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FlightRisk
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North Carolina
291 Posts

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Before you point me to the other threads and the canned answer, I would like to politely suggest that you re-listen to the complaint/issue. There is an issue here, it is perhaps the single most complained about feature on the website an no one is addressing the problem. Again, I am not trying to be argumentative, just asking you to think outside the box and see if this is really something that can be fixed, rather than just pointing to the way things were 5 years ago and rationalizing it away. I PM'd Steve, but for debate:

1. Search is a basic feature of all forum software. All other forums can do it. It would seem possible here also.
2. The search function clearly is a problem for most users who need to search and google is a workaround, not a solution
3. Taking down the full search feature was "temporary". How many years ago was that now? Times change. Time to revisit?
4. I'm not asking for things out of ignorance (though I may be ignorant Smile )because my normal job is a developer, so I know the issues involved.

There is no reason a modern system and a look at what database you are using and how you are using it wouldn't fix any issues of bringing the system down on a simple search no matter how many records have to be processed. That said, I respectfully ask a few questions that might lead to a solution with your kind consideration:

A. If the issue is resources such as a new server, raid drive, cloud hosting, paying someone to go through the code, could we have a "special collection" drive that might pay for the upgrade? I would contribute. I hope a lot of people would. Which reminds me, I need to click on the "magic Café donations" hyperlink anyway Smile

B. Could there be a compromise between changing the names of the forums to simpler names and grouping them (which I know isn't going to happen)to changing the forum search selector from a dropdown to a radio button or checkbox multi-selector? This would seem ideal because much like a date selector popup, this window would present a list of all forums at once and have them categories under their headings. It would be almost instant to see "the workers" under "cards" (and hopefully a description too since I STILL can't remember the clever, but non user friendly forum names) and just click on it. It is a better selection method and excludes what you don't want quickly and visually. This one change would be a MAJOR improvement.

C. Perhaps with the change in B., you could allow a category search or at least a maximum of 3 forums to be searched at once. For example, if you were searching in cards, you just check the radio or checkbox for "cards" and it searches all the subforums. Worst case, you click on the top 3 forums under cards (or anywhere) you think you might find what you are looking for under cards and hit the submit button.

D. You could allow a multi forum search to people who have over a certain number of posts.

Option B would be a very easy and quick change. The entire forum list could be put on the search screen or it could be a popup window. What do you think? Worth considering?

And of course I need to recognize that this is a free resource supported by your email and inline ads and donations. Despite this complaint/suggestion, I know the Magic Café is a wonderful resource with a great community that takes a lot of work without much compensation other than accolades. I thank you sincerely. I also offer a plug. Folks, lets try to donate here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/donate.php.I know I've been remiss and apologize.

Fred
Tree
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Wiggle Wiggle
295 Posts

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The forum software was written and is supposed to be supported and maintained by a member who has no time to devote to updating the forum. It's not free as you suggest.
as the Café' has stated many time in the past, migration to real forum software would be disastrous for the Café'

if you need to search for something use this search term in google

site:themagiccafe.com *

replace the star with your own search term
ie...
site:themagiccafe.com vernon
site:themagiccafe.com wind spin
site:themagiccafe.com card magic
etc
you will find anything you need

try this one and read to understand why the Café' can't fix this problem
site:themagiccafe.com search
FlightRisk
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North Carolina
291 Posts

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Quote:
if you need to search for something use this search term in google


You just pointed me to exactly what I asked not to be pointed to. Was this misdirection? Smile If he was paid to make the change from donations would that solve the problem? Are there other resources such as other volunteers familiar with the development environment who could make the change? My idea of a group of radio buttons instead of a dropdown would be a very minor change with major impact. It should only take and hour or two to implement. I'll keep using google I guess and hope someone takes an interest in this at some point. Thanks for your reply.
Randwill
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Inner circle
1915 Posts

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Not much ever changes around here. And that's comforting to some people. The older I get, the less I embrace change. I doubt we'll be seeing the Café coming into the 21st Century. It is a free resource and apparently the owner doesn't have the money, or chooses not to allocate what he does have, towards modernization. But we can still read and reply, if not efficiently search. I always note that when I see The Magic Café in my list of bookmarks, it is the only one of many bookmarked sites that doesn't have a representative graphic icon. "These are the good old days" (for better or worse) at The Magic Café.
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

