neptronix wrote: ↑
Jul 07, 2018 11:31 am
1) Searchability. Most people don't know how to do a google search for site:endless-sphere.com yourcoolsearchhere. We need the google search option back.
The google search finds some things that the forum search won't, but:
Keep in mind that even that doesn't find everything, and it finds too much in many cases, and because it is a site search, it won't accept many modifiers, and won't accept quotes for exact phrase matches. I don't know why it doesn't work correctly with those things, but it doesn't.
You can't search only a specific subforum, either--soemtimes you may know where in general a bit of info might be, but not which of many similar threads. Can't search a limited time range either, or for stuff by a specific author. (the forum search does let you do these, to an extent).
Also, google frequently changes how their search responds to various things, and whether it does at all, so any forum search depending on it can't be relied upon ot find the same things every time.
It also assumes you're looking for stuff you didn't actually put in the search terms, and ignores things you did put in. *sometimes* it will show a "must include (searchterm)" link on some of the searches, and sometimes it only says "missing (searchterm)" with no way to make it find it, even if you put the correct boolean operators, or even quotes, in the terms. (this happesn with site search or otherwise).
It also depends on google having actually cached all of the site data, every post/page, so that it has the data you need to search in the first place. (since it does not live-search the forum, AFAICT).
I've got really good google-fu, but that doesn't help when they change things or break them.
If there's any way to simply modify the existing search so it doesn't ignore things like punctuation, common words, especially those with only two characters (we have a LOT of two letter abbreviations that are important to get the right search results), then it would actually work much better than google.
I realize that as-designed, it would have to build a bigger index, but if the search could be altered to do a live-search of the actual post database, it would no longer have to index at all, and the search would be able to find anything at all that actually existed.
I'm sure it is nowhere near as simple to do as it sounds.
But it would certainly be worth the effort of doing it. (and if it was port-able to other PHPBB forums, they'd probably appreciate the new ability, too).