I have this command (for detailed info see Shortcut to google selected text):

sh -c 'firefox -remote "openURL(http://www.google.com/search?q=$(xsel),new-tab)"'

But when I select a text which ends with ) it parses it as a closing parenthesis.

Is there a workaround this? (like escaping it somehow?)

  • Does this not work? sh -c 'firefox -remote "openURL(http://www.google.com/search?q='"$(xsel)"',new-tab)"'
    – mikeserv
    Aug 7 '14 at 7:58
  • No, I get not parsable if the string ends with ) . John1024's solution escapes the characters and it works because firefox actually wants URL encoding (it's a win-win situation). Aug 7 '14 at 8:19

You need to do URL encoding on the string returned by xsel. Using python:

sh -c 'firefox -remote "openURL(http://www.google.com/search?q=$(python -c "import urllib, sys; print urllib.quote(sys.argv[1])" "$(xsel)"),new-tab)"'

Using Perl:

sh -c 'firefox -remote "openURL(http://www.google.com/search?q=$(perl -MURI::Escape -e '\''print uri_escape($ARGV[0]);'\'' "$(xsel)"),new-tab)"'


Observe what happens when we ask firefox to perform a google search on foo():

$ firefox -remote 'openURL(http://www.google.com/search?q=Foo(),new-tab)'
Error: Failed to send command: 500 command not parseable

To make it "parseable," we need to URL-encode the characters. For example, here is what Foo() looks like when encoded:

$ python -c "import urllib, sys; print urllib.quote(sys.argv[1])"  "Foo()"
  • Both work! Let me get this straight: they work cause they translate symbols like ) into &#41 and terminal command won't get corrupted? Aug 7 '14 at 7:17
  • 1
    @user2692669 Yes. firefox -remove option expects an internet-safe URL. So, the parens need to be removed before firefox sees them.
    – John1024
    Aug 7 '14 at 7:33
  • -remove or -remote? Either-way I get what you want to say. thanks. Aug 7 '14 at 7:41
  • @user2692669 Yes, that was a typo. Sorry.
    – John1024
    Aug 7 '14 at 7:43

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