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Quote:
On 2013-06-12 13:22, Randwill wrote:
Not much ever changes around here. And that's comforting to some people. The older I get, the less I embrace change. I doubt we'll be seeing the Café coming into the 21st Century. It is a free resource and apparently the owner doesn't have the money, or chooses not to allocate what he does have, towards modernization. But we can still read and reply, if not efficiently search. I always note that when I see The Magic Café in my list of bookmarks, it is the only one of many bookmarked sites that doesn't have a representative graphic icon. "These are the good old days" (for better or worse) at The Magic Café.


That's why It's known as the "Little Café on The Prairie".

:sun:
Randwill
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Or maybe, "Ye Olde Magic Café".
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5153 Posts

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Quote:
Folks, lets try to donate here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/donate.php.I know I've been remiss and apologize.



Fred, you offer the idea that reprogramming the Café would be simple. As a developer, you might want to try at least posting a link correctly. As it is written, clicking on the link provides a 404 page can't be found. I'll fix it for you but seems like even the simplest things are not as easy as you portray.

Sorry, just being a little sarcastic and having some fun with you. We get lots of suggestions on how easy it is to modify the Café programming but being the Café software was written from scratch by our tech person, things may not be as simple as you think.

BTW, the problem with your link is that you placed a period directly after the php also didn't leave a space before the next sentence. It should just be

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/donate.php
Where the magic begins
FlightRisk
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North Carolina
291 Posts

Profile of FlightRisk
Hi Dave, Thanks for fixing it. I just cut and pasted and didn't check the link. And you are probably right it isn't as easy as I think. I've experienced that with some of my own projects. I actually like the software here and think it is quite an achievement. We can disagree about design choices like calling something "I want to see the manager" instead of "comments", but some people might like that as a unique touch even thought it arguably makes it difficult to navigate the site. My suggestion is just to look at changing the forum search dropdown to a radio or checkbox system. There are 294 choices in that dropdown!

I looked at your code. Basically all it would take to "fix" it is to change this (I'm using readable names for the values to replace the index numbers used in your code):

<select>
<option value="cards">cards</option>
<option value="coins">coins</option>
<option value="stage">stage</option>
<option value="closeup">closeup</option>
</select>

to this:

<input type='radio' name='search' value="cards">cards<br />
<input type='radio' name='search' value="coins">coins<br />
<input type='radio' name='search' value="stage">stage<br />
<input type='radio' name='search' value="closeup">closeup<br />

Keeping it to just one choice instead of a multi-select would not change any other code and would only take as long as it would take to cut and paste the changed text into 297 entries. A little more work could allow multiple selections and clean up things by maybe grouping all the articles together separately from forum posts.

This is from a design guide that explains the "rule" better than I could:

"If possible, use radio buttons rather than drop-down menus. Radio buttons are better because they make all options permanently visible so that users can easily consider them. Radio buttons are also easier to operate for users who have difficulty making precise mouse movements."

Just a suggestion. I guess if there isn't anyone to do the work, it wouldn't matter if it was a one line change. Thanks for listening.

Fred
Randwill
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Fred, I get the feeling that the management here doesn't like to change things ESPECIALLY if a member suggests it.

Case in point; the "APPS On The Menu" area has a section titled "APPS-alutely". This would be a clever title, except that the word "absolutely" has an "o" in there and not an "a". When the section was first added someone pointed out that "APPS-olutely" would be a better way of spelling the title. Seems perfectly reasonable and easily fixable. But management had set it up one way and, gosh darn it, we ain't achaningin' it just 'cause some pesky member suggested it.
Chessmann
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Oh my, how terrible!

In light of all Steve and co. do to for us to have this place, the above pitiable post must surely rank among the most self-serving and insulting.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2013-06-13 18:10, Chessmann wrote:
Oh my, how terrible!

In light of all Steve and co. do to for us to have this place, the above pitiable post must surely rank among the most self-serving and insulting.


