Search

Message boards : Documentation : Search
Message board moderation

To post messages, you must log in.

AuthorMessage
Eric Myers
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 12 Feb 06
Posts: 232
United States
Message 11078 - Posted: 20 Jun 2007, 14:16:19 UTC
Last modified: 20 Jun 2007, 14:17:21 UTC

An important part of good documentation is to be able to easily search and get exactly what you want.

Unfortunately, since we moved to Trac I think the search capability of the Berkely site has suffered. When you search the whole site you get wiki pages and the older doc pages and forum postings (good) but also bug tickets and revision log entries. Those last two are only of use to developers and likely confusing for more casual users.

So I've played with Google's search interface, and I've found that it's not too difficult to narrow the search to just the wiki, the forums, or tickets, or you can select everything. And you can pass these options on to subsequent searches.

I have an example on Pirates@Home at the bottom of the Help page. Look for the item "search the BOINC website" and notice the radio buttons below the search box.

How to divide up the search might still be improved. Not everybody knows what "wiki" means, so maybe we need better labels, or an entirely separate search for beginners. But this shows the main idea.

-- Eric Myers

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- William Butler Yeats
ID: 11078 · Report as offensive
Profile KSMarksPsych
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 30 Oct 05
Posts: 1239
United States
Message 11079 - Posted: 20 Jun 2007, 14:49:16 UTC

I don't have any good suggestions for the labels.

But I do like the more fine-grained search functions. Lately I've been using site:blah.com searchterm on Google when I know I've seen something in one place or another. Especially on the forums. The build in forum search leaves a lot to be desired. The way results are presented are confusing for me. But then again... what can we say about me?
Kathryn :o)
ID: 11079 · Report as offensive
Eric Myers
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 12 Feb 06
Posts: 232
United States
Message 11105 - Posted: 21 Jun 2007, 16:45:36 UTC
Last modified: 21 Jun 2007, 16:56:58 UTC

I've added a few more options. You can now search Subversion, and the boinc_dev and boinc_projects list archives.

I'm now thinking this is getting complex enough to deserve a separate page.
The "Search BOINC with Google" page.

-- Eric Myers

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- William Butler Yeats
ID: 11105 · Report as offensive
Profile KSMarksPsych
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 30 Oct 05
Posts: 1239
United States
Message 11113 - Posted: 21 Jun 2007, 23:05:25 UTC - in response to Message 11105.  

I've added a few more options. You can now search Subversion, and the boinc_dev and boinc_projects list archives.

I'm now thinking this is getting complex enough to deserve a separate page.
The "Search BOINC with Google" page.


Don't the list archives require having signed up for the appropriate list? Or am I thinking of something else?
Kathryn :o)
ID: 11113 · Report as offensive
Profile Jord
Volunteer moderator
Project administrator
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 29 Aug 05
Posts: 13357
Netherlands
Message 11114 - Posted: 21 Jun 2007, 23:09:35 UTC - in response to Message 11113.  

Don't the list archives require having signed up for the appropriate list? Or am I thinking of something else?

Only Boinc_alpha needs logging in on the archives. We tested that. :)
Please do not private message me for tech support. Use the forums for that. Tech PMs will be ignored!
ID: 11114 · Report as offensive
Eric Myers
Avatar

Send message
Joined: 12 Feb 06
Posts: 232
United States
Message 11135 - Posted: 22 Jun 2007, 12:03:30 UTC - in response to Message 11105.  

Eric wrote:

I'm now thinking this is getting complex enough to deserve a separate page.
The "Search BOINC with Google" page.


So how should this work? The regular search box available on many pages on the BOINC website should perhaps only search the wiki. But it could also have a link for "search sections". Or is that properly "advanced search"? Or "wider search"? Something which communicates that you can widen your search from just the wiki (or just the forums).

The "advanced search" I see here in the forums is an advanced search of only the forums, so it should perhaps be labeled "forum search". It's implemented in BOINC, not Google.

-- Eric Myers

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- William Butler Yeats
ID: 11135 · Report as offensive
Lee Carre

Send message
Joined: 8 Sep 05
Posts: 74
Channel Islands
Message 11616 - Posted: 14 Jul 2007, 8:17:21 UTC - in response to Message 11078.  

An important part of good documentation is to be able to easily search and get exactly what you want.
i'd say critical part of good navigation, it's the single most used feature on a site, even one which has good navigation panels to start with.

So I've played with Google's search interface...
Google is good to start with (to provide something) but should eventually be replaced with an internal search to include updates immediately, and categorise stuff better than a general search engine like google would.

How to divide up the search might still be improved. Not everybody knows what "wiki" means, so maybe we need better labels
not only labels, but URLs should also not include technical terms, and if possible not include uncommon terms too, unless the subject of the article/section is technical matter, as is the case with BOINC, but an average user frankly doesn't care what a site is hosted on, they care about the content. so something descriptive of "collection of information" is required instead of whatever technology is being used to host it (eg "wiki")

or an entirely separate search for beginners. But this shows the main idea.
"simple" (default) and "advanced" (full set of options) search as is normal for most sites should solve the problem if implemented well.
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats or various BOINC related forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
ID: 11616 · Report as offensive
Lee Carre

Send message
Joined: 8 Sep 05
Posts: 74
Channel Islands
Message 11617 - Posted: 14 Jul 2007, 8:21:43 UTC - in response to Message 11079.  

But I do like the more fine-grained search functions. Lately I've been using site:blah.com searchterm on Google when I know I've seen something in one place or another. Especially on the forums. The build in forum search leaves a lot to be desired. The way results are presented are confusing for me. But then again... what can we say about me?
No K, you're absolutely right.
It's a dreadful search, both in the query form, and the display of results.
Needs vast improvement!

People shouldn't struggle to understand stuff on the web, it should be obvious or self-explanitory. You're not the only one though lol, I hate the boinc forum search too, it uses exceedingly bad search algorythms (sp?) too, so doesn't actually find any relevent info anyway! lol
Better off replacing it with a google (site specific) seach for now until a much better internal search feature can be implemented.
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats or various BOINC related forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
ID: 11617 · Report as offensive
Lee Carre

Send message
Joined: 8 Sep 05
Posts: 74
Channel Islands
Message 11618 - Posted: 14 Jul 2007, 8:24:59 UTC - in response to Message 11105.  

I've added a few more options. You can now search Subversion, and the boinc_dev and boinc_projects list archives.

I'm now thinking this is getting complex enough to deserve a separate page.
The "Search BOINC with Google" page.
I'd suggest pointing everything to a /search/ page (eg http://web.site.tld/search/ or whatever) and then having whatever search feature presented there, so that it can be updated (and replaced with a proper internal search) later without having to create new search pages with different URLs, and update all the links to them.

in short, just point all visitors to a single search URL (eg /search/). If needs be, have links to different types of seaches from that; eg /search/google/ for the google site:xxx search etc.

it just makes site maintainence much easier
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats or various BOINC related forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
ID: 11618 · Report as offensive
Lee Carre

Send message
Joined: 8 Sep 05
Posts: 74
Channel Islands
Message 11619 - Posted: 14 Jul 2007, 8:26:26 UTC - in response to Message 11113.  

Don't the list archives require having signed up for the appropriate list? Or am I thinking of something else?
Another excellent point to keep in mind as the project progresses. Don't (unless really, really needed, force users to sign in, or create an account just to access information.
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats or various BOINC related forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
ID: 11619 · Report as offensive

Message boards : Documentation : Search

Copyright © 2019 University of California. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.