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View Full Version : Anyway to make it easier for readers to search for important info's?


Ken Leung
06-27-2001, 05:56 AM
Is there any way we can store some of the important discussions into a page where people can go in and look up for certain information? I mean, the search already works really good, but I think an index or some sort will be a lot more helpful because some of the discussion have been repeated over and over.

Repeating of discussion is the one thing that makes the usage of searching less effective¡K There are going to be so many search result that people will have to read pages after pages of messages to find something useful.

What I am suggesting is that we build an index for important discussion, such as ¡§Drive train discussion¡¨, or ¡§things you want to know about the drill motors¡¨, or ¡§insights into this year¡¦s game¡¨, or ¡§different ways of attaching gears onto a shaft¡¨. There are just some of the examples of different topics really worth saving.

No need to look through pages after pages of messages¡K All people have to do is to go into the index page, and click the link and go directly to the messages with the most information.

How to judge if a thread is useful? I have no idea how to do that¡K Maybe all the threads should be rated by the readers¡K Maybe we should just let the posters add their thread into the index¡K But whatever method this forum end up using, I am sure it¡¦s going to help people a lot when they are looking for useful information for immediate usage¡K.

Andrew Dahl
06-27-2001, 07:59 AM
I would think that adding a contectual search engine would do the trick

ex- you want drill motor info
type in "drill Motor"
you would get every post that had the certain array of words


just my 2 cents


dahl
team 497

Ken Leung
06-27-2001, 12:47 PM
What I am trying to suggest, is that we have another page with a table of content, or something like that where people can go in, look under "Technical help", and then click the link like "The most important data about the Drill Motors", and go directly to the most important discussion we've had about drill motors in the forum.

No need to search through the database... Just simple, direct connections to what people think are the most helpful discussions.

For example, long time ago there was a great discussion about tractions and the way to design drive train, make great mind in the forum had participated in that discussion. No doubt that was one of the most important and informative discussion we've had in here. If we are able to have that page I am talking about, then all the people have to do to view that page is to go into the table of content, look under "Principle behind designing robot", and "Traction and drive train"...

All these are just here to help the people who need information "right now!" No need to do a search and look through the results by browse through all the body of the messages...

It will be like a big manual of all the important things you ever want to know about building a robot in here.

I will be happy to do the search for this forum, and find out the specific links to important issues to get this "table of contents" or "manual" a jump-start...

Brandon Martus
06-27-2001, 01:17 PM
i can always make a thread sticky upon request

when the threads sticky, it always stays at the top of the forum, no matter what.

just report the post to a moderator, and say 'hey, make this thread stuck, yada yada' ..

and if another discussion happens to sprout up in the middle of the stuck thread, we can always split that one off to its own thread...

David Kelly
06-27-2001, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Brandon Martus
i can always make a thread sticky upon request

when the threads sticky, it always stays at the top of the forum, no matter what.

just report the post to a moderator, and say 'hey, make this thread stuck, yada yada' ..

and if another discussion happens to sprout up in the middle of the stuck thread, we can always split that one off to its own thread...

"Now thats what I call a sticky situation"

-From some South Park episode

Jay Lundy
06-27-2001, 04:09 PM
Something sort of similar to what Ken was talking about would be to have a list of topics like

Mechanical Systems
--Drill Motors
--Gear Ratios

common things like that, and when an item is clicked it enters it into the search engine and brings up a bunch of threads. Just a quick, easy to use (and easy to make...i think) way of searching for what you want.

Nate Smith
06-28-2001, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by Jay Lundy
Something sort of similar to what Ken was talking about would be to have a list of topics like

Mechanical Systems
--Drill Motors
--Gear Ratios

common things like that, and when an item is clicked it enters it into the search engine and brings up a bunch of threads. Just a quick, easy to use (and easy to make...i think) way of searching for what you want.

Well, through a little reverse engineering of the search page, I was able to figure this much out...here's a link (if I can put it into the post right) that will do a search for "drill motors"...I probably could take some of the parameters out, but I left them all in to keep from "breaking" the search script...

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/search.php?s=&query=drill+motors&exactname=yes&forumchoice=-1&titleonly=&showposts=&searchdate=-1&sortby=lastpost&sortorder=descending&action=simplesearch

Matt Leese
06-28-2001, 06:42 AM
I get the feeling that what Ken meant was for the moderator to take certain threads that contain particularly useful information and to put them in another location where they can be easily accessed. So basically, have closed forums with reference information in them so that it's easy to find.

Matt

Nate Smith
06-30-2001, 01:15 AM
I tried getting the search script to sort the results by ranking, to see if we could use the rankings system for threads to determine which ones to have show up...but either it can't be done without a hack, or I'm not using the right parameter...either is possible, I'm doing this without documentation :cool: And I can only download the limited-functionality free version to play with myself...any ideas, Brandon?

Ken Leung
06-30-2001, 03:49 AM
Sigh... all I am suggesting is a way to look up information WITHOUT searching though the pages.

Have a page with links to important discussions people already had, maybe a little writing beside it explaining what the discussion is about and why it is important.

No search, no looking up, just go to the index, select whatever topic you want, and click the link to see what people talked about that topic.

In a way, this will become a library where important knowledge will be stored.

People won't have to ask the same question anymore. They just have to look it up, and maybe post a new thread with a link to the topic in the main forums if there are any questions about it.

Shouldn't be too hard to do...

Joe Ross
06-30-2001, 01:47 PM
It would be very easy to make a static page that would do what you want.

Advantages: A person or small group of people controlls the content. You could include threads from the old forums.
Disadvantages: Somebody has to update the page each time there is a good thread.

What Nate is suggesting with the search and ratings is a dynamic page.

Advantages: Somebody doesn't have to update the page each time a good thread comes around. Everyone gets to decide on which threads are worth listing.
Disadvantages: Brandon has to spend time hacking the search page. It would be possible for a group of people to completely throw off the rankings.


On another note, another forum that I frequent implemented something similar to this a few weeks ago. Now the standard response to a redundant question is check the FAQ instead of use the search. It doesn't change much in the long run.

OTOH, having a feature like this tends to decrease the helping nature of the forums. Instead of answering someone's question, they are refered to the FAQ. While they get the same information, the whole process is less friendly.