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I know it's been said before, but the search facility is killing the creativity of IP Products


markopolo2002
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I've invested quite a lot of time, effort and money in my site, as I'm sure others have too - and I know this has been a controversial subject in the past and WE ALL KNOW (just before the flaming starts) that this isn't specifically an issue with IPB, it's more a MySQL issue, but I'm beginning to think a lot of people will be put off by the poor search results that the IPB suite seem to be returning.

I've had issues in the past, so many in fact, that I gave up entirely on the built-in search, and even Sphinx and instead began using Google Site Search some time ago, which I may add has it's own problems, but my point is this - are IPB concerned about this or is it simply a case of "nothing to do with us"?.

I say that in the nicest possible manner, because even attempting to search this site is a nightmare at times and the subject has been brought up many times, enough I think for IPB to concern themselves with it because I know I've lost the plot sometimes trying to search for the simplest of things only to be given 10 pages of total nonsense, which despite most probably containing the necessary keywords somewhere, don't return the most obvious one's, even in the titles?!.

For example, I searched for Michael's "shoutbox" using, surprisingly, the keyword "shoutbox" in the marketplace. Where does Michael's mod appear? On the last page of 6 pages of results, whilst the first result is "Spring AND Easter Two Skin Pack 3.3". LOL!!

Another example, searching my site for "hwinfo" on the downloads returns no results, yet we have "hwinfo32" and "hwinfo64" listed. However, on a competitors site (download site) I can search for "hwinfo" and get an entire list of relevant results.

It's obviously the fact they may have tweaked their own MySQL, or it could be it just works for them, I don't know, but this is the problem, none of us really know or understand how this works and although I'm able to appreciate this isn't specifically an IPB issue, many won't and many will just give up with IPB and consider it complete garbage for searching - wouldn't it even be possible for IPB to look into this, come to some form of conclusion on what can be done and even prepare a tutorial on the matter. After all, we're not talking 1 or 2 people here, we're talking about every single person who used an IPB board, admins and users - attempt to make the search results more relevant, users become less frustrated, sites stop loosing visitors who can't find what they are looking for and basically everyone is a lot happier :smile:

There obviously can't be a one solution cap to this issue as different people will want different things, but there has surely got to be some relevance in the fact that titles should be searched first by default, then content - not sure if this would require a tweak with MySQL or could be implemented by IPB - either way, surely that could be a start?!
Cheers
Marko

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Sometimes, I thought it is more effective search engine Google, than the search engine from IPS application. But again..., sometimes. And is old deficiency which has been perpetuated from one version to another IPB. Sad but true.

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I have just searched your site for '[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]hwinfo' and it returned the

following

.[/font][/color]



Try again joelle, I disabled fulltext search for a few minutes to test, it did show me those results too but for some strange reason I began getting a MySQL error which went away when I re-enabled full text - need to figure that one !!

This is what I get with fulltext on

post-116929-0-69708300-1340450663_thumb.
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Hobbe, wildcard works great, unfortunately the problem is users won't enter wildcards and I don't think I could expect people to start entering these symbols - no other download site I know of has these problems, I'm just trying to figure out whether they have altered their MySQL search in some way so I can at least start returning the most basic of results - Google Site Search is good, but it returns a whole load of nonsense along with the desired results which is why I'd like to go back to the built-in search but it's unworkable as it is!

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For those of you with access to your own servers, we get OK results at eGullet using Sphinx: I really wish Invision had a "sort by relevance" option since Sphinx has such excellent support for result ranking (often sorting by date is not useful), but at least you can do things like morphology and wildcards.

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I agree, the searching in IPBoard is terrible. I don't know enough about searching to provide constructive criticism.

I know it's disheartening for developers to login and feel people are saying, "Your product is bad". Your product is not bad--it's the best community software available--with a pretty bad search! :smile:

I guess if searching were easy, there Google wouldn't have a monopoly on seach. Maybe some kind of built-in, default, Google search of the site, somehow. I do know it needs to be better.

Josh

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I set up Sphinx before too, didn't see much difference at all in regards to relevancy, well, from what I remember anyhow - then I introduced IPContent as my frontpage and that's when it all went pear shaped cause I then had the search defaulting to search "pages" which showed zero results for anything. I then replaced the entire search box with Google Site Search but recently reverted it and I am now using the Google Site Search modification which kinda offers the best of all worlds, but if relevancy was better with the search results and I was able to default the search to search downloads first I'd be the first to re-implement it in a heartbeat.

As I said earlier, this isn't necessarily IPB's issue, but it's an issue which is effecting their software and I'm sure with the brains behind IPB it is possible to at least investigate the problem, offer tutorials on managing or tweaking MySQL or something, in a language or form that most of us non-techy peeps can understand.

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then I introduced IPContent s my frontpage and that's when it all went pear shaped cause I then had the search defaulting to search "pages" which showed zero results for anything.




That's the second search issue in play. I have the IP.Content issue right now--search defaulting to IP.Content and no one wants to search ip.content. They want to search the downloads. That could be solved a lot easier than the search releveance/search quality issue.
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I set up Sphinx before too, didn't see much difference at all in regards to relevancy



The problem is that Invision isn't using the relevancy: Sphinx will happily compute a "pagerank" just like Google does, but there is no way to sort by it.
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The search clearly has issue's, but I guess it comes down to whether or not IPB are willing to step in and start attempting to, well, help - I can't say "resolve" because it would most likely be impossible to resolve everyone's issue because I still appreciate what may work for one site may not necessarily work for another - we just need some form of assistance or guidance at least to try and start making results more relevant. It could be argued that MySQL is a totally separate entity, and it's true that it is, but when we (and the the entire Invision software) rely on MySQL it doesn't make sense to simply come to the conclusion that it's not our issue. MySQL is very much a pre-requisite of the entire Invision suite, and from what I have experienced myself, is merely good for the storage of data, not for it's retrieval - and I would put money on most people having had problems with it "out of the box" at one time or another.

C'mon Invision, I know this is a topic of contention for you guys, but you have to admit MySQL in it's current form isn't complimenting your software as well as it could and I'm sure the man hours spent researching and providing some form of tutorials or guidance on how we could possibly go about getting more relevant results would be worth it's weight in gold for your current customers and future one's!!

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