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

Daniel Cameron dan at scatter3d.com
Wed Oct 3 17:23:49 GMT 2007

On 10/3/07, Andy Skelton <skeltoac at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/3/07, Doug Stewart <zamoose at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The fundamental point that Sam is making is sound, however -- content
> > accessible from a 3rd party search engine ought to be accessible in a
> > similar, if not easier, fashion from inside WordPress itself.   If one
> > must go to Google or Ask (What Happened To Jeeves!) in order to get
> > better search results than WP can provide, I think something is
> > probably wrong.
> WordPress, open source software that typically runs on shared hosting,
> should be able to produce search results on par with the secret
> algorithms of the world leader in search, a company with market
> capitalization of 182 billion dollars?

 The comparison to Google is valid in regards to expectations on
usability and results, not actual logistics; since we don't need to
apply algorithms for ranking. We just need to extend what's already
being searched from posts to other fields including pages.

Do you have any metrics on what wordpress.com users expect/want in
their search results? I'd be willing to bet as an author each would
expect every single word they type into a post and page and excerpt
and tag to be show up in search results.

> On 10/3/07, Knut-Olav Hoven <hovenko at linpro.no> wrote:On Wednesday 03 October 2007 17:41:48
> Andy Skelton wrote:
> >
> > It has been agreed that if WordPress had a relevence-based search
> > engine built in, we wouldn't have any trouble integrating pages into
> > the search results. That would be a nice thing to have but it's really
> > not a realistic goal at this point.

Why isn't it a realistic goal? What's holding us back specifically?

> That's probably because the basic WordPress philosophy has been to reject
> patches larger than 2 lines, telling the contributers to make plugins
> instead. (I'm pushing it to the edge, but it's still true)

An answer would alleviate comments like this, since Hoven's assumption
isn't being proven wrong [to some].

> Search-Everything and Search-Hilite are great plugins that gets the job done.
> Why shouldn't that be corestuff? (they might need some code cleanup, but
> still...)

This isn't going to happen in regards to adding options...

On 10/1/07, Matt Mullenweg <m at mullenweg.com> wrote:Daniel Cameron wrote:
> If we decide page searching is the best for most users, there will
> likely not be a UI-exposed option to turn it off, you'll need a plugin.

...and I have to agree. Bloating the core with bunch of options will
not be good even though in comparison to some already existing options
it should be acceptable.

Hoven: I'm always looking for help :) [1]

> > There are fine ways to integrate Google searches into a blog's
> > template. I think that's more our speed. Competing with Google Search
> > just isn't.

> Not a good idea. Core functionality should consist of framework-stuff, not
> tight integration with other systems that may (not likely, but may) change
> their API's.

Agreed, Google search is not an acceptable search replacement,
specifically looking for an author's content since comments and
intermingled.  And even if you use another plugin of mine [1] ads that
Google inserts isn't a reasonable trade-off.

{ Why can't we meet somewhere in between? }

Here's what I propose, knowing it's most likely not going to happen
but it will alleviate: user expectation, not bloat the core with
"unnecessary" options and more importantly the patch [I assume] will
only be a few lines of code:

Let's have Wordpress' default search include:
* Posts
* Pages
* Tags
* Meta fields
* Attachment Fields (title and description)
...this is what I strongly believe the author expects search results
are pulled from.

Have the community (maybe me) create a plugin that will provide
options for the user to exclude, limit or include more from the core

All this without requiring the any new options panel.

Pretty much the exact opposite of what's being done now, except it
will help the average non-plugin wordpress user and the wordpress user
that doesn't know how the default search works. Whom are the people
I'm thinking about when I make these suggestions or comments, not the
wp-hackers who can write a plugin or the above average .org user
swamped with plugins.

Then again, what about the wordpress.com user?

[These are only suggestions and should not be taken as a directive nor
was any of it meant to be condescending or rude to anyone on this
list. Thanks]

Dan Cameron

[1] http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/search-everything/
[2] http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-ajax-search/

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