Forum Search - help!!



#2

Hate to admit this but I find the forum search very awkward to use and very unintuitive.

Is there any way of searching all the archives at once?

Despite the date range function, I can only get results from the current archive unless I go to the archive list and then search in each archive individually. Obviously, this is very tedious and slow.

There have been many times when I've wanted to scan the entire forum for a topic but haven't been able to find it when I know it is there because I can't work out how to use the search feature!

If this is an intelligence test, I have failed miserably!!!

Mark


#3

I, too, have found the forum search function to be nearly worthless. When I want to find something I know is there, I use the Yahoo search engine and specify the website I want to search. It's not ideal, but I've been able to make use of it.

For the forum search, I would like to be able to click on "search", then specify the search terms and the author and the date range, regardless of how the archives are grouped. It doesn't let you do that though.


#4

Well, Google can help of course. You just have to go to the Google advanced search page and specify hpmuseum.org in the field labeled "Search within a site or domain:".

Google has already indexed the topic below this one so it's quite up to date...


#5

You can do it even more quickly by adding "site:hpmuseum.org" to your query (without the quotes, of course).


#6

Quote:
You can do it even more quickly by adding "site:hpmuseum.org" to your query (without the quotes, of course).
which is what I do with Yahoo.
#7

I have to join the choir - maybe it's me, but I find forum's searching engine next to useless too.
Reth


#8

Dave,

Can I make a constructive suggestion that you simply add a Google search box to this page.

-Katie


#9

I 2nd that. Like a few others I use "foo bar blah site:hpmuseum.org" from Google.


#10

It would still be nice if the forum search worked right too though, so you could search for certain things that you remember a particular member wrote in a particular possible range of dates.

Just to anticipate another problem or question, a frustration I have on another forum is that if you enter a phrase in the box to search for the exact phrase, word for word, it kicks out the "the", "of", etc., maybe separates words differently or changes punctuation, is not case-sensitive (which makes a difference when it's a rarely mentioned brand name versus 100,000 uses of the same word without the capitalization), etc., and gives you stuff that's not the exact thing you're looking for.

Edited: 8 Aug 2009, 4:28 p.m.


#11

Well, in a silly way, I feel slightly less embarrassed that other people find the search feature difficult or not ideal.

I didn't realise you could use Google to search the site in that way so I will use that in future. Thanks for the tip! :)

However, it would be better if the site's own search feature was made a bit better, perhaps similar in functionality to a typical phpBB forum search engine as that seems to be quite a popular standard.

Mark


#12

Here is a quick way to set up a Google search in the forum without having to type in the domain each time.

Open Google and run a search with the text:

site:http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/forum.cgi

When the results come back, bookmark the page and rename it to something sensible like "HP Forum Google Search".

Next time you want to search the entire forum, open the bookmark link and at the beginning of the search text box, add the text you seek, leaving the rest of the search text in place.

Mark


#13

Mark; Sounds good in theory but when i try it; i get a list of museum results and this message when i click on one:

No Message!

Sorry, but the message you just tried to load doesn't exist! You may have followed an obsolete hard-coded link, or it may be that you just tried to enter the address manually, and mis-typed it. Please return to the message index or | the Daily view and try again!


Where did i go wrong?!?

Any help will be appreciated.


#14

A few years ago i mentioned to Dave that i had trouble with the search function. He asked me to list when where & what so he could improve it. At the time, i had a Toshiba with so many problems that the factory rebated all us buyers 75% of the purchase price. I didn't think that any data from me would be generally applicable. If he has time now; he might still want to work on it with people who can give him good descriptions of input vs output. I imagine that a search engine is a fascinating project for someone who writes this type of code but it would be hard to check it's efficacy yourself if you already know how to make it work.

#15

Hmmmm, I don't know what to suggest as it works OK here. Maybe it is dependent on your browser? I am using IE - which one are you using?

You are putting a space between the search text and the text that starts "site:"?

When you've made the bookmark, what exactly is the text stored in that bookmark?

Mark


Quote:
Mark; Sounds good in theory but when i try it; i get a list of museum results and this message when i click on one:

No Message!

Sorry, but the message you just tried to load doesn't exist! You may have followed an obsolete hard-coded link, or it may be that you just tried to enter the address manually, and mis-typed it. Please return to the message index or | the Daily view and try again!


Where did i go wrong?!?

Any help will be appreciated.



#16

Mark;
The bookmark is "site:http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/forum.cgi" which gives about 19,700 results. Some lead me to a museum page, some a thread, some an individual post and some the dreaded "no message" page from the museum. Then i put in a space and a subject. I tried a few, "novus" for example gave just three results, all from this forum. However when i click on any of those all i can get is that "no message" announcement from MoHPC. Maybe that is just the luck of the draw there.
I Usually use Mozilla Firefox but because of your question i tried Internet Exploder and in this case i get the same results. This computer is an IBM Thinkpad and it usually works pretty much like every one else's.
I appreciate the individual help but i realize that this may be the best i can get it to work. I've lived without a search function here for eight years and it's no big deal. However; if you have a suggestion for a refinement i'll try that.
thanks - db

Edited: 9 Aug 2009, 11:09 a.m.


#17

db - try this, it is the text stored in my bookmark. You'll need to copy the entire string without breaks, then load the page and save the bookmark again. Hopefully, it will retain the full URL. This definitely works here and links to threads correctly so if it doesn't work on yours, I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest next.
Good luck!

Mark


http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&as_q=&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&num=10&lr=&as_filetype=&ft=i&as_sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hpmuseum.org%2Fcgi-sys%2Fcgiwrap%2Fhpmuseum%2Fforum.cgi&as_qdr=all&as_rights=&as_occt=any&cr=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&safe=images


#18

First; thanks Mark. I tried several different ways. I'm sure it works on your computer but all it got me was two of the original three correct descriptions-of-a-dead-end and two new shopping options.

To tell the truth; i'm relieved that so many people have a similar problem in using the forum search. I'm constantly having computer geniuses tell me "it's easy, you just don't understand" only to find that they can't do it either. This time i've got it in writing! Maybe this will stir up a solution to the problem. If not, at least i'm not alone in my misery :-)

#19

I guess this happens when the message was indexed by Google before it was moved to the archive. However using the link "In cache" should show up the desired content.

HTH

Thomas


#20

Thomas; Thanks for the suggestion but in this case i was using something as a test that i know would have been in the archives, from years ago. It did bring up results, it just couldn't get past the museum's error screen. It's only the internet, not mathematics; i shouldn't expect it to work the same from day to day. It's only what was a top of the line IBM brand computer running XP Pro, not a real system like a 41 that will give reliable results.

If you have another idea to try i gladly will but what works on your system may not work on mine. In my limited experience, all a complicated windows (or Windows CE) program can guarantee is that it will take 30% longer and generate 24 times the error than doing it for real. Anyway, thanks again for the answer. It may help someone with an OS, browser, etc closer to yours. - db


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