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Computer Science Department

A Google AJAX Search Plugin for jQuery.

Andrew Porter

jQuery is a JavaScript library used to select, mutate, and enhance HTML on web pages. It is comparable to mootools, Prototype, YUI, script.aculo.us, and Dojo JavaScript libraries. Furthermore, jQuery is very powerful in that it makes AJAX, cross-domain JSON, animations, event handling, and UI easier and simplified. Lastly, developers across the world have created hundreds of 'plug-ins' that extend jQuery's functionality in order to unify web development. This project centers on the iterative design process of a jQuery plug-in. Specifically, this plug-in will encapsulate the Google AJAX Search API to streamline the process of Google Search integration. The Google AJAX Search API allows web developers to use the power of Google Search within their own sites. Currently, Google offers APIs for web, local, video, blog, news, book, image, and patent searching. The focal points in the design of this plug-in are utility, reliability, and ease of use. Currently Google offers open access to its AJAX Search API, however the JavaScript quickly becomes procedural and bloated. Whereas Google's raw API requires roughly seven lines of code to deploy Google Search, the elegance of this jQuery plug-in will work in a compact, yet intuitive one-liner à la jQuery. jQuery accomplishes this by encapsulating everything into an intuitive object-oriented manipulation of the target element. Unlike the Google API, this plug-in will also work off a set of logical defaults; the user doesn't need to set every variable, yet they can override defaults as need. By enabling Google search technology through jQuery, this project will simplify access to Google Search for beginner and expert web developers alike.