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1timspalding
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:18am Top

Casey and I have completed work on a cross-LibraryThing search system. The search bar is now available on every page, and the results look like this:



Key features:

* It searches one type (like works or authors) at a time, but it gives you result-counts for all types.
* It includes a number of elements not formerly searchable (or searchable well), like member reviews
* It's blazingly fast
* It's available from every page.
* The search tab has been removed and the "More" tab moved left. The "Zeitgeist" tab has been removed. It will probably be available under "more," from the home page and at the bottom of every page (like "about," which was a tab once).

Key caveats:

* The basics are set, but we can tweak results. Much to discuss.
* Only some of Common Knowledge is in (the ones with distinct pages); the others will follow soon after. They're going to be on a separate page.
* Media reviews aren't in. (There's a spot for them, but something held me back at the last minute.)
* Good features are a sort of curse—they expose the weakness of other features. Now that works are so easy to search, it brings the inability to simply "click to add" a book into high relief. So, we get it.

Update:

I forgot to mention that, basically, search is hard, and made harder by the way LibraryThing works. Basically, LibraryThing floats on top of a sea of user data. This presents problems for things like authors and works. For example, if you search for "rushdie" ( http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=rushdie&searchtype=authors ) a straight-up search algorithm would proclaim the winning author to be "rusdie" with no first name, entered carelessly or by mistake by some user. So we have to balance best results with common results and, in the case of authors, we try to separate out the best results visually. But it's not a completely solvable problem.

PS: I'll be back in an hour.

2vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:01am Top

Have you changed something with the tabs in the header as well? Some kind of simplification? Of course now I can't remember how it was but it feels different/better/cleaner (I'm sure there will be squawks).

v

3brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:04am Top

Great work! I think the LibraaaaaaaryThing at the bottom should go. It's cute but way too google-y. How about a bookshelf with spines outward, with a number label on each spine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), etc.?

So far the few tests I tried worked well. But one thing that makes finding results harder is that Works searches still match on author name. For example, "Jordan" comes up chocked full of books by Robert Jordan rather than books with Jordan in the title. Likely this is due to editions where the name got in the title, but also possibly you are matching against author even though it's supposed to be Works.

Another thing I noticed - clicking on CK for that Jordan result gives the first two character entries as Jordan. One is actually Jordan with a space in front of it. That's weird.

You want bug reports for this stuff or in this thread for now?

4whitrichardson
Nov 17, 2010, 10:04am Top

Very cool improvement. I used to have problems searching for an author. Before, if I wanted to search for, say, John Steinbeck, in the author field, I got 91 author matches with no hint at which is the real, official profile. Most were misspelled versions people had entered in their personal libraries. Another example: When I typed in Balzac, I got 162 results of variously spelled versions of his name. This upgraded search function definitely streamlines the process and brings up the real author pages immediately. Thanks.

5vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:05am Top

As for first impressions of search: a major advance, just as it should be.

v

6norabelle414
Nov 17, 2010, 10:05am Top

Holy **** this is awesome.

7brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:06am Top

2> On the right used to be two tabs, Zeitgeist and More. More has shifted. Zeitgeist appears to be on holiday.

8Nicole_VanK
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:24am Top

Search doesn't seem to actually search though. Maybe I should report in bug collectors.

(Correction: it does work, but only if I whack "enter" - it's the little magnifying glass icon that's obstinate).

9r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 10:08am Top

Very nice - Thank you!

In the works search, it would be nice to collapse the list of editions in a case-insensitive manner. Search for "fridge" and the first result is:

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks (1,047 copies)
Round Ireland with a Fridge, Round Ireland with a fridge, Round Ireland ... With a Fridge, Mit dem Kühlschrank durch Irland, Round Ireland With A Fridge ... ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE., Mit dem Kühlschrank durch Irland., Door Ierland

It's nice having the title in other languages there, but they're drowned out by the many trivial variations on the English title.

10andyl
Nov 17, 2010, 10:09am Top

#7

There used to be a search tab as well

11rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:12am Top

Very cool. I wonder if the results could be prioritized a little differently. See the results for Shakespeare, for instance: http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=shakespeare

Not a lot of actual Shakespeare works on that page, but instead much with the word Shakespeare somewhere else in the record - but with nothing much to do with Shakespeare.

