Featured Site - p2b Search Engine
p2b is a project which seeks to "improve the quality of information available to people living and working in Brighton and Hove." Within this they have set up a search engine for Brighton and Hove specific information.
I worked with p2b organiser, Mark Walker of the Sussex Community Internet Project to enable partner websites and the p2b search site to get results back the search server and in building the search site as a clean, lightweight site with accessibility features.
p2b uses a Google Search Appliance (GSA) to power their search. This device spiders set websites for pages, ranks them and allows search on them. It can give results back through it's own website, or via XML.
The different partners in the project each wanted to use the GSA to power the search on their own sites, as well as a central website promoted to local people. The partners all had web developers with different levels of skill and experience, working in a variety of languages: ASP, ColdFusion and PHP.
As very few of the partners had developers with XSL experience, it was decided to produce code to parse the results XML and present them on a page in each language being used by the partners. This would allow their developers to change the way the results were presented in a language they understood, rather than having to learn XSL just to make changes to their search results page.
I investigated the XML given out by the GSA and wrote the code for partners in ColdFusion (prototype testing and then full release), ASP and PHP. I also created a small website allowing the partners to access the latest version of the code and information about using it.
I was also called on to build the p2b 'portal' search site in CSS / XHTML and to add accessibility features to the site.