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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I want to see the manager! » » Search » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

houdini
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Loyal user
N.E. Kansas
202 Posts

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When I use the search feature and say search all topics, why do I get an error saying to specify a forum? I search all forums specifiing a forum: Im confused
Jim. Thats me on the left,Everyone should know the other guy!
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3647 Posts

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The "search all forum[s]" function does not work.

Search one forum at a time.

-Mary Mowder
DWRackley
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Inner circle
Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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I love the Café, I’m here almost every day, and have made many new friends in real life from introductions on the Café. I know it is a labor of love for Steve and for many others, but after a decade, I have to question whether the love has died.

When it takes now months for a name change to be completed, and a deliberately crippled internal search engine is topped by Google (essentially eliminating all “private” forums) for over a year now, and even this most frequently asked question could be halted completely by changing one single line of code, I don’t think it’s out of line to ask if anyone is minding the store?

One line on one page; change “All Forums” to read “Please Select a Forum”. Why has no one done this?

Yes, I guess this qualifies as a complaint. Sorry, but there it is. It seems to me that changing that one line would be (at least) more efficient than answering the same question (with links to all the other threads) over and over.

Image
...what if I could read your mind?

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Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-06-10 17:43, DWRackley wrote:
I don’t think it’s out of line to ask if anyone is minding the store?


Based on the PM's I get from staff telling me I'm always doing something wrong, I'd say the store is being watched;-)
FrenchDrop
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I can name that tune in
1647 Posts

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In the mean time...you can search the whole board by going to Google and using the "site:" option. Type "site:themagiccafe.com," then whatever search term you would use if the Café's "All Forums" option worked (minus the quotation marks, of course). I never use the Café's built-in search; I just go to Google.
"A great magician has said of his profession that its practitioners '… must pound and rack their brains to make the least learning go in, but quarrelling always comes very naturally to them.'” -- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-06-11 05:15, FrenchDrop wrote:
In the mean time...you can search the whole board by going to Google and using the "site:" option.


No you can’t. By design, none of the “secret” areas shows up on Google. They are accessible only the by Café’s crippled engine, one at a time, IF you can remember where you think something was posted.

I don’t know who was in such an all-fired hurry that they couldn’t wait two minutes between searches. That particular decision has always blown my mind.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4984 Posts

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It's not a problem reposting the link to the explanation to this question, but it would be nice if a little research were done before posting the question. The original poster in this topic asked the same question that was asked and answer 1 day prior and is blantantly visable when opening the manager forum. You don't have to search for it, just look at the page.

A simple path to take in this case, since you are told to stipulate a forum, and the question gets asked in the manager forum, you could do a simple search in that forum looking for the word search.

In any case, here's the link again.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=40&1
Where the magic begins
stoneunhinged
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3079 Posts

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I personally think that searching one forum at a time is a great compromise, since I usually post in only one or two forums, and since I was one of those who was in a all-fire hurry. I understand that others have different opinions, though.
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

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"Yeah, I've been searchin'
A-a searchin'
Oh, yeah, searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah
Oh, yeah, searchin'
I'm searchin'
Searchin' every which a-way
Yeah, yeah"
Chessmann
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3983 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-06-11 07:48, DWRackley wrote:
I don’t know who was in such an all-fired hurry that they couldn’t wait two minutes between searches. That particular decision has always blown my mind.


In 2 minutes one could do a few searches both using Google, and via the Café in the Secret topics.

Personally, I simply set up a bookmark on the Toolbar that says "MC Search" that goes right to a MC Google search. I just add my search terms (the "Site:themagiccafe.com..." is already there) and go.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
William Draven
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Elite user
Los Angeles, CA
465 Posts

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A little passive aggressive there Dave, don't you think?

I do think Mister DWRackley has made some rather valid observations. The Café, by design, is rather archaic compared to other magician forums that are in use at the current time. Just a single example would be their friends over at Penguin. I know this has been brought up before, only to get shot down, locked, deleted, and sodomized by the more vocal of the Café's supporters but honestly, I don't think a little infra-restructuring would be a bad thing. There very well may be a treasure trove of information lost within the cyber pages here, but if you don't know how or where to find it then it's not really doing anyone much of any good is it?

I just find it a bit silly to rely on an external search engine to do a better job than a websites internal one.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
4984 Posts

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Not aggressive at all. The original poster had to come to the manager forume to post his question. Without doing any search at all, two posts down in the forum is a topic titled "can't search". Same identical question was asked and answered. Since he was going to ask the question in the manager forum, he could have tried a search for "search" using the manager forum as the place to look.
Where the magic begins
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
2286 Posts

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William: I have no idea how much you understand about computer systems, so this is not intended as a slam of any kind. If you really want to know the inside technical scoop of why the Café is still just what it is and hasn't been modified, then look up Gene in the Tech Help forum and send him a PM. He can give you anything and everything about the code, the servers, and what hasn't worked before and why.

