Help with developing search provider extension


I wanted to replace Albert and similar launchers with the builtin search. My most used feature is to search browser bookmarks and fire the browser. There are couple of existing shell extensions for this, unfortunately every single one is not supported on my Ubuntu 22.04.

So I though I’d hack a simple search provider. I did hack my plugin for Albert, so how difficult can it be? I wanted to start from an existing search provider extension, for example, GitHub - mont5piques/gnome_shell_custom_api_search would be perfect, but it’s not supported on my system. I tried searching for some search extension that is supported on my system, but could not find any. So I looked at the documentation thinking I’d write an extension from scratch: Creating | GNOME JavaScript. However, I am stuck at this step:

> gnome-extensions enable
Extension “” does not exist

Why am I writing this:

  • To share my extension dev experience.
  • I find it very unfortunate that API for extensions broke backwards compatibility resulting in so many existing extensions not working. Since most of the extensions are volunteer driven, I don’t expect many authors to update them really. This is large waste of potential. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Gnome project, maybe there are good reasons, I know this is mostly volunteer driven, etc., but I cannot help myself not noting: if there is one single feature that will help any project then it is rock solid stability and backwards compatibility of API for extensions: I don’t care if it is fancy language X or less fancy language Y, if the API itself is textbook example of a good API or the opposite also does not matter as much, keeping compatibility is the thing number one. People will not spend their time developing for API that is a moving target.
  • TBH, I don’t think I’ll continue with this as I’ve sunk already too much time into this, but if someone could point me to a simple (ideally pure javascript, no fancy stuff) search provider extension that I can install and hack, I’d give it one last go.

(Disclaimer: I am grateful for the work of everyone that contributes to Gnome and other projects that I use everyday. Please take this as just a feedback, no hard feelings.)

Did you follow the previous steps, to start a nested GNOME Shell instance or restart X11?

I find it very unfortunate that API for extensions broke backwards compatibility resulting in so many existing extensions not working. […]

This topic has been covered many times; there’s a page on Updates and Breakage describing the general situation. And of course, GNOME is community-driven so you’re welcome to join us in the extensions community and contribute anything you think would make the developer experience better :slightly_smiling_face:

Fuzz App Search seems supported.

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