More tea please.

Farnell OpenSearch Plugin

Chris and I spent a few hours this afternoon converting the SR board designs over to a new BOM-generation compatible situation. The new system should let us script the generation of the BOMs, gerbers and orders for the next shipment of SR boards.

Whilst we were doing this, Chris gave me the idea of making a Farnell search plugin for Firefox. It turns out that Firefox supports something called OpenSearch. This lets you tell a browser how to use a search engine. You should find my Farnell search plugin embedded in this page. In Firefox, click the drop-down box at the left of the search menu. It’ll give you an option to add this search, as shown in the screenshot on the right.

search-farnell-2 After installation, you should be able to search Farnell. This plugin uses my Farnell permalink URLs to do the searches, so you can type a part number in and will be taken directly to the corresponding part’s page.

Posted at 10:34 pm on Sunday 5th July 2009

Part Number Permalinks

When I want to link someone to a part on the Farnell website, I get because the URLs are both horrible and also I have absolutely no guarantee from Farnell that the URL will exist for any given period of time. This is the sort of URL you get for a Farnell part:


There most important part of the above URL is the Farnell part number. The rest is superfluous.

So I created a small script that creates nicer URLs for Farnell’s parts:


Besides just being generally shorter and easier to parse, these URLs potentially have a longer lifetime. When Farnell change their website and all their URLs change, I can just change my script to match whilst keeping these links valid.

Feel free to use this redirection service. Just stick the Farnell part number on the end of the URL:


I had thoughts about adding RS, but haven’t yet got around to it.

Posted at 3:32 am on Saturday 17th January 2009

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