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Our Brand: How to Convey It.

Tabbed search status

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Since we've been asked about the status of the tabbed search results implementation, here's an update.

At this point, we have the basic code designed, but not implemented, and some mockups that need touching up. The code will be strictly PHP4, for better alignment with central, shared hosting solutions, such as OIA's shared hosting and Internet Services' web hotel. The code breaks down into several parts and is based heavily on Cornell's search results scripts (which don't seem to be available on the web anymore).

Rendering. The rendering layer renders the tabs and content items with the tabs. A standard format for output is provided but, additional code can be added by units to render differently, e.g., if the results for one tab come from a database with additional fields that would be useful to display in the results. The results will rendered in semantic HTML and progressive enhancement used to pretty up their display (jQuery).

Pagination. We are still looking at the best way to paginate results within tabs. While an AJAX solution is possible, this wouldn't degrade well and we do need to account for users with JavaScript disabled, so we're looking at options with progressive enhancement in mind.

Results. The search functionality populates results objects, which are standardized for key fields but may include other fields. Title, description and URL will be key.

Search. While we're focusing on the Google Search Appliance as the primary search engine, our intent is to allow easy integration of additional search engines and databases. Search executes the search but, result sets may come from a different data source, and code needs to be written to query those data sources. A standard set of code for use against the U's Google Search Appliance (GSA) will be included and can be configured to obtain results from other sources, contingent on those sources taking input parameters in a manner similar to the GSA, and providing output that is substantially similar (if not identical) to that provided by the GSA.

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