Windows 10: Creating my own search interface?

  1. Posts : 11
    Various, including W7, W10, 2008R2, Linux, Android, OS X...
       16 Mar 2015 #1

    Creating my own search interface?

    I'm one of the many that is still using Win7 on my primary machine for continued support/access to only a couple apps. One of those apps is DQSD (, and I don't think I could function without it. Due to the way DQSD is designed (it has a dependence on IE ActiveX objects that are no longer available as of IE 11 and thus will never work in Win10), I have to find an alternative to DQSD.

    The Windows Search widget in the taskbar in Win10 appears to operate with some modularity that might be able to replicate the functionality of DQSD. I'd like to be able to write search modules for it.

    Searching the web for related terms is leading nowhere -- well, not nowhere really, just to browser toolbars instead of creating my own Win10 search functionality/modules.

    Can anyone provide links or guidance to how I might create my own search integration modules?
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  3. Dude's Avatar
    Posts : 12,226
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       17 Mar 2015 #3

    Will have to give this a try
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  4. Posts : 11
    Various, including W7, W10, 2008R2, Linux, Android, OS X...
    Thread Starter
       17 Mar 2015 #4

    Thank you, Slartybart. It's a start and appears to emulate at least a few of my needs, but it's not remotely as capable as what the new Windows Search is capable of -- and Federated Search/OpenSearch won't come close to emulating what DQSD can do.

    I should provide a few examples, I think. On my Win7 desktop I can use WIN+S to set focus on DQSD, so it's only a key-press away at any moment. From there it's essentially the same as having a command line interface. You can just type a search term and that will be queried in your preferred browser (opening it or adding a tab, as necessary).

    You can also prefix a search with a specific search slug -- such as "gg" for Google and "bb" for Bing. I don't see a way through OpenSearch/Federated Search to declare any form of search slug to query a specific search provider. The only visible way to do so would be to use the "Favorites" tree where the OSDX definition was added. This method would require at least a half dozen more keys/clicks to get to.

    But that's not where OSDX really fails for what I'm after. You see, DQSD provides the ability to code your own "search" in ways that return text directly or perform scripted actions, such as opening a specific command line (like a shortcut) or adding query markers and flags to a URL or CLI, or simply performing magic with whatever is on the clipboard.

    There are over 400 "searches" included in the DQSD release (browse them here), and many rely on client-side scripting to effect their goals. They're easy enough to code up in a few minutes for something new, or to modify one should you want simple changes. You can add or remove search capabilities by dropping XML files into the 'searches' folder. You can store preferences/metadata in external files so it can be referenced by searches -- stuff like usernames, passwords, your address, name and so on.

    Several I use every day are for logging into PayPal ("pp"), Google ("gg skh") or Yahoo ("yy"), converting the text on the clipboard to lowercase ("cc l") or title case ("cc t"), measuring the character length of the clipboard ("cc n"), generating a new GUID ("guidgen") and so on. And thenI also use them for web shortcuts, such as navigating to specific areas of my own sites (db management ("ra /db"), control panels ("ra /plesk"), stats ("ra /stats"), domain ordering ("ra /d") and so on), as well as to interact with shortlink services that allow me to quickly navigate to sites I use often or download the most current versions of various software ("spc wp" to download the current version of wordpress, for example).

    The way DQSD integrates with IE allows you to perform multipost operations, too, such as an initial request to a site to obtain a precursor info such as a submit/post key or hash, then perform the second operation that opens the browser and actually submits the data to login or search the deep pages. While the "search" files are just XML, you can write your code behind the searches in HTML, VBS, JS, Perl or whatever language you're comfortable as long as it's available on the machine.

    While I can create a site that has each of the non-sensitive searches I use embedded in it for processing through any OS or device, what I really need is the ability to quickly get from A to B with as little interference as possible. "WIN+S, ra/db" is undefeated. You can get to the search box in Win10 with just pressing WIN, but once you're there it wants to perform the extended search instead. I can run apps that way. In fact, I've written a few batch and VBS files to effect similar capabilities as DQSD -- but this seems silly, and parameter parsing is very hit and miss.
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  5. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       18 Mar 2015 #5

    Ok, how about another tact ...

    shawnkhall: Due to the way DQSD is designed (it has a dependence on IE ActiveX objects that are no longer available as of IE 11 and thus will never work in Win10)
    What are the ActiveX dependencies for DQSD? IE 11 also runs on Win7 & Win8, so it's not a Win10 issue.

    What version of IE supports those ActiveX objects? Why not just run that version of IE on Win10?

    You seem fairly savvy, have you tried running DQSD in compatibility mode (after resolving the Activex 'issue')?
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  6. Posts : 11
    Various, including W7, W10, 2008R2, Linux, Android, OS X...
    Thread Starter
       18 Mar 2015 #6

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    DQSD requires IE10 or earlier, so it's not possible to run it on Win10. Compatibility mode doesn't work since it is implemented as a windows deskbar, which means it can't be executed outside of the win shell/explorer context, even if it could work with IE11.

    It's not just a Win10 problem either -- since IE11 is supported on Windows 7 and as of next January MS will only support the "most recent" version of Internet Explorer on all supported versions of Windows. Thus, since I'm being forced to abandon IE10, and as a result DQSD, I may as well switch to Win10. I love Win10 anyway -- it's got some fantastic stuff in it -- but I really don't know how I'll function without DQSD.
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  7. Slartybart's Avatar
    Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       18 Mar 2015 #7

    Ok, so why not run IE 10 and forget the compatibility stuff?

    The issue then becomes managing IE updates, this might not be too difficult since MS is moving to Spartan.

    IE 10 will continue to work even if MS doesn't officially support it. I'm not sure how tis all works out, since I don't, or plan to, use DQSD. I also asked about which ActiveX objects, which seemed to get lost in the IE 10 answer.

    I found this, if you're interested in either 'patching' IE 11, or writing your own controls. You need to register with the Open Group to view it.
    Documentation for ActiveX Core Technology

    I won't be much help bcz it's been a very long time (30+ years) since I've coded anything requiring attention to detail.
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