The coming ACP update comes with a bit of modification:
This is of course the configuration for the ACP Services, which in turn are edited by both the ACP Services Manager (ASM) and the ACP Services Manager 'Pro' (ASMX) as well as assisted by the ACP Services Browser (ASB).
The ACP Web Services (AWS) were Rixstep's second major freebie release after the runaway success of CLIX. The AWS took advantage of an overlooked feature of the NeXT services. For some unknown reason, this brilliant bit of legerdemain by NeXT never got on with the Mac crowd.
NeXT services do something rather impressive, marshalling data over address space boundaries. The key to the ACP services is, in the case of the text services, to take advantage of the overlooked 'User Data' field, and, in the case of the web services, to use the same field to take advantage of how most web queries are of the 'GET' rather than the 'PUT' variety. The text services index into proprietary code to achieve textual transformations. The web services concatenate a selected search term onto a website query string.
All web services run through the same code segment in ACP.service.
The first Apple adaptation of these services was more loyal to the original NeXT concept, and thereby better. There was an arbitrary count of two hierarchical levels, which made it somewhat possible to divide up the services in a more orderly fashion. Apple later changed this by, in addition to adding pretty menu icons, taking away the hierarchy altogether (a bad move like many by Apple who never seemed to understand the genius of what NeXT had done). Several other modifications took place as well, damaging overall functionality and introducing a few puzzling contradictions. But, as those have never changed, there's not much point in going into them now.
Onto web searches instead.
Dating back at least ten years, ‘Google-anything’ has been the chief thing to avoid. That company's perverse obsession with collecting data, with acquiring DoubleClick, their attempt to scour people's personal devices with aborted products like Google Desktop: this aversion became official long before Edward Snowden told us about PRISM. DuckDuckGo (DDG) became the standard instead.
But there's always been something funky - even contradictory - about DDG. DDG doesn't collect user data. DDG doesn't pass on data to other servers. And DDG is supposed to be totally divorced from Google - except it's not, and this is easy to prove.
Try reconfiguring your website to block Google's crawler, and you'll find your DDG search results dwindle over time to (near) absolute zero. Reinstate your Google crawler and your DDG search results will return slowly but surely.
But there's more to it than that. It seems the proprietor of DDG has gone political, and admitted DDG's search results will be modified to enhance what he likes and to 'rank down' what he doesn't like. This is of course unacceptable.
Someone recommended looking at Presearch. The ACP Web Services have long included Presearch, but it's never been used, at least not here. It's now time to look a little closer at Presearch.
PRESEARCH.ORG was registered 2015-11-04 through GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd and seems to call Canada home.
The Presearch services now offered are meant to replace the DDG services - web, images, news - as well as another more generic service applicable to Presearch alone.
Here's what happens when you invoke each of those four with 'Presearch' as the query string - click to find out:
DDG's image search has a few advantages, as it has more options, such as limiting formats to more granular sizes. The DDG image search may be superior, but it, like many standard searches, can be accessed through the Presearch sidebar menu.
The Presearch experience is new. But the idea of skewing search results according to DDG's political convictions is simply unacceptable.
Functionality such as the NeXT services are not available on other platforms, which is a shame, as they make 'select and click' possible for almost anything. The free ACP Web Services offer some five thousand suggested searches, and the included tutorial shows users how to create their own. The interface between local machine and the web at large becomes seamless. A few clicks, or as little as a keyboard shortcut, and you're there.
These changes to the ACP Services are to be included in the next system update.