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Site Search

Postby Jeff hook » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:52 am

I guess this should be addressed to the "Webmaster," and, Andrew, I guess that's you.

It looks like the Board Index page is the highest level "table of contents" type page in the bulletin board/message board/forum section of the site. It also looks like the "Alpha Agora" graphic logo at the left end of the header on any page seems to be linked to the "Board Index" page and that also suggests that the "Board Index" page is the top page for all forums. To double-check that, I navigated to the site's home page. I saw there that the "Alpha Agora" text link in the Navigation Panel which is in the usual position on the home page (at the top of the left column) also connects to the "Board Index" page.

This seems to be the only section on the "Board Index" page which allows users to start their own new threads ("topics"). I mention this to explain why I'm creating this new thread about site-searching here.

[ "I'm tryin'!" I'm making a good faith effort "to do my part" as a user of the site. I'm viewing the site in two browser application windows in Google Chrome simultaneously, side-by-side. I'm writing this message in one window and I'm navigating the site in the other window, in order to copy URLs, etc. ]

I'm not complaining. As a forum participant, I'm most focused on the operation of that portion of the site, and I'm pleased by the operation of the Alpha Agora forum. I like the formatting and I like the use of the Trebuchet font. I think the "Bulletin Board code" produces some attractive, functional results.

1. I don't see an actual "Help" directory, only the "FAQ" text link on the Quick Links bar which may be shown on all pages or on most pages. That FAQ page is limited but it looks like this "board" is "produced, released and is copyright" as open-source freeware by phpBB Group, so I guess users had better "dive in" to the various forums at the developer's 'site if they want to learn more about this software. I guess "you get what you pay for."

2. I'd just like to mention that the "Private Message" interface bewilders me. I haven't used it enough in the past to have become familiar with it, but, gee... I don't want to invest substantial amounts of time trying to "figure it out" by trial and error. This is one example of a topic for which guidance doesn't seem to be adequate.

I guess Alpha Agora/Andrew can't compensate for the lack of adequate explanations of the operation of the "PM" feature, but I did want to mention this.

3. The site search feature doesn't seem to be working correctly. On my View your posts page these threads are listed:

a. ALLEGORY

b. trebuchet

They're hyperlinked, and the links are functional; the links connect to the two threads, but, when I search <allegory> in the site's search field (at the right side of the page header), entering the word either in all-caps as it's shown on the "View your posts" page, or in all lower-case, I'm told:

Information

No posts were found because the word allegory is not contained in any post.


When I search <trebuchet> in the site's search field I'm not shown the old thread which is listed on my "View your posts" page. I'm only shown the messages which I recently submitted to the Upgrade for Alpha Agora thread, which is listed in the "Announcements" section on the Good Word Discussion page.

(Oh, Andrew, "while I'm talking to you..." My user name isn't displayed as "Jeff hook" {without capitalization of my last name} by my choice. I forget the details but I assume some error occurred when I first registered for the site and I was then unable to change the name. Could you use your administrative capability to capitalize my last name in my user name? Thanks!)


Jeff Hook
Last edited by Jeff hook on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Slava » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:16 pm

Yes, something needs to be done about searching the site. As noted, since the downgrade, we can't search subject lines prior to that fateful date.

Another gripe I have is that links no longer open in new tabs or windows. They overwrite the page being viewed. :evil:

And, my other major gripe is, JUST WHAT ARE THOSE BOTS DOING WITH OUR INFORMATION?
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Re: Site Search

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:43 pm

I was a software master in the 1960s but a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then, including a stroke. So I don't know Bots from Shinola. I am waiting for normalcy to reign again over this site. We might want to remember that none of us pay anything for this site unless we buy one of the Good Doctor's books or services or patronize some of his advertisers. It is not as if anyone working for the site has purposely inserted gremlins. So let us all keep our cool.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Jeff hook » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:04 am

by Philip Hudson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:43 pm

...We might want to remember that none of us pay anything for this site unless we buy one of the Good Doctor's books or services or patronize some of his advertisers...


True, but aren't we also contributing to this site, yeah verily, even "adding value"? I think we are. Do some of us spend a little too much time "crafting" our contributions to this site? I know I do... Are we asking to be paid? No, we're not!

Stop for a moment and think about how the Web works. Notice that some old threads have been "viewed" > 10K times. The more we add to this site the more the site gains points at which the attention of people around the world is drawn to the site when search engines cite this site. (How's that for awkward English, huh?) By adding searchable words to the content of this site, we provide the means by which the site's advertising is brought to the attention of the world. This is of real practical benefit to this site as an enterprise.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:55 am

The "bots," short for robots, of course, "crawl" through the web to record what's all out there. The purpose is to collect the data that enables Google to work. Thus, when one enters "word play" in the search engine, the data allows the seeker to be directed (hopefully) to this site.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Jeff hook » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:21 am

...the data allows the seeker to be directed (hopefully) to this site...


