What is DQSD?

From the projects sourceforge home:
“Dave’s Quick Search Deskbar is an add-on for the Windows Desktop Taskbar that lets you launch searches quickly. With dozens of search engines, a calculator, clock, calendar, and more in one little textbox, it’s monster functionality in a flea-sized GUI”

What is DQSD? From the projects sourceforge home:
“Dave’s Quick Search Deskbar is an add-on for the Windows Desktop Taskbar that lets you launch searches quickly. With dozens of search engines, a calculator, clock, calendar, and more in one little textbox, it’s monster functionality in a flea-sized GUI”

I’m still not convinced… Download and install it. Within a week you’ll stop noticing that your even using it. If you think that’s an endorsement wait until you have to use a desktop that doesn’t have it installed and see how log it takes to install it for “them”

Where can i find this DQSD then? The project is hosted at sourceforge.net and its homepage can be found here. If you would like to join its user or developer mailing lists then this page may be more to your liking.

If DQSD is hosted at sourceforge what’s this page about then? Ahhh good question. As i used the DQSD more and more frequently i thought of a few searches that I’d like but were not included. So i was a good OpenSource person and instead of moaning about it i wrote them. The three searches below are included in the DQSD binary you can download from sourceforge but i find its always handy to have a copy of code I’ve written to hand so i put a copy of them up here.

The searches themselves are raw xml that each have a CDATA section containing some javascript. In some browsers the text of the search may be shown instead of the XML, if this happens then choosing “view source” will show the underlying document in its entirety.

XRL / Metamark URL Shortening Service: Content good, huge CMS generated URL’s needed to find it, not so good. The net has quite a selection of different shortening services but Metamark’s my favourite for one very important reason, you can access it with pretty much anything. Bookmarklets, OSX services, XML RPC and now, this DQSD search.

The search is invoked with an xrl http://huge.hideous.ugly.url and it will take you to a page with both a new, shorter URL and a shorter URL with a description ready for copying. The code behind the search itself is pretty small and can be found here

Perldoc: Perl has long been blessed with a large amount of documentation in every release but if you work with multiple versions of Perl you may soon begrudge it both the required disk space and the awkwardness of calling perldoc with an absolute path to get access to a specific versions documentation for functions. Fortunately the excellent perldoc.com site has complete sets of documentation for each release HTMLised and available online.

Having laziness as one of my virtues (and constantly forgetting the paths to all the different perldoc binaries i had installed…) i created a simple plugin that allows you to specify a function name along with an optional version of Perl and get the results back in easy to read HTML. This is the biggest of the three searches and has a large number of case’s in its switch statement to allow easier access to different versions of the documentation. If for example you wanted to check opendir for version 5.6.0 you could specify it using any of the following conventions:

  • perldoc opendir /perl5.6.0
  • perldoc opendir /5.6.0
  • perldoc opendir /560
  • perldoc opendir /56

As you can see the switches in the calls above range from the verbose to the quite terse. To see a full list of all the possible switch values you should view the source of the search which is located here.

Googlism: Googlism is an amusing way of wasting ten minutes of time you’d otherwise spend reading your email. A better explanation from the official Googlism site itself is “Googlism.com will find out what Google thinks of you, your friends or anything!

After playing around writing some bookmarklets for Googlism (which you can find here) i decided to add the same functionality to DQSD as i find it faster to use than selecting them from my bookmarks list. The search itself is a pretty straight forward example of using multiple switches and should be easy enough to follow. You can find it here.

Webpoll: Webpoll is was a server side application built by some very talented developers at my previous employers. It breaks a given page down into objects (images, script snippets and external style sheets are simple examples) and then fetches them using a number of simultaneous threads and draws an easy to follow graph showing both the order that objects are downloaded and the timing information for each.

Unfortunately this service is no longer being supplied. WebPerform (Now Gomez Europe) has stopped running the application that made this work so it will be pulled from the DQSD release and should only be bothered with if you need an example of a simple search as a template or similar. If you want to cast an eye over the search itself its located here.