Trogdor: Burninatingly fast search using Yahoo! BOSS

Everyone and their dog seems to have written an example of how to use the Yahoo! Search BOSS API to build a simple search tool. I wanted to take that one step further and build something that would serve both as an example and as a usable service, and that could be extended and enhanced by other developers. Since my day job involves constant tradeoffs between making Yahoo! Search slower (by adding features) and making it faster (by optimizing those features), my primary goal here was to make something as fast as technically possible.

To do this, I wrote a very simple JavaScript module called Trogdor that uses dynamic script nodes to make cross-domain JSONP requests to the BOSS API as you type your query. Search results are returned and rendered almost instantly on each keystroke, and you can use the up and down arrow keys (or tab) and enter to quickly select the result you want—no mouse necessary.

Trogdor doesn’t require a JavaScript framework and works great in all modern browsers (and even some ancient, crappy browsers like IE6). The entire package (HTML, CSS and JS) weighs just a smidge under 2KB after minification and gzip, and it’s wonderfully fast.

Try it out for yourself at and be sure to grab the heavily-commented source code on GitHub. If you’ve got ideas for features and improvements, fork the repo and go nuts (and be sure to let me know what you come up with). You’re also welcome to use Trogdor (modified or unmodified) in your own projects, although I do ask that you please use your own BOSS API key rather than the one included in the example.

Update, 11/26: Changed the name of the library from FastSearch to Trogdor, since dragons are awesome (and apparently there’s a Microsoft search product called FastSearch).