(Or you can do what I do, and enjoy what's here and leave the modifications to those who know more about what's going on under the hood than we do. "A little infra-restructuring" may require a whole lot more than just a few lines of code.)

Cheers!
Ed
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

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I agree with Ed, here. While my tirade had a hand in extending this thread beyond what it would have been, I did receive a very pleasant PM from Dave explaining more of the situation.

My suggestion about changing the code lies within my experience in handling HTML forms ONLY, and does not take into account the complexities of running a database, particularly one as HUGE as the Magic Café has become.

While it’s not perfect, the Café is still one of the best resources available anywhere, and (something he never brought up) it’s FREE!

Changes are in the works, and I’m looking forward to them.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
FrenchDrop
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Inner circle
I can name that tune in
1647 Posts

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I have a little experience with server-side and client-side scripting, and I really don't think changing the words "All Forums" to "Please Select a Forum" would require a huge alteration to the site's infrastructure. But I think a better solution would be to add a "Search all forums" option to the Search page that simply passes the "site:themagiccafe.com" option to Google along with the user's search terms, then displays the results. That would not be tremendously complex to implement, and it would give the Café a "built-in" search feature that can search the whole message board instead of searching one forum at a time.

Personally, I'd love to see the Café make the move to entirely new message board software. vBulletin, maybe, or phpBB (which is free) some system that's established, supported, routinely updated, and lacks the, uh...quirks...of the Café's current software.

If the Café's current database couldn't be imported into new message board software, it would mean previous posts would not be directly accessible via the "remodeled" message board -- but the old site could be archived lock, stock, and barrel under a subdomain (maybe archive.themagiccafe.com) so people could still read and search all the earlier posts.
"A great magician has said of his profession that its practitioners '… must pound and rack their brains to make the least learning go in, but quarrelling always comes very naturally to them.'” -- Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Gene
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Café Forum Developer
Howard City, MI
444 Posts

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I appreciate all the thoughts. Really, I do. Opinions and suggestions are responsible for much of the changes that have happened here in the past 10+ years. I would say, however, that anyone who knows at least a little bit about server-side scripting of any kind, knows how to create and implement efficient database structures and search engine routines while having to search a 3GB+ database using only a single server, knows the complete history of this site, has to deal with people intentionally trying to break in or otherwise cause problems such as spamming the PM system ... and has to sit in my chair, work at my regular office job, not be able to take a vacation for over five years (or even have the money to go anywhere for that matter), and generally be mentally exhausted all the time .. I would say that person would then understand. All one has to do is run a search (yes, it will work for this) in the Tech Help forum for any topic related to the search engine that includes a post by me and one will be a long way toward understanding the problem. Of course, some of the really old topics dealing with previous search engine versions and attempts to give users what they want here have since been deleted. I sincerely apologize if anyone feels these are complaints; They are not. It is simply the truth.

For the record, and I believe I've publicly posted this before, a few years ago we set up a psuedo-site based on phpBB version 2 with all the standard setting (no mods of any kind) and had people test it. It was a fantastic ... failure. The search engine was far more limiting than what we had at the time (and wouldn't have been met with any enthusiasm from the membership here because of that), and page load times were three times longer due to the template-driven system phpBB uses (and vB as well, since phpBB was largely based on vB at the time IIRC). Plus - and this is a HUGE factor - we simply don't want to use publicly-available software here unless we absolutely have to due to certain people at large who would love nothing more than to be able to find some hole to shut down the Café. That is *not* me being paranoid or anything of the sort. Just today I had to stop someone who was purposefully trying to crash the site using URL manipulation. If we used publicly-available software it wouldn't be long before a hole would be found and posted on a "bug" site and, before you know it, all the data here is deleted or possibly worse. Ouch! Not only that, there are a *lot* of things in place here that are staff and/or hidden functions that do not exist with any publicly-available software, and those would need to be rewritten for use in another software. The hidden and/or staff codes in use here amount to about half the total code, so that would be like setting up a new software and already needing to create 50% more to get the same functions/options. This site was built from the beginning almost literally from the ground up, adding features as Steve requested or were otherwise needed. It would be very difficult to do that now, and extremely expensive if we had to pay a programmer to do it for us. If anybody wants to know why we did this or why we didn't do that, feel free to send me a PM. I'll be glad to explain it to you as much as I can without getting into too much detail. Smile

So, there you have it. I'm hopeful someday I can get some time to go in and clean up some loose ends, and I will eventually. When? I don't really know.
Somebody kick me off the computer, will ya? Smile Smile
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