Douwe Osinga's Blog: Google as Url Protocol

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Google as Url Protocol

After half a year of running this website, I’m finally there. DouweOsinga.Com is the Osinga. Yes, search for Osinga at Google and I’m number one. Search for Douwe and you’ll end up at Douwe Egberts, the coffee maker, but we’ll get them too, someday. Anyway, I was biking home and thinking I could now refer to myself with http://www.google.com/search?q=osinga and realized that you see this kind of references more and more. Google is becoming an url protocol, just like http:// and ftp://


Then I thought, how hard would it be to create an actual Google protocol? In windows programs can open urls without worrying who is doing what, so probably, somewhere in the registry there is an entry saying if the user types in gopher: do this. Searching for gopher with regedit indeed gave me an entry and based on that, I created one that started Internet explorer with http://www.google.com/search?q=%1 whenever somebody typed in google:, %1 being the parameter. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work as for some reason the google: is also part of the parameter.


So I fired up Delphi and threw a little program together that strips the Google part of the parameter and passes the rest to Google. It also registers the program as handler for the Google: and the lucky: protocol. The first one passes the given parameter to Google, the second  goes directly to the number one hit. So from now on, you can refer to this site as lucky:osinga.


The result you can find as a new Google Hack or directly at http://douweosinga.com/projects/googleprotocol