The XUL OPAC  Browser
Intro - System Requirements - Installation - Features - MABAcknowledgements

OPAX is a prototype XUL OPAC user interface, built on the functionality and appearance of the Mozilla Amazon Browser (MAB).  MAB provides a richer interface to the Amazon.com online bookshop. OPAX uses MAB to add functionality to a standard OPAC user interface. As well as providing a more flexible and customisable OPAC user interface, OPAX enables the aggregation of content from a library catalogue and the Amazon site.

System Requirements

As with MAB, OPAX can be installed as an extension or run as a Web application in Firefox. Because the system is only a mock-up, it doesn’t yet connect to a real library catalogue; the example data is hard-coded. However, it does connect to the Amazon site via the Amazon E-Commerce Service (ECS).

OPAX 0.2 has been tested on
  • Mozilla 1.8b and Firefox 1.0 - 1.5 Beta 2
  • Windows and Linux

Note: It may be necessary to click twice on the Search button for Classmarks to display.


download image Install Now (128 KB file)

Note: A new security feature in Mozilla and Firefox requires users to add a download site to a list of  trusted sites. Look out for a yellow bar at the top of the browser window when you click  Install Now.

Features of OPAX
  • OPAX adds functionality to a standard OPAC user interface
  • More flexible and customisable user interface
  • Demo of content aggregation from a library catalogue and the Amazon site, enabling search result e.g. book cover images, user reviews and other Amazon features
  • Richer interface: allows results to be sorted by any data field from either the library catalogue or the Amazon site.
  • Display order of data fields can be easily changed by dragging and dropping the columns.
Features of MAB

A richer interface to the Amazon.com online bookshop, for example the ability to
  • Search several of Amazon’s country-specific sites within one window
  • Compare the price of the same product between these sites.
  • Sort results by a range of fields such as used price, new price, customer rating and date of publication
  • Retrieve more information about the selected item using Google
  • Categorise results

Tell Me More

OPAX is discussed further in From Ghostbusters to libraries: the Power of XUL
first published in Library Hi Tech, vol 23, no 1, 2005

Thanks to Fabio Serra for generously allowing me to build on his MAB extension. All files in OPAX were originally developed for MAB but many have been modified for this application. Thanks also to Padraig O'hIceadha for advice and technical support.