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Old 2009-10-24, 03:59   Link #1
npcomplete
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better search function? google search?

Is it possible to use a different search function that the standard php/BB one?
IM-not-so-humble-O it just plain sucks.

It would be great if you could incorporate google search like I see some other forums do. But I don't know if that puts extra requirements on the site or is too invasive or contains something else undesirable.
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Old 2009-10-24, 04:01   Link #2
KholdStare
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Is this what you want?

http://www.google.com/sitesearch/

You can bookmark it for AS only, because I don't think the staff will worry too much about searching, especially when we can also search by tags. If you're using the Google Site Search, then remember to put in forums.animesuki.com as site URL.
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Old 2009-10-24, 04:16   Link #3
npcomplete
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Maybe. I take it searching from there is the equivalent of using the "site:" prefix. But does it capture everything? Is there a difference between searching "externally" with google and having a forum incorporate google search (so it can directly index the board database and the like)?

The example I recall offhand of what I mean is http://club.cdfreaks.com/
I think the search function is only available to registered users though.
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Old 2009-10-24, 04:21   Link #4
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They're probably using this: http://www.google.com/cse/

I've suggested it before in one of the mods-only threads. Not sure why it wasn't picked up on.

Anyway, I'll look into how easy/hard it is to integrate, because one thing is clear, vB (3.x) search doesn't work very well (mildly put).
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Old 2009-10-24, 04:32   Link #5
npcomplete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
didn't know you had one before!

Quote:
The problem with such an index is however that I can imagine it being quite tedious to keep updated.
yeah probably...

I ask mostly because it's impossible to find the thread for an older title by searching or by scrolling through many pages. Try searching for "Mizuiro Jidai" or equivalently "blue green years" for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xris View Post
This is something I used to maintain (i.e. Series Discussion Index) but after about 4 years of updates it became so mind-bogglingly boring that I had to give it up.

What is actually required is an automatic version based on the torrent database (mind, that is now also seriously out of date).
yes automation ftw
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Old 2009-10-24, 04:43   Link #6
npcomplete
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Thanks!
. . .
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Old 2009-10-24, 05:16   Link #7
GHDpro
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Just tried experimenting with a custom search plugin, and I've hit a problem.

I know that several years ago the "animesuki.com" domain was banned from Adsense (and considering the contents of the site, that's not surprising) but unfortunately that includes "forums.animesuki.com" as well and appears to affect Google Custom Search.

Basically, when I submit a search from he forums to Google, all I get is "Forbidden" error.

Now I've tried to work around this by displaying the search results on a page not hosted on the "animesuki.com" domain and it works, but it creates some other problems (such as that the forum cookies only work on "animesuki.com"). I'll have to think about how to fix this.
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Old 2009-10-24, 05:39   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npcomplete View Post
Try searching for "Mizuiro Jidai" or equivalently "blue green years" for example.
Actually searching for "mizuiro" returns quite usable results if you go to "Advanced Search" and select "Search in Titles Only".

Of course not everyone knows that trick, plus it takes a few extra clicks. So I've now modified the templates so that "titlesonly" is enabled by default on all searches done from the drop-down menu. Hopefully this should improve the usuability of that option.

If you want the old functionality (and search the contents of posts as well), you can still do so from the "Advanced Search" page.
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Old 2009-10-24, 05:52   Link #9
xris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
So I've now modified the templates so that "titlesonly" is enabled by default on all searches done from the drop-down menu. Hopefully this should improve the usuability of that option.

If you want the old functionality (and search the contents of posts as well), you can still do so from the "Advanced Search" page.
This is a bad idea IMHO. You've now changed a major function of the forum without any indication it has changed, this is going to cause major confusion and if anything make the search feature even worse than before.

How are the majority of users supposed to know that the search feature has changed? Why change such a major feature to deal with a specific issue. If you want to improve locating anime discussion threads then you need to implement a new search feature (ideally visible from the Search drop-down menu).

I would request that you reconsider and change the search function back to the way it was and think about actually solving the problem at the source.
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Old 2009-10-24, 06:24   Link #10
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Okay done.

But in my experience, 99% of the time the result from the quick search drop-down is utterly crap. Only by going to Advanced Search and select "titlesonly" I get any useful results.

Of course we could hold a poll on whether the option should be changed. But I think the way the search box works now is pretty useless to a lot of people, so I forsee the results of such a poll to be in favor of the "titlesonly" change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xris View Post
[...] this is going to [...] make the search feature even worse than before.
Would that be even possible?
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Old 2009-10-24, 07:42   Link #11
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For what is suppose to be a simple search limiting it to titles only makes sense to me.

I'm in doubt of what this source is... unless someone can point it out, applying small fixes is better then doing nothing.
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Old 2009-10-24, 10:19   Link #12
Zu Ra
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Best alternative is Google "xxxanimexxx@Animesuki" .

VBulletin search has problem with word distribution or joint words . An example would be Demonbane if you use the words Demon Bane the search will not yield desired results . So its better to try diffrent word combinations when it comes to searching .

But the real problem for me is names which have been ending with ' : ' eg : Zakumen:
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Old 2009-10-24, 15:28   Link #13
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHDpro View Post
But in my experience, 99% of the time the result from the quick search drop-down is utterly crap. Only by going to Advanced Search and select "titlesonly" I get any useful results.
Just tried this with the title of my own thread in FC.

My Trace Corner !

Had to go all the way to the bottom of the fifth page to find it. Did an advanced search selecting "titles only" and it showed up on the first page as the second result.

