The google custom search

Vincenzo Ciancia ciancia at
Fri Jul 24 05:34:50 UTC 2009

Dear all,

today I noticed that the consistency problem between the default ubuntu 
start page, which is a custom google search, and the search box at the 
top-right of firefox, has finally been solved. Now also the search box 
is a custom search.

I already tried to raise the problem that average users are not so 
expert to know what a custom search is, but they will certainly notice 
that "googe in linux does not work as in windows" since google will not 
show maps, images, and do conversions on the fly in the custom search.

There is also the problem that localization is currently broken in ALL 
ubuntu installations except english speaking, since localised results 
are not returned, hence ubuntu will return english results first to my 
italian-only speaking mother (well she speaks some spanish, and latin 
too, but this does not change the problem).

In the past, silence was the main answer. What I would prefer is 1) 
clarificaition on why this is needed, since it seems mostly a trick, and 
2) some effort in localization, and in using all the google goodies by 
default, maps, images, conversions. Images and videos may even be 
questionable, even if I would rather not use google if e.g. finding 
inappropriate content is a concern, but maps and conversions are useful 
tools and people uses those every day.

But if 1) and 2) can't be achieved, at least an explanation on why there 
are no links in the default search page (and maybe in the results) 
explaining what a custom search is, would be appreciated. Given that 
users certainly may not know what a custom search is (e.g. even if I am 
a computer scientist, and worked in the IT, I did not care about custom 
searches until ubuntu started giving me strange results), educating them 
by putting in-place documentation, in the form of a short sentence and a 
link, would be appropriate.

I can understand that a custom search may bring money to canonical 
(correct me if I am wrong, as I said I did not care about custom 
searches until very recently). I think the majority of users would be 
happy to be able to help ubuntu by just searching the web. However, they 
should be made aware of the choice, instead of silently tricked into the 


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