[wp-hackers] Page searching examples [was: 2.4 planning discussion]

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Wed Oct 3 16:54:52 GMT 2007

On 10/3/07, Stephen Rider <wp-hackers at striderweb.com> wrote:
> if Joe Average goes to a website and sees a "Search" box, he most
> likely expects it to search that site -- the *entire* site.  It
> should pull blog posts, pages, authors, tags... pretty much any
> information that actually appears on the site.  It is not intuitive
> to go to "blah.com", punch in a search, and only get results from a
> subsection of the site.

Stuff and nonsense. Joe Average doesn't expect it to search the whole
site, he expects to get results that are relevant to what he's
searching for. What subsection of the site it searches or not is

A non-technical user does not know what "whole site" actually consists
of nor how "searches" work. This is not part of the operation he's
performing. What results we allow him to get back is entirely up to
us, not to him thinking he's "searching the whole site".

> As an interface designer, this seems almost self-evident.

So self-evident that it bites you in the arse, perhaps. ;-)

A good interface designer would note that the end result of performing
a search is getting relevant results, *and that is all*. Nothing else
matters. How you get those results is beside the point. Whether you
search pages or posts or tags or look through the couch for the keys,
it does not matter to the end user, as long as the information he's
wanting is returned.

> I don't mean any disrespect, but it surprises me the number of people
> actually arguing that search should _not_ search pages.

I'll say it very clearly: I think that the search function should not
search Pages *indiscriminately*. Why? Because Pages, in the context of
most uses of WordPress I've seen, are rarely data. They most often
consist of special setups, special Page Templates, forms, PHP, other
stuff that is *not normal paragraph-like text*. That's why I don't
want search looking at those, because it's not something that has
anything that should be returned to the user in a search.

The default behavior, given the usage patterns that I've seen for
Pages, should be to *not* search Pages. Now, I agree with allowing
them to be searched, but that should be on a per-Page basis, and
disabled by default.


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