Creating a Google-like toolbar
Posted 04 February 2003 - 07:28 PM
Posted 04 February 2003 - 09:49 PM
Posted 05 February 2003 - 05:09 AM
If you want chronically co-branded toolbars, then you could try Ultrabar. I don't like it but then as I've said I'm chronically biased (it would represent my only real competitor).
Beyond that you get to the high end of the market. If you want things like communicating with servers (like the PageRank graph does) or any special functions, you have to go with this. This gives you basically two options:
1. The Cheap option - buy Microsoft C++ if you don't already have it. Building toolbars is the kind of thing that appears easy but isn't! Find some base COM component source, read a lot about Internet Explorer's very poorly documented interfaces and code up your own. If you're an experienced programmer then you could well benefit from doing this as you can obviously do anything you want, but if you're not don't bother. (Note that one of the reasons the interface in IEBar isn't that great is that the actual toolbar code took about a year in development, and you don't get the world cheap). Essentially when your connected in to IE things don't always behave as you expect them and you need to be prepared for a lot of trial and error if you go this way.
2. Pay someone. But be prepared for it to be expensive. As soon as you introduce special features, reading data from the servers etc you start to rack up the price quickly. If you think, for example, about the Google toolbar it has embedded HTML and option screens, talking to other servers for the "PageRank" section, dynamic buttons and auto update. Each of which has to be coded, tested and security checked in an inherently instable environment (Internet Explorer! ). Even Google managed to miss security implications in its toolbar. So you should consider carefully before getting anyone to do this (think along the same lines as getting someone to build you a web site).
Like I said, keep in mind that I'm biased and I'm trying very hard not to make this post in to an advert . I'm guessing you were thinking along the lines of option 1? If so let me know if you need further details and I'll try to help. Maybe post some details of exactly what you want to make your toolbar do?
Posted 05 February 2003 - 07:34 AM
Very informative post. It's not always easy to tell what kind of work goes into putting something like a toolbar together.
Posted 05 February 2003 - 08:21 AM
Sorry - didn't see your post there when I last posted (I'm sure it wasn't there at the time, maybe due to the time it took to type).
Anyway, I think it would be helpful at this stage to state what I would like a toolbar for.
I would like a simple search box - much like Google, Alexa, etc. - that searches our search engines. But people would be able to search any one of our three search engines (AardvarkTravel.net, AardvarkSport.net and AardvarkBusiness.net) - perhaps using a drop down or radio buttons. That's probably it. I'm not bothered about any of the more advanced features that are out there (PR, etc.)
Is this likely to be a costly job if designated to a third party, or is it pretty straight forward?
Posted 05 February 2003 - 09:16 AM
Posted 13 February 2003 - 06:31 PM
I did a bit of research on toolbar technology and rustled up something for my site. Check out the [www] button.
I'm not suprised that it could be quiet an expensive do as there are alot of things to take into account if one is to cover all angles. Especially when working as or with a third party.
As I was doing it myself, and having simple requirments - it all came about quiet painlessly. I'm sure I would have agonised over it a great deal more if it were for someone else.
I quiet fancy an ExplorerBar next.
Posted 05 March 2003 - 09:10 PM
i can only guess how long this will last, im almost tempted to download it just to see if it works.
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