After spending many nights of debugging, compiling, recompiling, some more debugging (well, you get the picture), I've implemented a complete new search engine for the forum.
The old search engine wasn't very good and was causing the server to almost grind to a halt when multiple searches were started. This was because there's over 2Gigabytes of data to search through and the old search was trying to do this by first copying everything to memory! Searching through the archives took forever, and some users mistook this for a non-responding search, so they started a new one which made the problem only worse.
The new search is fast, very fast. It is able to search through a section in less than a second. It has a few extra features over the old search, and a few other features have been dropped. BTW, did I mention the new search is fast?
I'm still testing and debugging, and also adding things, so you might see the search switch back and forth between the old and new one.
[This message has been edited by Cliff Pennock (edited 11-04-2001).]
------------------ Patrick W. Heinske -- LZeitgeist@aol.com 1988 Red Fiero Formula - 1st Place - Stock Coupe - FOCOSEVA 2000 - 3rd Place - Stock Formula - FOCOA Nat'l 2001 - Class Winner - 1982 to Present - 2001 Tarheel Tigers All-Pontiac Show
Hey, that's fast! Except...nothing popped up? I'm guessing it'll all smooth out soon enough. I'm very glad to see you've upgraded this! How hard would it be to add the ability to search through ALL sections, rather than one at a time? I have always wished we could do this, and since you're making changes.... Not complaining whatsoever, just asking what it would take, and if it's possible with your current rennovated version. You're the man Cliff
Wow that is fast. Do you have plans on having dates displayed also? If it comes down to dates or speed I will definetly take the speed but I liked knowing how recent something was with the previous search engine.
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock: That's weird. What are you searching for?
Well, I found it's only symbols and numbers that don't work. I have been using the search a lot lately looking for info on 17" wheels. I typed in "17" and it came up with nothing, then " 17" " and nothing, then "17 wheels" and nothing, then just "wheels" and BAM, a lot. The reason it came up with nothing was given as:
"Sorry, nothing available for find=17 Search string may be too common or not a complete word."
Is there no way to search for numerical info, or symbols for that matter?
Bryce 88 GT
[This message has been edited by Nashco (edited 11-04-2001).]
I was much more successful with the old one. I used Subject Only vs. Entire Text a lot, as well as often knowing the username I was looking for, and even knowing how long ago. Based on my experiment a few moments ago, I'd vote on going back to the old one.
THE OLD ONE??? With the increased search time, I can read through a few extra subjects as a sacrifice. I'd rather glance through an extra 50% more titles than wait a minute for the search. Maybe that's because I'm an internet freak though.. Slow connections drive me nuts!
I really did use the "search by username" function a lot though, that was a definite bonus to the old system.
Just me talking...I find it much more productive to search the entire text. Many threads change subject halfway through, or have a topic that doesn't fit the bill well.
Bryce 88 GT
[This message has been edited by Nashco (edited 11-05-2001).]
Searching for "17" indeed did not yield any results because the system considered that too generic. In fact, the system considered every word with less than three characters as too generic. I've changed this so now you are able to search for stuff like "V8", "17" or "code 32" (where previously "32" would be discarded as a search term.
If you prefer the old search, then I'm afraid you are out of luck, since I will most certainly not go back to the old search. The old search was causing major problems and just can't cope with datasets as large as this forum's. In the past year, all problems of the forum being slow, or if you got some sort of "unreachable" error was because the old search was bringing the server to its knees. Like I said, the old search was trying to fit a 2Gb dataset into memory - not to mention it hijacked all processor usage.
You can still search for a specific user by just entering the username as a search term. The only reason the old search had a separate option for this, was because it used a different database when searching for posts made by a specific user to speed up the search. Since speed isn't an issue anymore, there is no separate option for it now.
The one option that's gone forever is searching for posts that are newer than a certain amount of time. The new search algorithms simply can't handle that.
Searching through all forums at once is an option I'm currently looking in to. The reason it's not implemented yet is because it requires an extra (very large) index.
And last, the search is still a work in progress so give it time to crystallize.
search button [icon] should it be more towards the center of the page and bigger??? in my normal window it is off the page on the far right unless i go to MAX SIZE or scroll over i can't see it and didnot know it was there untill i hunted for it. maybe a better search needs a better location and bigger size to be used more. thanks for the improvements to a great site.
Bloody hell that's fast... even has boolean functions..... Great Job!
As for the old system... Cliff's not kidding. You really don't want him going back to that thing. It was never meant to be used with something as big as this forum.
Study the help for the new system and you'll be able to find whatever you want quickly. If you want more practice with Boolean searching head over the Altavista. They support it in their advanced search as do most other good search systems.
Also, Use some common sense. Searching for something like a 2 digit number is kind of pointless. If you are looking for an error code, use code and the number as in Cliff's example. The more words you can think of relevant to your search, the better the results will come up. Another example... search for mirror and you'll be here till hell freezes looking at the results. Search for mirror turn signal in the archives and you get my mirror turn signal project on the first page....
------------------ 11-Sept-01, The day the world as we knew it ended.
What's the score? I did a search for 'steering stabilizers' and came up with one thread. Under the thread title, it said something about 'score: 100'. The higher the score, the more free Fiero parts we're allowed?
Could you implement the subject search? I used that most of the time to get threads that I know should talk specificaly about the tipic I wanted. Now if everybody has K&N or 3.4 in its signature then I can't do a search without getting almot all the database topics. Just my opinion.
------------------ Alex4mula :) Red-Original Owner & White-1/94 with PM (: