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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Announcements (Please Read) » » Limited Search Engine Back Online » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4890 Posts

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Damian, the search function is running as fast as it used to, in fact, it's even a little faster by requiring a specific forum be used. All we ask is the members think a minute before requesting a search to get the best fit forum. In other words, in your case, the majority of your posts are either in Penny for your thoughts or Inner thoughts. Obviously mentalism is your forte. When doing a search, and there are of course exceptions, you enter the key word you're looking for and select either Penny or inner. A little more advance thought, if you are looking for general information, use Penny. For specifics use Inner. The search engine will now disregard every other forum that in all probability won't have any information pertaining to your search and provide a quick response.

The old method of searching everywhere, not only provided useless responses but slowed the Café down to a standstill. As mentioned in other forums regarding this subject, if the search has to look everywhere, it would now have to look at 3,853,000 posts to get results from a single forum. Multiply that number of searches by the number of members doing a search at any given time, I'm sure you can see why the Café would slow down.
Where the magic begins
Tim Ellis
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V.I.P.
Melbourne, Australia
1222 Posts

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Unfortunately, searching for one subject in the entire Café was pretty much all I ever used the search for.

As I mentioned above, the Google site search just doesn't seem to give me any recent hits. Weird.

I used to visit several times a day. Now it's several times a month.

I just can't search 300+ forums individually trying to find references to a specific topic.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4890 Posts

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Tim, once again, you don't have to search every forum. If you narrow down what you are looking for in terms of subject, such as cards in the workers or coins in the nothing up my sleeve, you'd only need to search a few times to get all the relevant information. For example, you wouldn't search for a subject on billiard ball manipulation in the clowning forum.

Sure, you could miss a topic from another forum but that shouldn't occur often.
Where the magic begins
Tim Ellis
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V.I.P.
Melbourne, Australia
1222 Posts

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Dave,

I'm usually searching for peoples names
Gene
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Café Forum Developer
Howard City, MI
444 Posts

Profile of Gene
Quote:
On 2011-01-06 12:00, Damian Surr wrote:
I appreciate anyone working hard on the issue of the search, but don't understand why it's a problem.

Couldn't we either:

a) Incorporate a search engine search into the Café (google/bing) or
b) Move the whole Café over to use some more modern forum software?

There's lots of free forum software out there. From basic to very advanced, and then full search would just be part of the built in system.
You've been around since 2004, so you must have missed the previous experiences we had with the search engine in the past. First of all, we actually did try to use other forum software but it was not successful (page load times were three times as long, etc.). I even built a search engine based on the processes and codes of other forum software but, firstly, it was slower than what we already had right off the bat and, secondly, it was a major disappointment to the membership because its searches returned only limited data. Members wanted to be able to search all the posts, not just those in the last six months, and they were very vocal about it. The problem here is the massive database and what members demand from their search engine. There are no easy answers, I'm afraid. However, someone did set up a page for Google searches for the Café, it's here:

http://searchthemagiccafe.com
Somebody kick me off the computer, will ya? Smile Smile
Tim Ellis
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V.I.P.
Melbourne, Australia
1222 Posts

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I appreciate all the work you guys do but personally I'd rather have a really slow search engine than having to select and search each forum.

For example. Try a search to see if MAX MAVEN has been mentioned recently on the Café.

How many forums would I need to go through...?

Then, using the search site set up here http://searchthemagiccafe.com I get hundreds of listings, but not in any specific order. I certainly can't tell what is new and what is not. (Same if I use a standard Google site specific search)

I think you guys do a great job and the Café has been a fantastic resource, but without a practical search engine it's just like a typical magician's magic room... everything's there, but where do you start looking??
Troels
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Denmark
205 Posts

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I don't mind limiting my searches to a specific forum. But since many of the names in the list really don't tell anything about the topic ("Workers", "Up your sleeve" and so on) I would like to ask if there anywhere on the Café is a list of translations I could print out: Workers = Cardtricks done with sleight of hand, Up Your Sleeve = Cointricks done with sleight of hand, and so on.

When I read through the forums I visit frequently it is not a problem, but with this huge number of forums it is difficult to remember or guess all the explanations when searching.

Troels
Gene
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Café Forum Developer
Howard City, MI
444 Posts

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Yes, searchthemagiccafe.com is a simple Google search, which offers no way to filter the results like the search engine here does. I'm working on the replacement, of course, but it's been a slow go so far. I'm changing it with respect to keyword searches only, since those are what is causing the problem. Still, it means rewriting almost all of the functions and routines that are in use now. Trust me, it's not an easy thing to create a search engine from scratch, especially one that needs to search as much data as is here, and I've had to do it three times. The current version took six months to create, as it was a total replacement of what we had before it.

