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selfless
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it cut down on general frustration if there was a *Search Help* link to this thread, or something like that? <just thinking out loud>
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hickz
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

strawbeard wrote:
rac wrote:
(some time ago)... I have changed the default setting of the checkbox in the search screen to "Search for all terms". Hopefully this will improve things in some small measure. ....


I'd expect improvement with an option "Search for all terms occuring in one posting" :idea:

There is a good chance that words occurring in one posting are logically related. 8) Currently all postings of a topic are treated as one big contiguous text. This leads to many useless hits. :x


Geee, I am stumped how many people posted such rubbish. :mrgreen:

The search function does index by post. It is only when displaying the result, that it shows either aggregated topics or single posts. Yes you read right, you can have it show single posts. Just switch a radio button. "Display results as: X Posts O Topics " in the lower left.

And before people start complaining that the snippet is too short: On the right of it you can change how many carachters the preview/snippet should be.

I guess that will improve the search experience quite a bit, and look ma', it didn't even cost a dime and took only 5 seconds!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hickz wrote:
The search function does index by post. It is only when displaying the result, that it shows either aggregated topics or single posts. Yes you read right, you can have it show single posts. Just switch a radio button. "Display results as: X Posts O Topics " in the lower left.
Woohoo!! I'm an idiot! I don't think I have used this once -- even when I was crawling through CFLAGS Central to find the perfect optimization for a few different machines. What a wonderful first post! Thanks for making me a bit smarter -- even if it did smart a little. :oops: :lol:
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hickz wrote:
Geee, I am stumped how many people posted such rubbish. :mrgreen:

The search function does index by post. It is only when displaying the result, that it shows either aggregated topics or single posts. Yes you read right, you can have it show single posts. Just switch a radio button. "Display results as: X Posts O Topics " in the lower left.
The output isn't very readable in my opinion. I'd used it really early on when I was browsing the forums and didn't find it helpful. I'd forgotten about it, and was reminded of it again from another thread.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure this is old-hat, or else so totally ridiculously impossible that it's not worth asking about, but i couldn't find any reference......

would it be possible to have a "Subject"-only search?

It looks like phpBB doesn't have one of these, but it has body and body+subject searches. What I'd like is to see all the threads specifically about a particular topic, and I'd expect the topic to be in the Subject line most of the time. Obvious, innit? What have I missed?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I do a search for

C compiler cannot create executables

under search for ALL keywords, I get no results.
But if I use the 1st search option, I get results, namely
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=97860&highlight=c+compiler+cannot+create+executables

This post obviously has all the keywords I was searching for, and should have come up in the 1st search.

Stuff like this is why I don't like the search.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think this is caused by the fact that short words are not indexed. 'C' is not indexed and such queries will thus not result in any hits. If this is the case, it would make sense to strip the query of non-indexed words, if possible.
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ryan83vt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea, I forgot about the whole 3 letter thing. I wish it wasn't the case, cause then you could search for things like QT
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=77981 :wink:
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:43 pm    Post subject: Search is not finding all the posts. Reply with quote

Search does not seem to find all the posts.

For example I have made two posts in the Hardware & Laptops forum with the word "video".

A search for the keyword=video and author=drb in the Hardware & Laptops forum shows only one topic:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=109783&highlight=video

Why doesn't it find:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=109358

Both topics have posts from me with the word video. Why does search only find one of them?
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masseya
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Search is not finding all the posts. Reply with quote

drb wrote:
Both topics have posts from me with the word video. Why does search only find one of them?
This is why it is important to use more than one search term. If I had a pet dog named John and googled for just 'John', my chances of getting a hit on my personal homepage with a picture of John the dog are not good. As we all know, the phpbb search function is not nearly as good as google. Thus, multiple terms are even more important.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: Could I get a forums database dump? Reply with quote

gnumake wrote:
I was wondering if I could get a hold of a dump of the forum database?
I would like to experiment with a search engine. I was aniod with the full text emerge command (way to slow), and made a tool that does a full text re search simultaneously through the stable and beta packages of portage in a less than a second. I would like to try the same with the forums.


Ya, I think a dump somewhere would be very useful, some one might hack something nifty in his spare time.
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albanard
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, the following would make for a much better search facility in order of priority:

1. Ability to search by topic title only
- Why? : A good topic title is the best source for keywords
- Also: Exclude stoplist from title search as it would be too restrictive

2. Phrase search. I know its been said this is not possible but its certainly very valuable, especially if someone is searching for a common error message.

3. Only match a topic if all terms are located within a single post for that topic.
- I know its possible to search by post but that often gives too many results for the same topic, especially if people are re-quoting each other.

4. Show text around keywords in summaries, rather than just the top lines of the post
- This would make it easier to dismiss posts that were using keywords in a different context to what you were looking for.

5. Search within a single thread.
- Some threads have grown so enourmous that it would be great to filter posts wihin them even further.

Some if not all of these points may already have been mentioned but I'm summarising what I think would be most useful here, and in order of priority. The forums are soooo important, especially for newbies like me and I have to say I've spent hours looking for relevant posts that has caused much frustration, especially when someone has given valuable time to provide an answer but I just couldn't find it. I love Gentoo and I think these forums play a critical part, so please take this as a positive suggestion and not an attack of any kind. I think just addressing point 1 would make a huge difference.
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nsahoo
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is it only me who finds it pointless to show only topics in the search result when we can't search for matching words in topic :!:
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of these are very excellent points, but they are better directed at the phpBB folks. We make use of their software. We do not custom roll our own forums software.

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rac
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

albanard wrote:
3. Only match a topic if all terms are located within a single post for that topic.

