Self Service Science Search

LogoFor quite a few years I have been contributing to the ABC Science forums, particularly the ABC Self Service Science forum. Over the years the forums have accumulated quite a few answers to questions on topics from quantum physics to belly-button fluff, but finding them can be a problem without an internal search facility. A limited Google search is often the best bet but leaving the forum to go to Google is annoying. This post describes one option to help the situation.

Logo As a Firefox user I have the Greasemonkey add-on at my disposal. Greasemonkey can selectively modify web pages on-the-fly to do almost anything to the content like:

  • Remove or hide parts of the page
  • Add bits to the pages
  • Insert code to periodically reload a page that normally wouldn't.
  • Convert URLs embedded as plain text to real hyperlinks (another good one for the forum)
  • It can even incorporate parts of other pages or sites

What I ended up with is a Greasemonkey script that inserts a site-targeted Google search box into the forum's tool bar. The result is shown below:
SSSF Google Search
The inserted search box should fit comfortably on any screen of 1024 or more horizontal pixels. Search results are targeted to the ABC science forums and end up in the forum's main frame to avoid taking the user away from the forum. As a bonus the search box also appears on the TechTalk tool bar.

If you are interested in trying it out then:

  1. Ensure the latest version of Greasemonkey is installed.
  2. Click this link to install my script.
  3. Tell me how much you like it :)