Ajax search

Posted under » JavaScript » Ajax on 22 Aug 2019

In Drupal or google. When you search for something, it will suggest the pages you want to visit. Here is probably how they do this (source). btw., the search function on the top right is done using this method.

function showResult(str) {
  if (str.length==0) {
  if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {
    // code for IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
    xmlhttp=new XMLHttpRequest();
  } else {  // code for IE6, IE5
    xmlhttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
  xmlhttp.onreadystatechange=function() {
    if (this.readyState==4 && this.status==200) {
      document.getElementById("livesearch").style.border="1px solid #A5ACB2";

<input type="text" size="30" onkeyup="showResult(this.value)">
<div id="livesearch"></div>


Source code explanation: If the input field is empty (str.length==0), the function clears the content of the livesearch placeholder and exits the function.

If the input field is not empty, the showResult() function executes the following:

The page on the server called by the JavaScript above is a PHP file called "livesearch.php".

The source code in "livesearch.php" searches an XML file for titles matching the search string and returns the result:

$xmlDoc=new DOMDocument();


//get the q parameter from URL

//lookup all links from the xml file if length of q>0
if (strlen($q)>0) {
  for($i=0; $i<($x->length); $i++) {
    if ($y->item(0)->nodeType==1) {
      //find a link matching the search text
      if (stristr($y->item(0)->childNodes->item(0)->nodeValue,$q)) {
        if ($hint=="") {
          $hint="<a href='" .
          $z->item(0)->childNodes->item(0)->nodeValue .
          "' target='_blank'>" .
          $y->item(0)->childNodes->item(0)->nodeValue . "";
        } else {
          $hint=$hint . "<br /><a href='" .
          $z->item(0)->childNodes->item(0)->nodeValue .
          "' target='_blank'>" .
          $y->item(0)->childNodes->item(0)->nodeValue . "";

// Set output to "no suggestion" if no hint was found
// or to the correct values
if ($hint=="") {
  $response="no suggestion";
} else {

//output the response
echo $response;

If there is any text sent from the JavaScript (strlen($q) > 0), the following happens:

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