ETA - well, actually, there are a good number of Shakespeare's works, but they're way down the page.

ETA2 - one thing it seems to pick up a lot and weight heavily is the editions page, so a lot of things come up with the search term in parentheses in some editions of the books (like in a series title).

12lorax
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:15am Top

I know this sounds stupid given the box, but I want the specificity of the old Search tab back. Sure, sometimes I'll be browsing, and vague all-fields matches will be okay. But most of the time I know what I'm looking for, and want to be able to specify "this is an author" or "this is an ISBN" or "this is a member name". The narrowing doesn't seem to work well -- can I really not search for title+author? -- and forcing me to do a sitewide search first before allowing me to narrow it seems tremendously inefficient. Wiping out advanced search just seems like a step backwards.

if I want works by Shakespeare, I'll look for his author page and go there.


How do you propose to "look", without a working author search? You can click through from a library with books by the author, or directly enter the URL, but if you take away author search you can't really search.

13r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:13am Top

Not a lot of actual Shakespeare works on that page
... compare to #3 where brightcopy complained that Works search shouldn't be matching on author name at all. I think I agree - if I want works by Shakespeare, I'll look for his author page and go there.

Unless there was an advanced search, with separate fields for Title and Author and Tags and so on...

14vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:13am Top

The speed of the search is just a little bit scary.

v

15reading_fox
Nov 17, 2010, 10:14am Top

In General. Yahay. Lovely.

The search an author name and get works is annoying. Not sure how else to do it though without specifying you want an author name. Maybe take a guess and jump to works/author results first depending on whether the returned works are all by one author (ie author name searched for) or by various authors with similar titles - (title searched for). Bit clunky either way.

Lose the google esk, Librarything. It was funny for half a second and then silly.

16r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:20am Top

How come I can click on the text of "Authors" and the other things in the Bibliographic box in left bar, but not "Your Books" or "Add Books" in the Other searches box?

17rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:16am Top

13 - I'm not sure whether I want works by Shakespeare to be coming up in the work search for that word, but probably yes, since work search is the default search. But regardless, I would expect the top works that do come up to have some connection to Shakespeare (be about him or something).

18girlunderglass
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:19am Top

Nice work! Looks very clean and it IS fast!

Two questions:
1) When you click on "Your Books", the "Home" tab is gone and the only way to get back home is to click on your username on the right side of the page - is this on purpose?
2) Do you think we will *ever* (note: I am only asking whether you think this is a good idea and whether you would consider it) have the ability to sort the search results by average rating of the work? In such a way that say, if one wishes to, one can see the highest rated books first in a search?

Observation: Yes, since it's so pretty and fast it makes other LT features look ugly: like the old Tagmash page, which hasn't been changed yet to resemble the one-tag-only search and right now it looks quite...unappealing (not to mention non-functional since it only shows the most popular works with those tags). Especially when one is directed to it from the pretty shiny new search page.

19r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 10:17am Top

I wanted to see the LibraryThing thing people are commenting on, so I typed "box" in the big "Search LibraryThing" box and clicked Works, and it did the search for "fridge" again, though it left "box" in the box. I get that I have to hit enter or click the magnifying glass, but it seemed odd.

20DaynaRT
Nov 17, 2010, 10:18am Top

That Google-ish logo at the bottom has got to go. Really.

No sorting options? Number of copies isn't very helpful to me.

21lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 10:19am Top

Since I've been negative, let me add that while the interface is far less efficient (I suspect I'll bookmark the search.php page and use that instead of the search box), I love the deprioritization of ratty author data.

22rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:20am Top

21, I love the deprioritization of ratty author data.
Seconding that.

23Ape
Nov 17, 2010, 10:20am Top

I like it, but the Zeitgeist, Home, and Profile tabs are missing, which I used every time I visited the site.

I suppose I could get used to clicking the LT logo and the profile link in the top-right corner though!

Also, as others have mentioned, it'd be nice to be able to specify author/title like before. Perhaps an "advanced search" link that links you to something similar to the old search page?

Ultimately I like the feature though! :)

24r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 10:22am Top

I don't get the Author search "ratty data" bit. Search for author name "box" -- what's so special about C. J. Box that doesn't apply to Don Box?

