New SEARCH Function - Your Feedback?

Posted by: Piano World

New SEARCH Function - Your Feedback? - 08/12/10 06:48 PM

The search function that comes with the UBB is very slow.

Because it tends to lock up the board on long searches, we've restricted it to a maximum of 2 years worth of threads.

The new SEARCH box in the upper left hand corner of the forums is from Google. It only searches the Piano World and PianoSupplies.com web sites.

Search Results are in the Middle of the Page.

Theoretically it can search ALL of the posts as well as the rest of the PW site.

It seems much faster.

~ Have you tried it?
~ Thoughts?
~ Is having it open the results in a new page helpful, or a hindrance?

We could go to a Google model without any ads on the results page, but because of the number of pages that make up PW and the Forums, it would cost about $5000.00 a year.

Of course, if everyone hates the new search we can just remove it and use the built in one that comes with the UBB (they are working on a new version of the ubb, it may also have a better search function).

Posted by: eweiss

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 06:51 PM

A major improvement Frank. I tried the PW search and it always hung up. Now with big G, you get speed and relevance. smile
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 07:19 PM

Verdict:

MUCH better than the UBB search function, primarily because it returns results by thread, not individual posts, which is a tremendous help.

Thanks!!!!

...hope I will remember to use it, though, as I had gotten used to just hopping over to google and doing an advanced search there and restricting the site to PW.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 07:19 PM

p.s. I much prefer having the results open to a new page.
Posted by: J_D

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 08:27 PM

Very fast and having the results on a separate page is not a hassle at all.

Thanks!!
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: New SEARCH Function - Your Feedback? - 08/12/10 09:21 PM

I love it, thanks!
Posted by: beet31425

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 09:26 PM

A huge improvement. I think it's great.

I had actually given up on the built-in search a while ago, and used Google for my PW searches anyway (using Google's "site:" search option).

It's not just that the built-in search doesn't go back far enough. It's also that its search relevancy is not good. The new search is far better.


-J
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 09:35 PM

I like it too. I had tried a while back to look up my old thread to post for some newer people here but couldn't find it. I actually found it via another thread by accident even though I was typing in word for word, it was not showing up. I typed the same thing into Google and it popped right up on the first try and on the first line. Nice improvement.
Posted by: supersport

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 11:37 PM

I was using Google already so I like this. I like the results opening in a new page too.
Posted by: currawong

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/12/10 11:49 PM

I like it. thumb

But I have sort of worked out how to use the existing search facility for some things, so I hope we keep that as well. For example, if you recall a particular poster saying something good but you can't exactly recall what it was smile you can search for it (advanced search) by specifying the poster, a forum and maybe a likely word, and seeing what comes up. I've found some lost gems like that.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:22 AM

Excellent!
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 01:54 AM

Fast and easy if it only could be conbined with at least some of the advanced search functions [in the title; in the body; or both]

In the old one it was convenient you can specify where you want to look, i.e. in what forum (e.g. piano forum; pianist corner ..) and make a selection by user name.

With the Google search results you also do not know how they are listed: by 'relevance', by 'date'.

schwammerl.
Posted by: AJF

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 02:12 AM

Love it.
Posted by: KenD77

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 08:28 AM

Nice!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
I like it. thumb

But I have sort of worked out how to use the existing search facility for some things, so I hope we keep that as well. For example, if you recall a particular poster saying something good but you can't exactly recall what it was smile you can search for it (advanced search) by specifying the poster, a forum and maybe a likely word, and seeing what comes up. I've found some lost gems like that.


The existing search that is part of the UBB will stay, and hopefully improve.
Posted by: Zindaras

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 08:42 AM

Like most, I've been using a limited Google search, so I really like this feature. Also, I like it opening in a new tab, but then again, I love my tabs.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 09:25 AM

Frank -

You might want to notify the other forums about the new search feature. For example, I don't find it mentioned in the Digital forum. Some of the folk "over there" never come "over here" so how would they know about the new feature?

Lawrence
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 11:33 AM

I just tried it and it seems very good. Easy to use. A couple of questions, or wishes, possibly comparing to UBB search:
is it possible to limit the search to a specific forum?
what order are the results returned in? (doesn't seem to be date most recent)

Thanks anyway.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 11:58 AM

OK, I'll be the contrarian, other than the speed and lack of depth, I personally prefer the old search. Full disclosure, I've never been a big fan of the google search, they lost me when they bought the dejanews archive and I lost the ability to do left anchored wildcard searches. Note that this is still a problem to this day, use the new search to look for CP70* and it fails to pick up posts that only have CP70B. Since my search term is not an English word, it's stemming rules do absolutely no good here (and interestingly enough, that seems to be the vast majority of the type of searches I personally do). I also prefer some other forum software where you can ask for your results in either thread or individual post form vs the "make'em page through more results to maximize page hits" format that google uses.

OK, enough grousing, I'm obviously in the minority here and I am of course free to simply not use it, but Frank did ask for opinions smile
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:08 PM

That's ok bitWrangler, opposing views often bring opportunities.

I've been working with the developers of our UBB to improve their built in search engine. Version 8.0 of the UBB should be out soon, we'll see how much better it all is.

I realize the Google search has limitations, but it does dig pretty deep, and it is fast.
We will however continue to offer both options (the Google driven search and the built in application).

