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Search too general?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:01 pm

I wanted to search on UPS, since I'm considering getting one for the studio and it would be interesting to see other people's experience if any. Unfortunately the search page returned hundreds of pages matched on "up". It may have returned matches for UPS but with so many pages matched on up there was no way of telling. I have noticed this before - it looks like the search functionality performs a spell check and then (without asking) searches on what it thinks you want rather than what you typed.

Would it be possible to make the search screen search on just what you enter and nothing else? This level of "helpfulness" really isn't helping!

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Re: Search too general?

Postby Agharta » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:16 pm

It's rubbish really and seemingly you can't even force it to give you one hit per thread so you can end up with dozens of hits for the same thread.

Edit: Sort by Type gives one hit per thread in chronological order with oldest first.
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Re: Search too general?

Postby zenguitar » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:17 am

I thought I would check for myself. putting the phrase in " " is supposed to search for that exact phrase but "UPS" returned the list of posts with the word up. The alternative is to link the words with the + symbol, so I tried searching for U+P+S and the search found nothing whatsoever, so it looks like you can't trick it that way either.

To be fair, the new search facility together with it's filters is WAY better than that in the old forum software. But as we have so many acronyms in music tech, it could handle them a whole lot better.

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Re: Search too general?

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:43 am

TBH I have very rarely used the SOS search facility. I would just Google ' UPS supplies review sound on sound' (will try in a minute, could be typing bllx!) .

But, if you want a REAL waste of time for a search engine, try Maplin!

Lots of UPS data comes up but nothing SOS related, then, I don't recall ever reading such a review in 12 years?

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Re: Search too general?

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:48 am

In fairness, we're not alone. I just went to Ars Technica site and entered UPS (no quotes) into their search engine and got untargeted results too - see:

https://arstechnica.com/search/?ie=UTF-8&q=UPS

I did enter Uninterruptible Power into the SOS engine and got more helpful results:
https://www.soundonsound.com/search/all/uninterruptible%20power

Most search engines don't work well with acronyms, but one of our 2018 To Do items is to re-visit the search engine and see how it can be improved. But it's a very long list...
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Re: Search too general?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:57 am

ef37a wrote:Lots of UPS data comes up but nothing SOS related, then, I don't recall ever reading such a review in 12 years?

We haven't reviewed any UPS systems as far as I'm aware... but they have been discussed often in the forums.

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Re: Search too general?

Postby job » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:35 pm

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Re: Search too general?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:44 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:We haven't reviewed any UPS systems as far as I'm aware... but they have been discussed often in the forums.

Indeed, and it was the forum posts I was after. It might be a good topic for a review, though.

zenguitar wrote:I thought I would check for myself. putting the phrase in " " is supposed to search for that exact phrase but "UPS" returned the list of posts with the word up.

Tried that too. Great minds etc.

Forum Admin wrote:but one of our 2018 To Do items is to re-visit the search engine and see how it can be improved. But it's a very long list...

[smiles ingratiatingly] I can understand, appreciate and sympathise with this, but I would also make a case for the search facility being one of the really key features of a site, particularly one like SOS with archives going back many years, archives that remain relevant right up to the present day. If the search engine struggles to return relevant results to the query then those archives might as well not be there. So perhaps you could prioritise it up the list a little? [/smiles ingratiatingly]

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Re: Search too general?

Postby desmond » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:02 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Tried that too. Great minds etc.

Me too! And some other variations...

Note: For technical reasons I have to do a completely different search implementation for searches with two characters on muzines, due to a mySQL limitation in the more sophisticated search techniques that don't work for less than 3 chars (for optimisation reasons).

In any case, search is often hard because you want to try to figure out what the person is searching for and give relevant and ranked results, and dumb text searches don't do that. You can forever go down a rat hole of optimising for certain query types and building ever more sophisticated algorithms to produce better results... it's one of those things that's never "done", only "good enough" for now...
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Re: Search too general?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:14 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Indeed, and it was the forum posts I was after.

That google search in the post above returns a good selection of the forum discussions.

It might be a good topic for a review, though.

I'm not sure it really would. As long as the model generates sine-wave rather than a stepped-wave mains output, and has sufficient capacity for your needs, it will be fine.

Personally, I've always had good results and reliability from APC's products. I previously used a Back-UPS Pro 1500 model which gave a "Stepped approximation to a sinewave" when the mains failed. All the computer stuff seemed quite happy with that, but I'm not convinced I'd want it for sensitive audio gear.

When the battery finally failed on it after about six years APC offered a very cost-effective upgrade to a Smart-UPS (of similar rating) and that generates a true sine-wave output. I'm very impressed with it and have had it running continuously for about four years now without a glitch.

Both models are line-interactive types -- meaning they only take over generating power when the mains becomes unusable. The alternative (but much more expensive option) is the 'on-line' type which generate power the whole time, providing a lovely clean sine-wave mains supply . This type would be very useful if your incoming mains is heavily contaminated. Unlikely to be an issue in the UK, but could be handy elsewhere (or maybe if working in the filed from a local generator supply).