252wonderY
Nov 17, 2010, 10:23am Top

My Home and Profile tabs are gone too. I can get to Home by clicking on my user name at the top right, but I dislike directional changes like that.
Looking forward to trying out the enhanced Search.

26rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:23am Top

Oh, sneaky. Home and profile are gone.

And zeitgeist too - which I also used all the time.

A suggestion for the search page. Why not put the "other searches" (your books, add books) in a more prominent place, such as in that white space to the right of the search box (on the actual search page).

27vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:24am Top

18: Clicking on the LibraryThing logo takes you to your home page.

v

28fireeyedboy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:24am Top

18: Do you think we will *ever* (note: I am only asking whether you think this is a good idea and whether you would consider it) have the ability to sort the search results by average rating of the work?

20: No sorting options? Number of copies isn't very helpful to me.

Exactly!

29lilithcat
Nov 17, 2010, 10:26am Top

> 23

I like it, but the Zeitgeist, Home, and Profile tabs are missing, which I used every time I visited the site.

Agreed (with the exception of Home, which I rarely used). Profile and Zeitgeist were my most used tabs.

A couple of criticisms:

Could the Author results please be alphabetized? Thanks.

And what's with that weird logo with the multiple "a"s?

And praise:

This is, to borrow a word from an earlier poster, awesome. Faster than a speeding bullet!

30brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:28am Top

23> Huh. Somehow I didn't even notice the Home and Profile tabs being missing. You can still get to that by clicking your username, of course. My guess is that getting rid of those tabs is Tim's reward for giving us the search-on-every-page.

ETA: And personally, I don't miss them.

31vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:27am Top

Why am I not seeing that logo everyone is muttering about?

v

32lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 10:27am Top

It would be very nice if this improvement came along with finally, after so long, letting us search TITLES. Not "works", including title, but TITLES.

Also, please bring back ISBN search! It was useful for combining purposes.

33Nicole_VanK
Nov 17, 2010, 10:28am Top

Yeah, home & profile not really a problem. But please give us some way to go to zeitgeist. (I "need" that helper's log).

34brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:30am Top

35rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:32am Top

32 - Oh yeah, ISBN search - please!

33 etc. I started a thread to discuss the tab changes. I can see the logic to some extent, and I'm not sure I agree with it, but I'm wondering about the effects.
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102606

36timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:32am Top

brightcopy: "But one thing that makes finding results harder is that Works searches still match on author name."

rsterling: "See the results for Shakespeare ... Not a lot of actual Shakespeare works on that page, but instead much with the word Shakespeare somewhere else in the record

I smile to note that these are actually opposite criticisms--one member wants works not to match on author, the other have them match more. Maybe that means I succedded--if complaints all cancel each other out! ;)

The speed of the search is just a little bit scary.

Thank you. And thank Casey. Casey did the back-end. It's based on the SOLR search system, which also runs OverCat. I put the data in SOLR, and all the display stuff. It is fast. I also note, this is something our competitors now do worse--they don't show results across types. (I find this the really cool feature.)

How come I can click on the text of "Authors" and the other things in the Bibliographic box in left bar, but "Your Books" or "Add Books" in the Other searches box?

Huh?

I wanted to see the LibraryThing thing people are commenting on

The search index isn't instant. It will be updated nightly. I may have topics updated faster, but it can't be instant.

That Google-ish logo at the bottom has got to go. Really.

Well I think it's funny. It stays.

Especially when one is directed to it from the pretty shiny new search page

The search page isn't indexing tagmashes.

Home tab

Yipes!

That's not intentional. It will be back.

The narrowing doesn't seem to work well -- can I really not search for title+author? -- and forcing me to do a sitewide search first before allowing me to narrow it seems tremendously inefficient.

1. It's not a site search. Look at it again.
2. Actually, you can search title and author. It's the only way you can search works.
3. That's also how the old search worked. Same thing. A step back for sure.

You're right about the ISBN. That needs to be added back. Expect that later today.

if you take away author search you can't really search

I haven't taken away author search. Examine it again.

37girlunderglass
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:38am Top

"The search page isn't indexing tagmashes"

If you search for tag1, tag2 (with a comma in between) it takes you to tagmash.

How about sorting options then? Some users want alphabetized results, some most copies, some highest avg. rating. Surely adding more than one sort option would help?

38brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:39am Top

36> I smile to note that these are actually opposite criticisms--one member wants works not to match on author, the other have them match more. Maybe that means I succedded--if complaints all cancel each other out! ;)

Don't you know - complaints don't cancel each other out but simply amplify! ;)

I think part of this is people who have been here long enough are simply used to the old way you did it. In any case, if you don't make Works search just title, I think you REALLY should have a Title entry there with Authors, Series, etc. I think everyone would agree on that.

The way it is now it can be really frustrating to find a book by its title. Which, if you think about it, is fairly ridiculous.

39DaynaRT
Nov 17, 2010, 10:41am Top

Also, please bring back ISBN search!

99% of my LT searches are of the ISBN variety. So for now, I'll keep using my Firefox search plugin to search LT.

40timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:42am Top

If you search for tag1, tag2 (with a comma in between) it takes you to tagmash.

Okay, sorry, true, but that has nothing to do with the new search page. The new search page doesn't do that.

It probably should. Indeed, I'll put in some code so it at least suggests that as a possibility.

Generally speaking, there are search boxes all over the site that will need to be either changed or removed, because we now have a search feature.

How about sorting options then? Some users want alphabetized results, some most copies, some highest avg. rating. Surely adding more than one sort option would help?

It depends on what you're doing. While not impossible, the goal of the system is to be simple. Google does not have a sort option, for example. (Nor do our competitors.) The basic problem is that SOLR—as all search engines—don't actually fetch the data when they search it. They are basically huge indexes and indexes aren't the data. So to "sort" the results we have to fetch all the data that was found and post-process it. It's not impossible—especially as a second option. But I want to see a use case other.

41timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:43am Top

Also, please bring back ISBN search!

See above. I will.

42rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:43am Top

38 - Yeah, I think part of the problem is the priority of the search results. There are several results that have nothing to do with Shakespeare - either as author or as subject of the work - before you get to any works that do. Whether we include or exclude works by the author in the work search results, I'd expect the top results to be more relevant to the term.

Right now, here are the top results for "Shakespeare":

Ulysses by James Joyce (10,986 copies)

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (10,575 copies)

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (6,042 copies)

Misery by Stephen King (5,726 copies)

Anthem by Ayn Rand (5,013 copies)

Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf (4,529 copies)

The Dark Half by Stephen King (3,685 copies)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (3,137 copies)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (11,419 copies)

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams (2,890 copies)

43timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:43am Top

The way it is now it can be really frustrating to find a book by its title

Give me an example.

Also, this was true before.

44lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 10:45am Top

Sorry, I wasn't clear on what I meant by "title+author". I didn't mean "show me all results where 'Shakespeare' appears in either title or author", which is how it works now (and, as you note, how it has always worked); I meant "show me all results where 'Shakespeare' is the author and 'Hamlet' is the title." For that matter I'd be happy with a title-only narrowing at all; I know it would be new, but it's the one thing I was most hoping to get out of the new Search.

I now realize I can narrow the search on the page without first doing an all-fields search; I've bookmarked that page, and will just use that as I used to use the Search tab, which makes the flow much more efficient for me than using the box, and eliminates a lot of my concerns.

I haven't taken away author search. Examine it again.

I know that; I thought brightcopy was advocating eliminating it, not that you'd done so already!

45qebo
Nov 17, 2010, 10:46am Top

Yes, please, titles. I glanced up at my bookshelf and plucked out "Linked" for a search... and got a page full of miscellaneous books "with linked TOC", and the book with that title buried among them.

Also, in agreement with #12 (lorax).

46lilithcat
Nov 17, 2010, 10:47am Top

> 40

Some users want alphabetized results,

Here's the thing about that, with regard to Author results. When I look at the Helper Log for author combinations, I often see something like "D Brown" combined with "Demeter Brown". I will then go to the "Brown" page to see if there are any other authors with that same first initial, and, if there are, I'll separate "D Brown" and "Demeter".

Previously, the results of a search for "Brown" were pretty much alphabetized, and it was easy to see if there were any other such authors. Now I have to browse 20 pages of Browns, the names on which are apparently in random order. I

This makes it much more difficult to combine/separate authors.

47lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 10:48am Top

43>

Try to find http://www.librarything.com/work/239151 by title.

I suspect much the same applies to any biography of an author that uses the author's name as the title.

48brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:48am Top

43>The way it is now it can be really frustrating to find a book by its title

Give me an example.


Err, I did. "Jordan". Example books:
Lonely Planet Jordan
The Jordan Rules

These are both ones where if you couldn't remember the rest of the book name, you're boned. So basically, you can only find the book if you already know the name of the book. Which isn't exactly what I'd expect in a search function.

Also, this was true before.

I don't know if you noticed, but there were a few complaints about search before. ;)

49timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:49am Top

>46 lilithcat:

So, I think the answer is some sort of separate author and title buckets. I'll have to give it some thought as they are by far the most numerous and therefore resource-intensive parts of search. But, I get your problem.

50brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:50am Top

44> I know that; I thought brightcopy was advocating eliminating it, not that you'd done so already!

Wait, what!? I think you're thinking of my comment about the Home and Profile tabs. I would definitely miss searching by author. :D

51lilithcat
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 10:53am Top

Why doesn't Gideon Nieman show up in the results for Nieman? Is it because it was combined with G. Nieman?
If so, that's bad, because it's going to create problems for combining/uncombining.

52lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 10:51am Top

In any case, if you don't make Works search just title, I think you REALLY should have a Title entry there with Authors, Series, etc. I think everyone would agree on that.

Yes. I'm staggered that you can't restrict a search to the single most relevant field in the record, the only one that's required for all entries. And I know you couldn't do so before, either, but it seems like such an obvious thing to have fixed!

53rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 10:52am Top

49 - Maybe, or maybe just weighting work title more in the work search results? Instead of occasional parenthetical information on a few editions, words in reviews, etc. I'm also wondering if the number of members who have the book is getting too much weight - and if that would explain the strange Shakespeare results.

54r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 10:52am Top

Me: How come I can click on the text of "Authors" and the other things in the Bibliographic box in left bar, but {not} "Your Books" or "Add Books" in the Other searches box?
Tim: Huh?

In the pink boxes on the left, the top box is labeled "Bibliographic" and you can click on the text of the word "Authors" or the grey blob with a number to its right to see the author search results. In the bottom box, labeled "Other searches", clicking on "Your Books" does nothing, you have to click on the little grey ">>" blob. (I noticed and fixed the "not" typo, presumably while you were composing your response.)

Also, the pointer changes from the arrow to the pointing finger everywhere in both pink boxes; usually it only changes to indicate a link you can click on.

55brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 10:54am Top

So, does Works search ONLY Title+Author, or anything else? Just curious.

56vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 10:55am Top

I love this: "Results may include ratty data entered in individual member's libraries."

I'm getting some inconsistency: sometimes when I click on 'author' on the left the data comes up fine, sometimes it's just blank even when the number on the left means it should show something. Could this be connected with my not seeing that googlish thing people are complaining about? Something to do with how stuff is displayed?

For example on this page http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=Janet+Fletcher nothing shows below 'Author search: "Janet Fletcher" ' Others I've looked at have come up fine.

v

57eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 10:55am Top

>49 timspalding:
Yes, that. Something similar to the current series search results. So it first shows you the combined list but then you can click to see the results separated into title matches and author matches.

58timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 10:56am Top

Err, I did. "Jordan"

Is that a realistic search? Would anyone really do it? Note the results on Amazon, by the way. They show a lot more Jordan in the author than the title.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords...

That said, I get the point. I think it's important that the main work search be by both title and author. It's how everything works now, period. But having a way to restrict it is, I think, also useful. I'll have to work on that. It's non-trivial.

Try to find http://www.librarything.com/work/239151 by title.

Okay, but try to find it on Amazon. It's not in the first 100 results anyway.

Anyway, I get your point. We'll need a title-only search.

59r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 10:59am Top

I wanted to see the LibraryThing thing people are commenting on
The search index isn't instant. It will be updated nightly. I may have topics updated faster, but it can't be instant.


You missed the point of message 19, nothing to do with indexing or topics, I was just trying to change what I searched for to get more results. After changing the search term, and clicking "Works", it still did the previous search.

60brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 11:01am Top

Here's another one that points out a possible improvement:

http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=the+middle+ages

There's a specific book called just The Middle Ages that doesn't even appear on the first list of results. I note that when I use it as a touchstone, it's a result in the 50-ish area. Lots of other books come up where "the middle ages" is a subset of the title. I think perhaps some weighting should be given to exact title matches.

