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