSearch in the future – if not in this blog, then on the mailing list, on other blogs, etc.