Then I failed to be clear. I didn't mean for my example to be insulting or sound ungrateful. I don't care what the forum titles are or how they are spelled. I appreciate the material found within them.

I was just trying to help FlightRisk understand that his suggestions are unlikely to be implemented based entirely on the suggestions I've seen offered (and made myself) and the number of times I've seen those suggestions taken up. I'll add the caveat that I obviously haven't read every suggestion a member has made so my data as to the ratio of member suggestions/management implementation of member's suggestions is incomplete.

I thought my example was a good one because it seemed like a valid suggestion that could be easily implemented, but was rejected.

I attempted to make my point humorously but obviously failed.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5153 Posts

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Quote:
On 2013-06-13 16:12, Randwill wrote:
Fred, I get the feeling that the management here doesn't like to change things ESPECIALLY if a member suggests it.

Case in point; the "APPS On The Menu" area has a section titled "APPS-alutely". This would be a clever title, except that the word "absolutely" has an "o" in there and not an "a". When the section was first added someone pointed out that "APPS-olutely" would be a better way of spelling the title. Seems perfectly reasonable and easily fixable. But management had set it up one way and, gosh darn it, we ain't achaningin' it just 'cause some pesky member suggested it.


Did you ever give it a thought that maybe it is spelled that way on purpose as a play on words and have a little fun? Too many people want everything to be perfect and don't know how to lighten up and have fun.
Where the magic begins
Zombie Magic
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I went out for a beer and now have
8737 Posts

Profile of Zombie Magic
Quote:
On 2013-06-12 11:48, FlightRisk wrote:
Before you point me to the other threads and the canned answer


My favorite part of these requests is reading the canned answers.

:sun:
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2013-06-13 20:41, Dave Scribner wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-06-13 16:12, Randwill wrote:
Fred, I get the feeling that the management here doesn't like to change things ESPECIALLY if a member suggests it.

Case in point; the "APPS On The Menu" area has a section titled "APPS-alutely". This would be a clever title, except that the word "absolutely" has an "o" in there and not an "a". When the section was first added someone pointed out that "APPS-olutely" would be a better way of spelling the title. Seems perfectly reasonable and easily fixable. But management had set it up one way and, gosh darn it, we ain't achaningin' it just 'cause some pesky member suggested it.


Did you ever give it a thought that maybe it is spelled that way on purpose as a play on words and have al ittle fun? Too many people want everything to be perfect and don't know how to lighten up and have fun.


It's probably a play on a word I am unfamiliar with. I assumed it was a play on the word "absolutely" which is why spelling it "APPS-olutely" rather than "APPS-alutely" would seem correct to me.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
would seem correct to me.


And therein lies the big issue: this ain't your place! So to go pontificating about what "is correct" or "would be better" really is kind of insulting. (Note: that statement is made as a general catch-all for the basic tone of most of the "you should do this" posts.)

Steve seems to be a sane and reasonable businessman. I can't see a sane and reasonable businessman turn down suggestions for improvements that are simple, cheap, and would improve the marketability of his product. Unless implementing some of these changes would involve other issues that we as users could never understand. Even developer types - because all the issues may not be just in code efficiency.

And especially when most suggestions made are in the format of "great place - love being here - but this part sucks and you must be a loser for not taking my advice." Do people really think that's going to endear you to the management??

"Don't give me the stock answer because I already know it's lame!" Maybe it's the stock answer because, for reasons unknown to you that have nothing to do with your expertise and understanding, it is at this moment the best answer that fits the situation.

I am not trying to diminish your web development expertise. I do a middling bit of VBA in Word and Excel, and couldn't wrap my brain around HTML and CSS. I am in no place to judge you or anyone else as a programmer, and that is not what I'm trying to do.

When the same ol' question is put forth yet one more time with any kind of "and don't tell me you can't do this simple thing", then it really does take on the flavor of an insulting challenge: "gotcha in the corner this time!"

And when previous searches show that the same change suggestions are not accepted, maybe it would be better to try a private dialog with Steve, Dave, or one of the developers, and see if there is any way you can help. Putting it out in the public is just begging to incite an uprising of "just how stupid can he be!?" And I for one fully support locking and/or deleting those threads.

Ed
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