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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:08 am 
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Expanded Search Capabilities

1. INTRODUCTION

The existing search functionality in Joomla 1.5.x increases options for searching over 1.0.x but still lacks support for more granular and flexible search criteria. With enhanced search capabilities, the ability to customize the search module parameters will also become desirable.

2. SCOPE

1) Adapt the search module to have the following parameters:

    a) Categories & Sections- Have checkboxes for each of these two with a dropdown & "Add" buttons. For example, the user would select the category in a list and click "Add", which would add it to a scroll box. There are several options for creating this functionality.

    b) All Articles- Checkbox to search all Articles.

    c) All Web Links- Checkbox to search all Web Links.

    d) All Contacts- Checkbox to search all Contacts.

    e) All News Feeds- Checkbox to search all News Feeds.

    f) Results ordering- Ability to se the default ordering on the Advanced Search page. It currently defaults to "Newest First". Also include a checkbox to show/hide this in the front-end module.

    g) Dropdown menu to select: All Words, Any Words, Exact Phrase, or Without Words. Also include a checkbox to show/hide this in the front-end module.

    h) Dropdown option: Add parameter to add a dropdown containing chosen items from the abovementioned areas. For example, individual sections, categories could be added to a dropdown on the front-end of the module. For an example see the Reference section below.

    i) Checkbox option to show/hide Advanced Search link in front-end module.

    j) Drop down to select a number of results to show. Possibly have default: 20, 50, 100 and a text box. Checkbox to toggle visibility in front-end module.

2) Add highlighting of found search items on the individual results pages (only when coming from a search results page).

3) Plugin functionality for third party extensions. Built-in phpBB3 support.


3. TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION

It is assumed that mainly the Joomla search module would be enhanced.

4. IMPACTS

None known.

5. DEPENDENCIES

There are no known impacting factors on the content or content structure so backward & forward compatibility shouldn't be an issue.

6. REFERENCES

I've created a version that has similar functionality by combining the default Joomla search, iJoomla search, jReviews search, and phpBB3 search all in one module here: http://www.playshakespeare.com/ (See the top of the left column).

An example of (1h) above is in the "One Play" portion of the search module.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:11 pm 
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I agree more flexible searching would be a great addition. It would be nice to have the ability to choose particular categories/sections or components (including 3rd parties if they have a plugin) to search in the back end and also allow individual switching on/off of the search parameters a visitor sees when they do a search.

But probably the best thing for search since sliced bread would be to allow a search based on "relevance" instead of newest, most popular, etc. That's what Google uses and pretty much every other search, so why not Joomla?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:33 pm 
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I agree that relevance sorting would be great just as the default search criteria. It would also depend on what kind of site you have and whether or not that would be appropriate so it might be a good thing to add to the admin parameters.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:07 pm 
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Talking in general a more granular serch feature is a plus for finding contents out.

In my long experience I've seen that most users in a CMS (not in a forum please) don't use (or simply they use very little) option like "any word", "single word"... and sometimes they use the selection between articles, weblinks, contacts and so on.

What I'd like to explain is the lazy (?) visitor of a site. Well, my suggestion is to show a minimal search page (a google style) with links to advanced search by content types or word selections...

In this case we can take 2 advantages, a more professional layout of the site page, a more detailed and clear page of a specific advanced search page and - wow - the right page for the right visitor of your site!

Moreover I'd like to add at your schema, another idea: the Search by the Site MetaTags or KeyWords (maybe you can consider this feature like a different way for enforce the limits due to our actual categorization and in the same time a way for suggesting something useful in your site). I hope this idea could be a good one :D

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:52 pm 
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I think adding Metatags as a search criteria is a great idea. Part of what I've proposed is the ability to enable/disable the various search criteria. The admin can turn on searching various criteria and turn off others that may not be relevant to the type of site you have.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:01 pm 
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severdia wrote:
I think adding Metatags as a search criteria is a great idea. Part of what I've proposed is the ability to enable/disable the various search criteria. The admin can turn on searching various criteria and turn off others that may not be relevant to the type of site you have.


