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Considering Super Search

by footpad (Abbot)
on Oct 30, 2000 at 19:54 UTC ( [id://39092]=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

As some of you may have noticed, I've been trying to do a bit of research on the past nodes. I've been looking for a number of things, including best practices, specific techniques, and so on.

Would anyone else find it useful to add some options to Super Search? Specifically:

  1. Date Range fields, for locating nodes posted during a set of time. For example, "show me all nodes referring to security in the last two years."

  2. A Posted By field, to locate information posted by a specific user. For example, "find relevent nodes posted by merlyn."

  3. An Ignore Posts By checkbox would return all nodes except those posted by the monk entered into Posted By. For example, "and ignore the ravings of footpad in this search."

  4. An Order By field similar to the one that currently appears in PM User Search. Continuing the example: "and order them by best reputation."

  5. A category field that restricts the search to a specific monastery area, e.g. Snippets, SOPW, etc.

While I hesitate to add anything to vroom's plate, it seems to me that this would help improve the overall research capabilities of Super Search. After all, there is a great deal of useful information buried in various threads and these extensions might make it useful to dig that out.

Thoughts? Reactions? Comments?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Considering Super Search
by neophyte (Curate) on Oct 30, 2000 at 20:06 UTC
    Some very good suggestions indeed, footpad.

    1.Date Range fields, for locating nodes posted during a set of time.
    Though I never felt the need for this, it might be useful.

    find relevent nodes posted by merlyn
    I just know I would use this :-)

    An Order By field similar to the one that currently appears in PM User Search
    Since I never get the hang of the order that article appear in when I use Super Search this is definitely a feature I miss.

    A category field that restricts the search to a specific monastery area
    That is the one feature I miss most


RE: Considering Super Search
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Oct 31, 2000 at 10:23 UTC
    Just about any monk with a rudimentary understanding of CGI and some DBI could write a super searcher.

    The basic stuff is at EveryDevel -- the Everything Bible and Documentation Index nodes have links to how to create a superdoc, and there's documentation on the peculiar fields of all different nodetypes.

    The one tricky thing is that no one (to my knowledge) has documented the Q&A nodeball yet, so there's a bit of research to do there.

    It would be cool to see three or four people tackle this -- it's not a whole lot of heavy lifting, and it's a fairly interesting project. Plus, it exposes deficiencies in the existing documentation, which gives me something to do and takes some work off of poor overworked vroom.

RE: Considering Super Search
by brainpan (Monk) on Oct 31, 2000 at 05:06 UTC
    Excellent suggestion footpad; I've been wondering if I'm the only one who can actually
    end up worse off after a search than beforehand. While we're listing helpful features for
    Super Search here are a few I'd like to see:

    1. Excerpts from the returned nodes (a la Google).

    2. AND, OR and NOT operators. The existing search facilities seem to only do
    OR style searches, meaning if I type in five search terms which only
    appear together in one or two nodes, but separately in 200+, the existing
    search will give me 200+ results. Sometimes this is desirable, but not
    usually. My memory is very detailed, but just as selective. I'll remember
    three lines of code verbatim, yet an OR style search actually makes
    adding more search terms widen the scope of the returned pages, not
    narrow it. This is not good.

    3. Search only (non)code tags.
    This would mainly be a performance enhancing feature. Depending on how
    the search engine works this might slow things down though. :\

    4. Restrict search to nodes referenced from the thread FOO, descending BAZ threads.
    Maybe I'm the only one who does this, but frequently I'll recall where I
    started, a few words from the page I'm looking for, and that I
    traversed +- 4 threads from FOO to get to the page I'm looking for. This
    may be hard to implement (or maybe it'd be three lines of perl; I'm not
    good enough to know yet), and I imagine it'd be rather expensive in terms of
    computational power (or at least memory).

    Feedback people - am I the only one who'd use a feature like this? Would
    implementing some or all of the features mentioned in this thread be
    enough to render this feature superfluous?
RE: Considering Super Search
by Albannach (Monsignor) on Oct 30, 2000 at 20:57 UTC
    All are good ideas! I'd like to add the ability to specify a minimum reputation for the responses. I think that in most cases that would get one to the meat of a solution faster than any other method, and is perhaps a bit more to the point than simply ordering by reputation.
RE: Considering Super Search
by PsychoSpunk (Hermit) on Oct 31, 2000 at 01:43 UTC
    Of course, not a day goes by that I don't wish I could ignore the ravings of footpad. :) But I still want to see his good posts.

    In all seriousness, those options would be extremely useful, and ++ to footpad for suggesting it, especially in the context of reading the choices as a sentence. It would be nice to find more search engines that let you write a sentence in search engine grammar and let you easily separate the wheat from the chaff.


RE: Considering Super Search
by knight (Friar) on Oct 30, 2000 at 22:16 UTC
    I'd also like an option to search an entire thread, not just individual nodes. I ran into a situation recently where I could remember one keyword from a thread's root node, and a different keyword from one of the replies, but there was no single node that had both words. When searching for common Perl words ("undef", "module", etc.) the sheer number of single-word matches returned by Super Search can get overwhelming...
RE: Considering Super Search
by Blue (Hermit) on Oct 31, 2000 at 20:11 UTC
    The only option I would add to footpad's excellent list is instead of just a 'by user' selection, I'd also enjoy a 'by rank'. I may want to only see things by saints, or monks and higher, or perhaps only acolytes (to see what fresh meat has good ideas and deserves a ++).

    =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

RE: Considering Super Search
by royalanjr (Chaplain) on Oct 31, 2000 at 02:44 UTC
    All those suggestions would certainly make life a wee easier!

    Roy Alan

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