Senseis Search Plugin For Firefox

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This article tells you how to add a search plugin to Firefox to make it easy to search Sensei’s Library.

Table of contents

Plugins at the Mycroft Project

The Mycroft Project is a collection of search plugins that work in most browsers, including Firefox (and other Mozilla-based browsers), Chrome and MS Internet Explorer. As of 2019-01-29 it had two search plugins for this site with pretty much the same functionality.

To install a search engine for Sensei’s Library:

  1. Search Mycroft for a plugin for this site: [ext]
  2. Choose one of the plugins:
  3. Click on the name.
  4. If you see a message saying that you need to install (or enable) Javascript, the problem may actually be that you need to allow pop-up windows for Mycroft; do that as follows (instructions for Firefox, checked in version 65):
    1. Click on the “Information” icon (  ℹ⃝  ) in the address field (while browsing any page at [ext]
    2. Click on the “>” after “Connection”.
    3. Click “More Information” at the bottom of the panel.
    4. Click on “Permissions” at the top of the “Page Info” window that opens.
    5. Find “Open Pop-up Windows” and make sure that “Allow” is selected; if “Use Default” and “Block” selected, click on “Use Default” and then “Allow”.
    6. Close the “Page Info” window (unless you particularly want it open).
    7. Repeat the preceding steps.
  5. You should now be able to type in the search box and click on the Sensei’s icon to search.
  6. You can also manage Sensei’s search along with the other search engines in the usual way (see [ext] Firefox support)

Add a keyword search

Alternatively you may use the Keyword feature in Mozilla's browsers to add search features to the location bar. This solution gives a quick way to search Sensei's without using screen real-estate or requiring you to switch search engines between searches. (Nor installing potentially dangerous extensions from non-mozilla sites, though this one is probably safe)

Go to any Sensei's page and bookmark it under f.ex the "Quick Search" folder. Edit the bookmark by left-clicking it in the menu and change the following fields:

Now any input to the location bar that starts with "sen " will automatically go to the bookmarked URL with "%s" replaced with the term following "sen ". This allows you quick access to terms and pages at sites like Wikipedia, Senseis's and Urban Dictionary.

See [ext] for more information.

Write your own plugin

As an alternative to the alternative you can write a Firefox search plugin that uses google for your ends (although the accuracy of this is dependent on how well the site is indexed).

Something like this.

  1. Go to your Firefox profile directory (~/.mozilla/firefox/<random-string>/ on Unix boxes, (anyone got a clue for Windows machines, not got one handy)).
  2. Find the searchplugins subdirectory ~/.mozilla/firefox/<random-string>/searchplugins/
  3. Edit a new file called 'senseis.xml' and write something like this in it:
 <SearchPlugin xmlns="" xmlns:os="">
   <os:ShortName>Sensei's Library</os:ShortName>
   <os:Description>Sensei's Library</os:Description>
   <os:Image width="16" height="16">data:image/x-icon;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAYAAAAf8/9hAAAABmJLR0QA/wD/AP+gvaeTAAAACXBIWXMAAAsTAAALEwEAmpwYAAAAB3RJTUUH1gkZCiQRvn1rdAAAAG5JREFUOMvVU0EOgCAMaw3//!3I96HAoZpucbEIyyFbaEihJAAASOMsKNiximaBZQbPhcLnjsH8o8A22/HlKwR1KBjoQ8MVCGKIkzFrLFvyNmeFO0EMMmmcWmxUkP2XQLeiYKL8IFSsPFBj7bz/TDnx3OBwqx5Y4AAAAAElFTkSuQmCC</os:Image>
   <Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="{searchTerms}&amp;btnG=Google+Search&amp;">

Restart Firefox and it should work

Patrick Traill (2019-01-29): I cannot get this approach to work, although this directory is where the plugins are added. Maybe Firefox has changed or the instructions are incomplete. I grep’ed my profile recursively for references to the plugin definition file senseis-library.xml ( grep -ri 'senseis-library' * | less ) and found nothing, but just copying that file, changing the names and restarting Firefox did not add an engine.

I see that Mycroft adds an engine with code

<a href="/jsreq.html" title="Ref: senseis_library (40046)" onclick="addOpenSearch('senseis_library','png','','40046','g');return false">Sensei's Library</a>

That seems to amount to executing this Javascript:

 _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Plugin', 'Install', '40046']);
window.external.AddSearchProvider?("[ext]" + '40046' + "/" + 'senseis_library' + ".xml");

Patrick Traill (2019-01-13): To Do: try adapting it to use Sensei’s search URL, e.g. [ext] ?

Sir Lyric’s search plugin (link rot)

Sir Lyric has written a plugin and made it available at [ext]

Patrick Traill (2019-01-13): Is that link still valid: it did not work just now?

Senseis Search Plugin For Firefox last edited by Dieter on November 29, 2023 - 13:39
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