That's right!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:33 pm 
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It's an idea but why not implement Lucene for the searching in Joomla? The original Lucene was written in java and I implemented it in the CMS from the campany I work at. But there is a php variant which can be found here http://devzone.zend.com/node/view/id/91 . I'm verry happy with the results it's producing and it also indexes documents like .docs or .xls files. It's just an idea off course and it will demand a little bit of work but you can have full control over what the indexer can index and what not.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:36 am 
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in joomla 1.6 you cannot make a revolution, the search component is good enough. The right solution is to be more firendly and usable! Another idea is about having link directly lined to the search component... so, when you click on your displayed author name on an article of yours you could have that link to the search component with listed all articles made by that author... in this case the work done for obtaining a result like that in the next joomla 1.6 would be very minimal!

So the idea is to let search component more granular (please avoding messing options all together) and professional for the joomla needs.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:45 am 
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It was just an idea. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:04 am 
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I appreciate your idea and post very much, I replied to you asap as I like to point out what imho sould be, now, the strict minimum basic development for a better search system... I hope you continue our thread and sorry if I've stopped (or it might seem so) your contribute :-[

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:54 am 
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The thing is, to my knowledge the search function does not index documents at all. I love Joomla. I really do like the concept and therefore I would like to see it mature even more. An expanded Search with indexing is one thing but it adds that more maturity to the system. Just as a workflow would do, standard translation of pages (Joomfish is great but Joomla should be able to do this by default), better caching and maybe get rid of the category/section view. These are all just ideas off course but I think it's ideas that help further the development of this great system.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Correct, there isn't any search indexing in Joomla. I imagine if sites get to a certain size, it'll be much faster with an index than without. Maybe this could be another option in the configuration.... "Use Search Index: Yes or No". Smaller sites could use the default search engine but larger sites could flip the switch and get "power searching"...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:52 pm 
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by sundry more options in global configuration and by some further advanced search sub-pages, well, in this way I think it's possible to view a better component already in 1.6! :p

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:00 pm 
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It would be cool to have this feature! POWER SEARCH!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:18 am 
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In my opinion, search right now is one of the weakest parts of Joomla. There is another white paper: viewtopic.php?f=500&t=278176&p=1247889&hilit=search#p1247889 which brings up having a search based on relevance. Right now search defaults at NEWEST first. The other options are most popular, alphabetical, etc... none of which are very useful for the average site.

Many times when I'm on a Joomla site and I'm looking for something specific like the name of an article or a product, I'll have to sometimes wade through multiple pages to get to the item I'm looking for. You're not going to be interested in the newest article (which happens to share one of your search keywords) when you're looking for something specific. An example is the Joomla extensions site. Ex: try searching for something specific like "ultimate content display module"...nowhere (probably on page 20). Next search Google "site:http://extensions.joomla.org/ ultimate content display module" and you'll find it right at the top!

Even if you're not sure what you're looking for, relevance is still going to be better than newest since you're hoping to find the matches that weigh closest to your chosen keywords.

I also like many of the other ideas mentioned here and hope a better search gets considered.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:42 am 
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Yes, relevance is one of the things that lucene can do. I was able to build a google like search with it for one website. It will require some back end configuration too because you'll have to index your entire site.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:07 am 
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unleash.it wrote:
I also like many of the other ideas mentioned here and hope a better search gets considered.


probably at 100% in 1.6 joomla we'll have got a new ACL but in the same time I hope to see a more professional search system... in this thread there sundry good and interesting ideas, if the team decide to improve the search one too...

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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:30 am 
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pls see also at viewtopic.php?f=501&t=278176&p=1283733#p1283733 expecially about a KeyWord ordered list; the search list is in a "messing" order... that is it's better to see firstly the articles tagged by that Keyword and after that by the (inserted & searched) text!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:51 am 
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Any updates on this?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Hello,
I am really glad to see this. Every day, I like Joomla more and more, but the search capabiloties seem out of step with all the great advanced features the software offers.

I'd be interested in seeing a search module that can be placed in different parts of the site and only search particular areas.

For example, I have a member directory, which I created using the article system. I'd like to have a way to place a search module just in that article, so visitors can do a member directory search.

Just one idea.

Thanks,
Matthew


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 4:00 pm 
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You can do just about every type of search possible with JX Finder

http://jxtended.com/products/finder.html

So it might be a long time before we see that level of power search in the core.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:07 am 
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severdia,
That does seem like an excellent extension. I've been spending a lot of money lately on extensions, so I am being more picky about which commercial options to choose from, but this does seem great.

Thanks for the tip.

Matt


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