[uf-discuss] Mobile browser with support for microformats

Aleksander Kmetec aleksander.kmetec at gmail.com
Thu Jan 15 20:42:04 PST 2009


sorry about the delay... it took me a couple of days to realize you also posted here, not just on my blog.

Mr. Meitar Moscovitz wrote:
> I'm curious, do you describe or document the microformat that Mosembro 
> uses to provide its "consistent site-wide search" functionality 
> anywhere? 

There's no official description of this microformat anywhere - it doesn't exist outside of the demo.

The code which detects it looks for 3 things:
- a form element with "site-search" in its class attribute
- an input element which is located inside that form and has "site-search-query" in its class attribute
- any element which is located inside that form and has "site-search-description" in its class attribute
(The first two elements are required, but the third one is optional, since it's only used to specify the search dialog's 
title bar text.)

> Mosembro's sources. I also tried to locate the address of the "Mosembro 
> Demo Page" to see if I could view the source, but alas, I'm not seeing 
> an option or that.

It's hiding here: http://lexandera.com/mosembrodemo/

> Moreover, the idea of extracting a consistent search interface (perhaps 
> with a standardized microformat) is appealing to me since many sites 
> provide their own search forms but their locations and visual appearance 
> varies wildly from site to site

Yeah, finding the search form can be a real problem, even though it's always located in the top right corner. Except 
when it's in the left sidebar. Or in the center, just below the header graphic. Or at the bottom of the right sidebar. 
Or hidden behind a link... And when you finally find it, it throws a "<search term> is not a valid email address" error 
back at you, because you what you just typed into is actually a mailing list subscription form, not a search form.

> redesigns). On a mobile interface, it is often a nuisance to try and 
> find the search functionality for each site. Therefore, a consistent UI 
> presented by the user agent itself is preferable, as long as it can plug 
> the entered text from the UI to the web site's own search field (which I 
> am assuming is the point of what you describe possible in Mosembro, yes?).

Yes, that's the point: presenting the user with a consistent search UI, which can always be found at the same place. :)

Except the current implementation skips the "plug the entered text from the UI to the web site's own search field" part 
and submits the query directly to the site's search engine (location of which is specified by the search form's "action" 
parameter), bypassing the original search form.

> Has there been discussion about a search microformat for functionality 
> such as described above before? If so, is someone able (and willing) to 
> point me in that direction so I can read up?

No discussion that I would know of. But it certainly looks like we're moving towards one. I'll try to put together a 
basic proposal for the search microformat over the weekend; but I certainly won't mind if you beat me to it. :)


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