If the seekers are hopeful when they arrive they surely won't be disappointed by the "datums" which they'll find here.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:03 pm

So bots are good gremlins? I think I am glad I am not a master programmer anymore. Perry, I could have lived happily without that revelation. I was around when we were first designing electronics on chips. I worked closely with the Nobel Prize winner, Jack Kilby. I fought the name because, to a Redneck, a chip is a dry cow patty. I suggested "bar" but got voted down. I was on the team that built the first calculator on a bar, oops, chip.

Now my technical ability is so weak that I can't learn how to put quotes in the little colored boxes. I don’t even want to know.

My non-technical brain is still intact but I confess, “Jeff Hook", I have no idea what you meant when you wrote:

"If the seekers are hopeful when they arrive they surely won't be disappointed by the "datums" which they'll find here."

I assume "datums" is a sort of joke on the plural of "datum" and I know that Perry didn't use “hopefully” in the way I would use it. But I am still puzzled by your sentence. Please elucidate for us guys who are older than dirt.

Although a professional writer, Perry sometimes goes with the flow on grammar modifications. At least he is published. My Great American Novel is still mostly in my seventy five year old head. My English weakness is punctuation. I throw in comma or two in a sentence if it makes me feel better.

I still caution us all to lighten up on the technical problems this site is having. I remember when DOS was unleashed on the public, though I don’t remember what DOS was or is. There was weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I hear it is still lurking underneath our present operating systems. There was weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. A few years ago Microsoft caused great consternation with it’s Windows releases. The MAC ads making fun of Microsoft were humiliating for Bill Gate’s guys. Look now though. With Windows 7 the sea is calm, and MAC has gone back under the rock where it lives.

I really like the font Trebuchet. It seems that Microsoft has it only in boldface.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Jeff hook » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:35 pm

by Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:03 pm

...I really like the font Trebuchet. It seems that Microsoft has it only in boldface...


I think Arial Black is only available in boldface.

Trebuchet is definitely available in "regular weight" (jargon?) and in boldface.

Now my technical ability is so weak that I can't learn how to put quotes in the little colored boxes. I don’t even want to know.


Is this difficult?! NO! It's EASY!

(That was Trebuchet in bold, by the way...) (Hmmm... No it wasn't. What's going on here? Has this entire site, or this portion of this site changed from Trebuchet to Microsoft Sans Serif, or to a similar font? This site was using Trebuchet, but it's not using Trebuchet now... This is too much for me. Has Andrew been tinkering?... Does this type of change occur often here?)

Well... in any font, Trebuchet or Microsoft Sans Serif, or whatever, here are the simple instructions for imparting format to the text which you enter in these forum threads:

1. Use any word processing method to "select" (highlight) the text which you wish to format as a "quote."

2. Left-click the "Quote" button in the row of buttons across the top of the text-entry field in which you're composing your message.

That's '"it"! That's all there is; it's as simple as "1 - 2." Use the same "select, then left-click the desired formatting button" two-step technique to impart all the other formats to your text, such as color, boldfacing, underlining, italics, etc.

The "Quote" button "brackets" the selected text with starting and ending "Bulletin Board tags," which are like the HTML tags which are used to format Web pages, except BB tags use brackets, and not the math symbols < & >. It works like this:

Code: Select all
[quote]The text which you've selected[/quote]


But you don't even have to know that or to enter that simple code from your own keyboard!

Just:

1. Select the text which you wish to format as a "quote" and

2. Left-click the "Quote" formatting button,

and you're done!

The "Board" FAQ page explains BB code like this, in its "Formatting and Topic Types" section:

What is BBCode?

BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. The use of BBCode is granted by the administrator, but it can also be disabled on a per post basis from the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page.


BASTA!
Last edited by Jeff hook on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Site Search

Postby Slava » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:24 pm

Philip Hudson wrote:So bots are good gremlins?
Some, perhaps, but I don't trust these as far as I could throw them.

Why? Because a simple scanning bot does not need to be a registered user. Anyone and anything can read all the posts.

The benefit of being registered is that you can read user profiles. I wouldn't be at all surprised to eventually learn they've accessed our e-mail addresses, too.

I hope this does not mean that Agora users will soon be plagued with personalized ads. That would rot.
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