EDIT:

Felling some serious Deja-vu in this post, btw.
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Old 2009-11-21, 03:04   Link #14
npcomplete
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I just tried searching for "ga-rei" in the Animation (Anime) DVD Sales in Japan thread (search in thread function) and it not turn up any results. Neither did "rei" or "zero".
Yet here it is: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...00#post1744400

Are there some limitations or a certain way of forming our expressions for vB search?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zu Ra View Post
Best alternative is Google "xxxanimexxx@Animesuki" .

VBulletin search has problem with word distribution or joint words . An example would be Demonbane if you use the words Demon Bane the search will not yield desired results . So its better to try diffrent word combinations when it comes to searching .

But the real problem for me is names which have been ending with ' : ' eg : Zakumen:
I guess it has something to do with this? words with hyphens?
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Old 2009-11-21, 03:40   Link #15
xris
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There are a number of peculiarities with the vB search.

First "-" (hyphen)
I'm not exactly sure how this is treated but I think it is considered as a space " ". Therefore, searching for "Zoku-Sayonara" would be the same as "Zoku Sayonara" with the added condition that the two words are adjacent (i.e. separated by only a space). Of course, searching for "Zoku Sayonara" would also find posts what have the words "Zoku" and "Sayonara" separate from each other.

Second, searches require more than 3 letters.
For some reason, adding a hyphen with words of 3 or less characters causes some anomaly. Searching for "ga-rei" I would expect it to return "The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search" message but it doesn't.

Sometimes it helps to add the wild card character "*" (an asterisk) after a three letter word (so in this case "rei*") but that doesn't seem to work either (well, it does work but finds Reiteki, not ga-rei)
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Old 2009-11-21, 10:11   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xris View Post
First "-" (hyphen)
I'm not exactly sure how this is treated but I think it is considered as a space.
You could just filter out the "-" from the search string with a simple str_replace('-','',$keywords). It's probably better that it be removed than replaced with a space before searching. Advanced Search with "gar-ei zero" brings up no matches, but "garei zero" brings up the discussion thread as the third item in the list.

I've been fighting with customizing the crappy search engine in Zen Cart for a client; it made me appreciate what a difficult problem searching poses.
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Old 2009-11-21, 13:20   Link #17
npcomplete
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Thanks for all the info.

Actually I was curious as to why it was matching "garei" in other discussions but not in the DVD sales thread. It turns out that it's simply matching a few instances of a literal "garei" with no spaces, including in links' urls.

I think what ZuRa mentioned above about the colon also applies to hyphens. If there's hypen next to a word on a page, there seems to be no way of matching that word on such a page so far.
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Old 2009-11-25, 07:36   Link #18
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I've now implemented an experimental new search. It's currently only available if you use the Quick Search box (in top navigation bar) of the AnimeSuki Default (Original Navigation) skin.

The new search completely bypasses vBulletin's internal search and uses Sphinx Search instead.

Sphinx Search is installed on the forum's database replication slave server, which means it has absolutely no negative impact on the forum performance. However, as that server currently only has 1 GB RAM, performance might be quite slow - up to 30 seconds (!) per search or worse. I suspect installing more RAM will solve that, so please only look at the accuracy of the results for now - performance will be improved later.

The way I've configured Sphinx Search is as follows:

- Every post on the forum is indexed, including the thread title. So if you search for something that is not mentioned in a particular post but is mentioned in the thread title the post belongs to, it will still match.

- Results are grouped by thread, and sorted by the number of times the keywords you searched for were found in the posts associated with that thread.

- As a result of this, if you search for keywords that can be found in the title of certain thread(s), those threads will float to the surface, as every post will match. If your search was very generic though, it's possible the most popular thread, rather than the most relevant one is shown (ie: try searching for "Gundam"). The solution is to be more specific with your keywords.

Btw, As results are sorted by keyword count (descending) you may notice that the results may vary wildely in last-post age.

Anyway... try it out - and tell me what you think.

(to emphasize: performance will probably improve when I ask my provider to expand the RAM on the server it is running on)
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Old 2009-11-25, 08:08   Link #19
DragoZERO
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That Sphinx search works good. I tried a character name (Sasuke), a term (Hollow) and a general search (Pink Hair) and it worked pretty well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xris View Post
There are a number of peculiarities with the vB search.

First "-" (hyphen)
I'm not exactly sure how this is treated but I think it is considered as a space " ". Therefore, searching for "Zoku-Sayonara" would be the same as "Zoku Sayonara" with the added condition that the two words are adjacent (i.e. separated by only a space). Of course, searching for "Zoku Sayonara" would also find posts what have the words "Zoku" and "Sayonara" separate from each other.

Second, searches require more than 3 letters.
For some reason, adding a hyphen with words of 3 or less characters causes some anomaly. Searching for "ga-rei" I would expect it to return "The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search" message but it doesn't.

Sometimes it helps to add the wild card character "*" (an asterisk) after a three letter word (so in this case "rei*") but that doesn't seem to work either (well, it does work but finds Reiteki, not ga-rei)
You can't find Ga-rei like that becasue the asterisk is at the end. the asterisk is a wildcard as in, anything. So if you do rei* it will search for anything that starts with rei but if you do *rei it will search for stuff that ends in "rei"
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Old 2009-11-25, 08:26   Link #20
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I should note that Sphinx Search (at least the way I configured it) will process hyphens different (better) than vBulletin. Major point: try searching for "k-on! music" in the new search and the old vBulletin search (through "Advanded Search" or another forum skin). You'll get wildly different results.

I've also configured the new search to do automatic wildcards (try "gatar sic deo"). This also has a downside - searching for "aria" will return loads of threads with "maria" in it too.
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