There are other options out there, but to properly index and serve the million plus pages of our site it would cost thousands of dollars a year.

Right now, both options we are using are free.
Posted by: gerg

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:27 PM

In my humble opinion, the most serious problem with the Piano World site lies not in the search but in a serious problem in one of the scripts.

I use both Firefox and Opera, and both browsers occasionally, very spuriously, crash and occasionally even blue screen the whole machine. This only happens when the PianoWorld site is open. It happens on Windows XP and Vista OSes, Firefox and Opera browsers (the only two I use), and on multiple computers.

I suspect the Amber Alerts crawler at the bottom, but that's a very rough guess.
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:29 PM

That's never happened to me: Firefox (with some NoScript here and there) on Vista.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: gerg
In my humble opinion, the most serious problem with the Piano World site lies not in the search but in a serious problem in one of the scripts.

I use both Firefox and Opera, and both browsers occasionally, very spuriously, crash and occasionally even blue screen the whole machine. This only happens when the PianoWorld site is open. It happens on Windows XP and Vista OSes, Firefox and Opera browsers (the only two I use), and on multiple computers.

I suspect the Amber Alerts crawler at the bottom, but that's a very rough guess.


Interesting.

That's the first I've heard of this problem. We have 53,000+ members, and over 17,000 unique visitors a day.

If it were an issue, I would presume others would be reporting the same thing.

I'm not saying it couldn't/didn't happen, just that it may be isolated to a specific set of circumstances.

There are by the way thousands of sites with the code amber code. We've had it for years now with no reported issues.
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:42 PM

If your computer is blue screening then it's not the fault of the website, or even the browser, you have some issue with your OS (or drivers). Not to say that some element on a particular website is causing your browser to do something that eventually leads to this, but the fault lies squarely on the software, not the site. Wouldn't surprise me at all if your issue is with Flash, since it is common on websites but also has hooks into the OS that can cause catastrophic failure. I'd start with updating/reinstalling Flash and work from there.
Posted by: gerg

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 12:50 PM

I'm not sure that it's the Amber code. That's just a suspicion as it is the only thing (other than animated gifs, which likely are not problematic) that has constant event-driven updates. It's likely a thread safety issue.

I develop software for a living and usually find myself on the other end of trouble tickets with reports like this. The bluescreens, in fact, often occur at the same time I'm building code in Visual Studio 2008 - itself an unstable environment. To be fair, the worst-offending machine is itself unstable.
Posted by: Crit

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 01:07 PM

Frank, good improvement. Thanks for adding it to PW.
Posted by: gerg

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 01:44 PM

BTW, Frank, the new search is a great improvement! I did not mean to pour cold water on that, so sorry for that.

You're offloading the search function onto a cluster specifically adapted for searching, effectively utilizing a COTS solution. You 1) improve the search capabilities and at the same time 2) improve performance.

Very well done! thumb
Posted by: M.O.P.

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 04:58 PM

Nice, Frank! Thanks for taking the time to listen to us grumble & then give us something new & improved. smile It's much appreciated.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 05:04 PM

FWIW, using Firefox (always latest "stable" version)on XP, Vista, and 7 on various machines, I have never experienced any of the crashes gerg describes. I also doubt it has anything to do with Flash. The only flash I see on the site is in (very few) ads. I have experienced some crashes when I have tried out "alpha" and "beta" bersions of Firefox, but that is to be expected. I literally cannot remember the last time I experienced a crash with a stable version of Firefox on any of the machines I have (even the old XP machine). My browsing habits on PW may be a bit unorthodox in that I open every thread that interests me in tabs, and view them one by one until I'm done. Sometimes I literally have two dozen tabs open at once. I would think anything that was going to cause a crash would be worsened by the strain on resources that many open tabs represents. Then again, I am a fairly experienced tinkerer, but not a software developer, so I could be wrong.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 07:03 PM

Two questions, which may be related to the new search engine.

1) Why are there now little red circle/triangle icons everywhere? (Clicking on them seems to link to a blank screen).

2) Why are there now vertical scroll bars on every single message window? Again, they don't seem to have any purpose, since there is no need to scroll.

Both of these detract from the former clean cut look of the forums.

Thanks,
Lawrence
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/13/10 07:09 PM

1.) A glitch in the ShareThis software, being fixed by them as we speak.

2.) Not sure what you mean about vertical scroll bars on every message window.
A specific example?

Best,

Frank B.
Piano World
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/14/10 03:52 PM

Google custom search rocks. Well done Frank. wink As to forum software, have you ever considered phpBB? I admin a couple of phpBB 3 forums and I've been very impressed with it. Could save some $$ since it is free and open source.
Posted by: Melodialworks Music

Re: New SEARCH Function - Feedback? - 08/14/10 04:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano World
1.) A glitch in the ShareThis software, being fixed by them as we speak.

2.) Not sure what you mean about vertical scroll bars on every message window.
A specific example?

Best,

Frank B.
Piano World


When I read this message for example, there is a scroll bar immediately to the right of the message, but there is no need to scroll, due to the size of the message. If you're not seeing this, it is perhaps something to do with my settings?

After posting this, I note that the scroll bar appears on every message on the page. I can do a screen shot, if helpful.