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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Monday: June 26, 2006

A slightly better search for your GLM enjoyment.

If you didn't know already there is a nifty search tool at the top of every page on this site that uses AJAX technology to give back result suggestions to you as you type them. These suggestions simply pick up your searched term and check the weekdaily links to see if there was a post regarding that subject or keyword. While I freely admit that the search is still a little buggy, I also admit that I think it's pretty cool. But it seemed to me that the overall search needed a little something.


To try out the 'suggest' feature just start typing a search term in the search box at the top of the screen and results should pop up (see screenshot for example) while you type.

It's not quite as perfect as I'd like it to be. Sometimes, if you type too fast the system gets confused and won't give you any results at all. I think that is due to the amount of power the server is currently packing. Sure, if I had a larger server farm with far more power behind it, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem. Alas, that is not the case (and probably will never be the case) so until then I have a lovely homebrew fix for that: type slower.

Onto the next problem. The suggested results only return twenty or so links based on the search term. You're not getting an entirely clear view of the history of your particular search using that method. Additionally, if you are the astute web user and hit the enter key after filling out the form (basically the only way to submit said form due to the absence of a submit button - yea, I'll work on that) - you would get redirected back to GeekLikeMe with no results at all. Zip. Nada. Zero. This left some users confused, at least the ones who actually tried it.


To solve that problem, I decided to build an actual dedicated search page. To get to it just type your search in the above form field and hit enter on your keyboard. You will then be zipped away to a more robust result set than the twenty or so that were suggested previously via the AJAX popup.

This can be handy tool if you want to jump back to that one link I happened to post here without sifting through the deluge of other unrelated links. It also helps me primarily as a tool for checking if I have already posted a link. See? Everybody wins.

There are some other neat features of the new search as well. On the right of a result set you see a section labeled Recent searches. I also give you a link back to the post the link came from so you can what else was interesting that day. Basically it's yet another fun way for me to see what (if anything) people are trying to do with the site.

Enjoy the updated search. It was certainly a challenge to build (my internal database for weekdaily links is not pretty nor is it friendly). But sometimes the challenge is half the fun. Here is the sample search from the screenshots above: Search for Apple links on GeekLikeMe.

Posted to Verbose filed in GeekLikeMe / Site Related @ 11:38 AM | Tags (2) | geeklikeme | search |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 0 Clicks | Posted by Vin

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