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How This Page Works

This page's Search button triggers a Python CGI script, which builds a "term site:site" site-specific search query, and passes it to a selected search provider using an HTTP redirect. The net effect displays results in the provider's page. This is a simple technique, but leverages work already performed by search providers that have crawled the site (invited or not).

For background on redirects, see this, this, and this. For search alternatives, try here and here, though many require JavaScript on the client, PHP on the server, or worse—per the next section.

Search Provider Cautions

Because this page delegates searches to third-parties, it comes with some inherent caveats. First and foremost, some search providers may both track searchers, and insert ads and unrelated photos in results. In testing, Google's search results for "fortran" at this site included paid ads for compilers, and Bing displayed pictures of pastry chefs for "decorators" (yes, really). In addition, Google occasionally disables the Back button in some contexts, for reasons not yet isolated.

In light of such constraints, the privacy-respecting sites DuckDuckGo, Ixquick, and perhaps StartPage are strongly recommended for users of this page. Of these, DuckDuckGo seems best in terms of search results so far (often finding more than Google), and Ixquick seems a close runner-up. Although other search providers can be selected above for comparison, their monetization focus makes them innately perilous, and a "use at your own risk" proposition.

Search would ideally avoid third parties altogether, of course, but a more custom solution is currently outside this site's proprietor's schedule. For more on web search privacy options, see this and this; or try a web search...


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