The key to choosing a UPS, aside from the points made above, is getting the capacity right. You need something big enough to carry you over typical black or brown-outs, and to provide enough time to shut everything down cleanly. Most can be linked to the computer (and some external hardware like NAS boxes) to shut them down automatically before the battery is exhausted.

I would also make a case for the search facility being one of the really key features of a site, particularly one like SOS with archives going back many years, archives that remain relevant right up to the present day. If the search engine struggles to return relevant results to the query then those archives might as well not be there.

I can see why you might think that... :wave:

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Re: Search too general?

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:42 pm

It's always worth spelling out in full the acronym, or the salient parts of it, as this nearly always produces relevant results from searches.

I did enter Uninterruptible Power into the SOS engine and got more helpful results:
https://www.soundonsound.com/search/all/Uninterruptible%252BPower

As desmond says, searches are a law unto themselves. I agree with what you say about a powerful search being a high priority, but it's not as high a priority as things that require our time to work on to keep the site going, like preparing new issue content, ensuring spammers don't bring the whole forum to its knees (a daily bind!), complying with ever-changing legislation...

Yes, we'll come back and see how it can be improved, but we currently have to focus on other stuff.
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Re: Search too general?

Postby garrettendi » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:49 pm

Forum Admin wrote:ensuring spammers don't bring the whole forum to its knees (a daily bind!)

I had no idea the spammers were such a problem! I kind of assumed from the fact that I see so few make it to a post, that it was less of an issue.

Good job keeping us safe :thumbup:

On topic, I've had some of these issues with the search, and while I feel it is an important issue, I can usually get round it by using Google with "sound on sound" in the search text.
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Re: Search too general?

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:21 pm

garrettendi wrote:
Forum Admin wrote:ensuring spammers don't bring the whole forum to its knees (a daily bind!)

I had no idea the spammers were such a problem! I kind of assumed from the fact that I see so few make it to a post, that it was less of an issue.

Good job keeping us safe :thumbup:

Nobody other than us Mods see the spam... but these SEO call centres are incessant in thinking they can post and put sneaky links in their signature...

On topic, I've had some of these issues with the search, and while I feel it is an important issue, I can usually get round it by using Google with "sound on sound" in the search text.

A better way is to preface your Google searches with site:soundonsound.com and that produces results only from our site.
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Re: Search too general?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:24 pm

garrettendi wrote:I had no idea the spammers were such a problem! I kind of assumed from the fact that I see so few make it to a post, that it was less of an issue.

We're like swans; what you see is all serene and calm, but we're paddling like crazy beneath the surface!

The mod team are typically ousting between 3 and 6 spammers every single day and a lot more spam posts-in-waiting. There's a fairly consistent background level of opportunistic spam posters, but boosted by regular surges.

Thankfully, the new-member-queuing system prevents most of that spam from ever appearing on the radars of forum members, but occasionally the odd one slips through if we give someone the benefit of the doubt -- although we have a strong watch-list for those, so they don't get away with mischief for long.

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Re: Search too general?

Postby Forum Admin » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:30 pm

And way more than that when those spam factories decide to have a campaign push to improve SEO for their clients. It wastes so much of our time. :protest:
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Re: Search too general?

Postby desmond » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:32 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Thankfully, the new-member-queuing system prevents most of that spam from ever appearing on the radars of forum members.

And I for one, am super-grateful for this... Thanks everyone who deals with it, I know how annoying it is, but the benefits are significant.. :thumbup:
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Re: Search too general?

Postby desmond » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:35 pm

Forum Admin wrote:And way more than that when those spam factories decide to have a campaign push to improve SEO for their clients. It wastes so much of our time. :protest:

They are missing a trick though. If they were smart, they would charge people to spam forums with marketing junk as usual, then also charge a service for the forum people to clean up marketing junk.

Then the same person could create an account, post to the site, then delete the post, and get paid twice... ;)
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Re: Search too general?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:33 pm

desmond wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Thankfully, the new-member-queuing system prevents most of that spam from ever appearing on the radars of forum members.

And I for one, am super-grateful for this... Thanks everyone who deals with it, I know how annoying it is, but the benefits are significant.. :thumbup:

And so say all of us. It's part of what keeps this place civilised and worthwhile. :clap:

To the topic: as a small workaround for the benefit of those who know less about the wonders provided by our Google overlords, maybe you could place a button next to the main search dialogue that invokes Google on the search parameters with the site:soundonsound.com parameter set, much as you did on the old site as I recall. That might hold things for a year or so until there's time to do search properly.

Cheers,

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Re: Search too general?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:36 am

job wrote:Google might help. Like this:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en-GB ... arch&gbv=1

Actually, I know it's being defeatist going outside the SOS Forums, but this Google search from job does work very well! :clap:


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Re: Search too general?

Postby Forum Admin » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:36 am

But even the mighty, wealthy Google still managed to include 2 items on that page with close-ups and punch-ups in their results... ;)
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