That's the way it works now.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I was looking for info about Sparc CFLAGS and of course it took me to "CFLAG Central" which is about 20 some odd pages long. I used to run a phpBB forum, you can go to their website and see about feature requests. This is one of the largest phpBB forums I've used before so I don't know how well it scales.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:39 pm    Post subject: There are other forum software projects... Reply with quote

I find it amazing that a search for something within quotes can't match a topic.

Test: search for "ultra 60" in Sparc forum.

Browse topics in: sparc forums, where this term shows up frequently.

There should be dozens of recent matches from search, and there is only one.

If I search for "ultra 60" on all forums, with quotes,
there are two pages of results and only one is from the Sparc forum.

If gentoo is the largest user of phpBB, perhaps this is a sign that we have
outgrown their usefulness. There are many other discussion forums based
on similar technology.

I was once active on the MURC (Matrox Users Resource Center) and
they went through quite a number of hosting providers and BB software.
They are using vBulletin.

This isn't just a issue effecting the gentoo users, but you who administer
the BB. If users can find answers, we won't have to post duplicate threads,
and ask the same questions as other people have asked, and annoy the
gurus with the same questions repeatedly. It will make the
number of posts lower, and the total community happier if we can
have a working search.

I know the migration to a different BB would be a major task.
But others have done it. One way to implement it is to bring
on the newer BB as beta forums and eventually wean users
off the old one.
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labrador
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:49 pm    Post subject: YaBB Reply with quote

I can imagine people balking at my mentioning vBulletin. Not open source.

YaBB looks like an interesting alternative. Never used it but it might be worth checking out.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: YaBB Reply with quote

labrador wrote:
I can imagine people balking at my mentioning vBulletin. Not open source.

YaBB looks like an interesting alternative. Never used it but it might be worth checking out.


All this has been discussed before. The community decided to stick with what we have.

Doing a complete bake-off of all the available forums packages (even just the open source ones) will require a significant investment of time and effort. If that's something you're willing to do, I'm sure the rest of us would be interested in seeing the outcome.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:24 pm    Post subject: I disagree Reply with quote

Quote:
All this has been discussed before. The community decided to stick with what we have.

This is not quite true. The question was framed differently, and you had
much less hardware at that time.

At that time, the poll question was:
Quote:
Should forums.gentoo.org move to a commercial forums package?
Yes -- keeping older posts searchable is more important than sticking with GPL-only products
No -- lose some of the older posts and stay on the GPL'd phpBB

You went on to mention that the key issue was whether the older posts
could be kept on the system while using the web server + DB on
the older hardware you had at the time. You now have newer hardware,
more disk space, etc.

The question isn't whether to have commercial or GPL,
but whether something else can be found that works better.
No one was asked that. And for some reason no one seemed
to be aware that search was busted (perhaps worked better
in the earlier version?)

At the time this was discussed in September 2003, one of the issues was
deleting older posts or making them hidden from search. While the
search in phpBB is as broken as it is, sticking with the status quo is
equivalent to having done what you didn't want to do.

I don't have the time to make the bake off myself, but I did contribute
one name I didn't see mentioned in the previous thread/poll. Perhaps
if this is discussed there could be a team effort. These things have to
start with discussion, not squashing and deferring the issues.

In the past you have been wrong:
Quote:
Adding more hardware is not likely to be a tenable solution.

I just hope the future changes course again. A broken search in a forum
like this is a major problem for users and administrators alike.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: I disagree Reply with quote

Personally, I don't have a problem with the search feature. I don't agree with your assessment that it's "broken". It certainly has limitations and could be improved. "Broken" implies that it's totally non-functional. That simply isn't the case.

labrador wrote:
I don't have the time to make the bake off myself

That's part of the problem. Everyone wants to see lots of things improved with the forums. When we ask, "will you contribute your time towards making it so?" they invariably become mute.

labrador wrote:
In the past you have been wrong:
Quote:
Adding more hardware is not likely to be a tenable solution.

I just hope the future changes course again. A broken search in a forum
like this is a major problem for users and administrators alike.


In fact, I'm not wrong. Adding more hardware isn't a solution -- it simply defers the problem for a while longer.

--kurt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:29 pm    Post subject: The evidence is in the forums Reply with quote

The evidence is in the forums. Every time I research something
I find people pointing to another thread and then the poster
apologizes and says he didn't see that before. Then there
are people who get upset that a question is being asked
that is already answered in another thread. These things don't
happen as frequently in a BB with a working search.

Other hints that search isn't reliable are when people bump
a thread so they can find it tomorrow, and the degree of desparation
you often see when someone asks for an item to be made sticky.

As for your assessment that it works. How do you know?

In my test measurement, google found 5 or 6 matches, while phpBB
found only 1. That is only ~20% effective. If you are happy with that
level of performance, then I wonder what brought you to Gentoo?

I want to add that I don't like the thread title, and this is not my
sentiment. I tried starting a new thread but it was moved to duplicate.

The Gentoo forums are a great feature that distinguish it apart from other
Linux distros. It is certainly the best for content, but it is just becoming
hard to locate that content.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is starting to piss me off, so I will simply say (again) that I'm open to suggestions for improvement on the forums. However, ideas aren't worth much if there isn't enough man power to implement them.

To put it another way, "This thing is broke and here's some patches to fix it" will get far more attention than, "this thing is broke, please go fix it. kthxbye."

--kurt
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

klieber wrote:
This thread is starting to piss me off, so I will simply say (again) that I'm open to suggestions for improvement on the forums. However, ideas aren't worth much if there isn't enough man power to implement them.

To put it another way, "This thing is broke and here's some patches to fix it" will get far more attention than, "this thing is broke, please go fix it. kthxbye."

--kurt


I for one would not mind helping in anyway that I can to support a change over if that is what was decided. I have experience with PHP and database experience so if you can utilize me then I would be more than willing to support the forum that I love.
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