Search Engine Configuration

The search engine configuration is a mapping that is used to determine the list of search engines for each user. The mapping is primarily based on the user’s region and locale.

Configuration Management

The application stores a dump of the configuration that is used for first initialisation. Subsequent updates to the configuration are either updates to the static dump, or they may be served via remote servers.

The mechanism of delivering the settings dumps to the Search Service is the remote settings.

Remote settings

The remote settings bucket for the search engine configuration list is search-config. The version that is currently being delivered to clients can be viewed live.

Configuration Schema

The configuration format is defined via a JSON schema. The search engine configuration schema is stored in mozilla-central and is uploaded to the Remote Settings server at convenient times after it changes.

An outline of the schema may be found on the Search Configuration Schema page.

Updating Search Engine WebExtensions

Updates for application provided search engine WebExtensions are provided via Normandy.

It is likely that updates for search engine WebExtensions will be received separately to configuration updates which may or may not be directly related. As a result several situations may occur:

  • The updated WebExtension is for an app-provided engine already in-use by the user.

    • In this case, the search service will apply the changes to the app-provided engine’s data.

  • A WebExtension addition/update is for an app-provided engine that is not in-use by the user, or not in the configuration.

    • In this case, the search service will ignore the WebExtension.

    • If the configuration (search or user) is updated later and the new engine is added, then the Search Service will start to use the new engine.

  • A configuration update is received that needs a WebExtension that is not found locally.

    • In this case, the search service will ignore the missing engine and continue without it.

    • When the WebExtension is delivered, the search engine will then be installed and added.