teaser

The Just Search Portal

The Just Search Portal is single file static HTML page that simply provides a search bar and buttons for submitting the query to search engines. The page is made with a focus on not distracting the user and on privacy. No ads or recent activity is shown like in many New Tab pages in modern browsers, and the search query is only sent to the chosen search engine.

Try it here: Just Search Portal.

Bookmark the link or use it as the browser home page / new tab page. Or download the actual HTML file for use as a local file browser home page. Using a local copy of the page allows changing the set of search engines by editing the HTML.

Note that not all browsers allow full functionality when accessing local file web pages.

The project is fully open source and hosted on GitHub here. Feel free to contribute on GitHub with fixes and improvements.

Motivation

Combating distractions

Nearly all modern search engines provide suggestions of similar and popular search queries while writing the search terms. Even after writing the very first letter, a handful of popular and often ridiculous suggestions pop up. This may be interesting when gauging what search terms are currently the most popular, but it is also distracting and may lead the user away from the original search intension.

The Just Search Portal doesn't show any suggestions when typing the query and doesn't keep any search history.

No ads and no recently visited pages

The portal is without any kind of ads, doodles or suggestions of previously visited pages to visit. It is meant to be a distraction free tool to help the user get to work instead of being lured into procrastination.

Combating user profiling

Most people pull information from the web many times a day using search queries. If a single search provider is used for all those queries, it will have the opportunity to profile almost every web activity and interest of the user.

By using the Just Search Portal as the starting page, this can be avoided. Queries can be sent to different search engines easily, which will dilute the information between them, and queries can be sent directly to intended websites like for example Wikipedia. Searching Wikipedia directly compared to using Google for a search like "some topic wiki" is like cutting out the middleman, as it robs Google the chance to register an in interest in that topic and show ads.

Effective

The same search query can be submitted to different search engines with single mouse clicks without retyping. Every search is opened in a new tab (unless configured otherwise with a checkbox).

Hitting Enter from the search box will search any number of default engines simultaneously. The default engines are selected by checking the "Toggle default search engines" checkbox and clicking the engines. Note that pop-up blockers may need to be told to allow the page to open multiple tabs.

The selection of default search engines is stored in a cookie for convenience.

Fast

The page doesn't make any network requests when loading. No Javascript library is fetched, no pictures are loaded and even the favicon.ico is embedded in the HTML. This make the page load as fast as it gets - especially after it is cached by the browser.


I hope this little tool may help bring back more Zen in Searching the web!



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