The trick to keep the search engine from locking up the server is to limit the amount of data that must be searched when keyword searches are run. I decided to have the search engine search 3-month blocks of data and show whatever matches are returned, then give the searcher a link to search the next 3-month block, and so on. It might mean a few extra clicks for the searcher, but it should take care of the problem we have now and still provide full search abilities. Wait times between searches will be gone too. There will be a few other changes that searchers will notice, but nothing drastic. It will still have the same feel, but will be faster and (I hope) easier to use. At least, that's what I'm aiming for.
Somebody kick me off the computer, will ya? Smile Smile
Michael J
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Veteran user
UK
334 Posts

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Hi Gene,

Keep up the excellent work. We all have to be patient. What we have currently got is a big improvement and I'm convinced that further down the line you will make things even better.

Many thanks for all your efforts so far.

Mike
Gene
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Café Forum Developer
Howard City, MI
444 Posts

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You're welcome, and I will. I enjoy a challenge, but sometimes they don't like me very well. Smile
Somebody kick me off the computer, will ya? Smile Smile
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4890 Posts

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Trolle, each and every forum has a description of what it's content should include. You used the workers forum as an example. The description listed for that forum is
Quote:
Serious discussions surrounding tricks and effects which use pure skill and sleight of hand.


For coin magic, you listed "nothing up my sleeve". It's description is
Quote:
If performing sleight of hand magic with coins has you excited, this is your forum! Topics may include effects like Matrix, Coins across, Misers Dream, etc. This is also the area to discuss Okito box work


Besides that, and you are correct that there are large number of forums, each type of magic is group. For instance all card magic falls under the category of Pick a card while money magic is under show me the money.
Where the magic begins
Troels
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Loyal user
Denmark
205 Posts

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Dave,
yes, I know. And it is not a problem in any way when I browse the Café. But when you do a search you get an alfabetical drop-down list of all the single forums at the Café. And you had to chose a single forum from that. Now I see that it is possible to choose All Forums. I think this is a new option. For a period you had to choose a single forum among all in the alfabetical list. In that context all the funny names were really confusing.

I still think it would be more user friendly if the drop-down list was organised like the formus when you browse.

Trolle
ed rhodes
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Inner circle
Rhode Island
2588 Posts

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My problem is that I browse through the site. Then, when I want to search and see if there are any responses to my posts, I have to remember WHERE I was browsing and go back to that forum. A lot of my posts are in "Not Very Magicial," but not all of them.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2264 Posts

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Quote:
On 2011-03-02 10:36, ed rhodes wrote:
My problem is that I browse through the site. Then, when I want to search and see if there are any responses to my posts, I have to remember WHERE I was browsing and go back to that forum. A lot of my posts are in "Not Very Magicial," but not all of them.


Upper right corner of any page >> click Edit Profile >> click View My Posts.

Ed
kal
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Regular user
111 Posts

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To be fair the Café may have been excellent years ago but today the level and basic layout of a standard forum is far above what used to pass.
While overnight change is not easy, or really possible, it just seems difficult to understand how such a site can look so poor to sites just as large and with just as much traffic around the web.
Many sites have forums only as attachments to the main site itself and yet these possess all the functionality and smoothness that many on the boards are asking for.

The magic Café is now ten years old, as I understand it, and in that time people may have become spoilt to the improved technology. However, this doesn't really defend it against change as many open source clients, software(s) and utilities are available to facilitate such change and updates.

By and large the site runs fine, and it's not THAT big a deal, but the ease with which it could be fixed compared to the level of effort it seemingly takes is what leaves many people a little perplexed and irritated.
I'm always honest about when I'm lying. And I'm always lying...
jtong77
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New user
2 Posts

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Tim,

To search, eg, mentions of Max Maven in the past month, you can use the advance search feature of google:
google

I hope this helps


On an other note, I think the forum is cool. For a novice like me, being forced to only search one forum at a time actually helps me not get overwhelmed by information. I'm totally grateful for that.

Keep up the good work!
ed rhodes
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Inner circle
Rhode Island
2588 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Quote:
On 2011-03-02 10:52, Ed_Millis wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-03-02 10:36, ed rhodes wrote:
My problem is that I browse through the site. Then, when I want to search and see if there are any responses to my posts, I have to remember WHERE I was browsing and go back to that forum. A lot of my posts are in "Not Very Magicial," but not all of them.


Upper right corner of any page >> click Edit Profile >> click View My Posts.

Ed


Hey! I never claimed to be smart!

um, Thanks.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Steven Conner
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2075 Posts

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Searchthemagiccafe.com site has been down for some time now. Anyone know what is going on.

Steve
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2264 Posts

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I thought it was just my computer! Didn't know the site was down.
Still, it's just as easy to type the site name into Goggle and your search parameters.
See Imagination's post above.

I just wish they'd delete the default "Search all forums" line from the list.
Replace it with "Pleaase select a forum to search" or something like that.
That might save a lot of questions and headaches.

Ed
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