Hmm, protocol handlers look interesting.
As Mark said, in Windows protocol handlers can be dealt with at the OS level
Protocol handlers can also be done at the browser level (which is preferred, as it is cross platform and doesn’t involve installing anything).
Summary of how it works in Firefox
Summary of how it works in Opera
I’d probably just setup Apache on the SAMBA servers and let it serve the files via HTTP. That’d give you a nice autoindex default page too, and you could just wget and concatenate each index for your master list.
A couple of other thoughts:
- file://server/share/file is the defacto Windows way of doing it
- You can register protocol handlers in Windows, so you could register smb and redirect it to file://. I’d suspect GNOME/KDE/etc. would offer the same.
Alternatively, if you want to consolidate SMB shares you could try using Microsoft DFS (which also works with Samba).
You set up a DFS root and tell it about all the other SMB/Samba shares you have in your environment. Clients then connect to the root and see all the shares as if they were hosted on that single root machine; the root silently redirects clients to the correct system when they open a share.
Think of it as like symbolic links or a virtual file system for SMB.
It would solve your browsing problem. I’m not sure if it would solve your searching one.