61vaneska
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 11:06am Top

Further to 56: I'm also getting a blank results page for Works and Author when I do a search on Tim Spalding, although the lefthand column shows that there are results.

v

eta: Another odd example: search on Cristopher Holland says 6 results for Works but only shows 3.

62DaynaRT
Nov 17, 2010, 11:05am Top

Yay for ISBN search coming back.

re sorting and how Google doesn't allow it

I don't think LT search and Google's main search are comparable. Google Books search does, however, let you sort by relevance or date. So does Amazon.

We used to have four sort options. Are those incompatible with this new search?

63brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 11:07am Top

58> Is that a realistic search? Would anyone really do it? Note the results on Amazon, by the way. They show a lot more Jordan in the author than the title.

Note that Amazon has a button called "Advanced search" for Books. On this advanced search is a box for Title. Problem solved. Results in order:
The Jordan Rules
The Rough Guide to Jordan
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time
Emergency Nursing Core Curriculum (Emergency Nursing Core Curriculum (Jordan))
Lonely Planet Jordan (Country Guide)
Jordan

(etc.)

But yeah, I'm glad you get it.

Okay, but try to find it on Amazon. It's not in the first 100 results anyway.

Yeah, he picked a real difficult case. But again, searching by title helps (well, I found ANOTHER book with the title of just "Shakespeare"). But if you look at my post #60, you might have a chance to return BETTER results than Amazon. Now wouldn't that be something!

64timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 11:09am Top

Why doesn't Gideon Nieman show up in the results for Nieman? Is it because it was combined with G. Nieman?
If so, that's bad, because it's going to create problems for combining/uncombining.


I'm not sure. It should be there. I'll have to look into it.

It looks to me like I'm going to need a "combining view" of this data. While the combining complaints are important, the way it used to "work" for combining was by being reliably crappy (ie., alphabetical results, but not quite).

In the bottom box, labeled "Other searches", clicking on "Your Books" does nothing, you have to click on the little grey ">>" blob. (I noticed and fixed the "not" typo, presumably while you were composing your response.)

What browser/OS are you on?

For example on this page http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=Janet+Fletcher nothing shows below 'Author search: "Janet Fletcher" ' Others I've looked at have come up fine.

Okay, it's dropping some authors (see above too). Please consider this a bug. I'll add it as one.

65timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 11:11am Top

You missed the point of message 19, nothing to do with indexing or topics, I was just trying to change what I searched for to get more results. After changing the search term, and clicking "Works", it still did the previous search.

Yes. You have to actively search to get new results. Clicking on the left pivots (or facets) the results.

eta: Another odd example: search on Cristopher Holland says 6 results for Works but only shows 3.

Okay, bug.

66r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 11:18am Top

In the bottom box, labeled "Other searches", clicking on "Your Books" does nothing, you have to click on the little grey ">>" blob. (I noticed and fixed the "not" typo, presumably while you were composing your response.)

What browser/OS are you on?


Firefox 3.6.12, on Windows XP SP3.

67trollsdotter
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:56pm Top

Tim,

This is a good start and I look forward to the refinements.

Two things:
1. Yesterday when I searched on the phrase "DAW Book Collectors" I got over 500 (IIRC*) results. Today I get barely 124 results.

2. I see that "comments:ebook author:bujold" still works on our catalog page but the new search doesn't have an equivalent. Will you be adding that feature?

ETA: * Using rsterling's link to the old works search (#115), I only get 138 results so my memory may not be correct. So disregard #1, though I am interested in #2.

68Katya0133
Nov 17, 2010, 11:19am Top

Oh hey, now you can search for a word in a tag. (E.g., "fantasy" also returns "epic fantasy," "dark fantasy," "fantasy series," etc.)

That's a pony I didn't even dare ask for! :)

69eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 11:21am Top

There are problems with the Classification results in the new search. I posted them in Bug Collectors. The Melvil Decimals search doesn't work at all and the Subjects search gives highly limited results.

70brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 11:24am Top

Speaking of ponies, the prettiest pony in my stable would be being able to do:

searchterm1 -searchterm2

meaning "give me results for searchterm1 that do NOT include searchterm2". To me, this is one of the #1 features of ANY search. Often the best way to find what you want is to tell it what you don't want.

71jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 11:25am Top

24> I don't get the Author search "ratty data" bit. Search for author name "box" -- what's so special about C. J. Box that doesn't apply to Don Box?

Before when you searched on an author name you'd get back all the various names event when they had been combined into another name. This made it hard to find the "real" name. I haven't tried the new search yet, to busy reading about it, but I take it that the names that had been combined into another name aren't shown.

72norabelle414
Nov 17, 2010, 11:26am Top

This is particularly excellent for searching series and tags. I'm in tag-combination heaven right now.

73brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 11:28am Top

Tim - so DO you want bug reports separated from this thread right now? Just wondering.

74DaynaRT
Nov 17, 2010, 11:28am Top

Oh hey, now you can search for a word in a tag.

That is an epic win.

75r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 11:35am Top

24> I don't get the Author search "ratty data" bit. Search for author name "box" -- what's so special about C. J. Box that doesn't apply to Don Box?
71: Before when you searched on an author name you'd get back all the various names event when they had been combined into another name. This made it hard to find the "real" name. I haven't tried the new search yet, to busy reading about it, but I take it that the names that had been combined into another name aren't shown.

Did you try the search I suggested? When you do an author search for "box", "Don Box" is below the "ratty data" line, but if you check his pages, there's no-one combined in, only the single reasonable form of his name. C. J. Box is the only name above the line, but there are plenty below where there's no combination going on, and nothing ratty about them that I can see.

76lindapanzo
Nov 17, 2010, 11:36am Top

Except for not being able to search for books and authors (nothing happens) and also not being able to add books, I guess the changes are ok. :(

77vaneska
Nov 17, 2010, 11:38am Top

Another bug - I'm not sure whether it should be reported under Bug Collectors, nor what concise description to give it. My apologies if someone has already brought it up - I couldn't see it on a quick scan of this thread.

If I do a search then click on one of the results, when I go back to the results list, it shows me the previous search. Big fail.

v

78jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 11:42am Top

75> Sorry. I thought you were referring to several previous posters who used that phrase in relation to the old author search.

79WholeHouseLibrary
Nov 17, 2010, 11:47am Top

My search box is gray.

XP PRO, IE8

80girlunderglass
Nov 17, 2010, 11:48am Top

Shouldn't there be green ticks next to the books we own? (didn't the old search results have them? or am I confused?)

81brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 11:50am Top

80> I could be remembering wrong, but I do not believe the checkmarks showed up for search results. I'd rather see them everywhere; Tim believes in a pretty limited role for the checkmarks (not without reason).

82andyl
Nov 17, 2010, 11:51am Top

Is it easy to put more types of CK entries into the index/search system?

83thorold
Nov 17, 2010, 11:51am Top

The new search is great for works, but it seems to have had the unintentional side-effect of completely hiding the tagmash search, one of LibraryThing's most impressive features.

Unless I've missed something, to get a tagmash (unless you happen to know how to build the URL yourself) you now have to do a search, switch to the tag results, click on a random tag, get rid of cover view for the umpteenth time, and then enter your tagmash on the tag page.

84catherinestead
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 12:16pm Top

I like it. I would like it more if it found things when a mix of author and title is entered as a search term, but I like it. ETA: Now that I'm getting the hang of it and finding the options (and engaging brain properly *facepalm*) I'm able to find what I want pretty easily. I'm happy.

#80 I don't think the old search results had ticks, but I am not absolutely sure.

85r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 11:52am Top

I thought you were referring to several previous posters who used that phrase in relation to the old author search.
I think they were also referring specifically to the use of the phrase on the new search page, and the separation of results into those above it and those below it. Which is a great idea, but doesn't seem to be working right.

86MikeBriggs
Nov 17, 2010, 11:53am Top

Something odd happened in creating the new search. For it is not returning the normal results. I dislike how I can't specify what I am trying to look for immediately. I needed to quickly get to Jim Butcher's page. So I put Jim Butcher in the generic search box. Then clicked on authors. That is the part where something is missing. For Jim Butcher wasn't listed there.

results:
Author search: "jim butcher"

Jim Butcher; Ardian Syaf
Jim Butcher (Author) Charlaine Harris (Author) She
Jim Butcher et al
Mark Powers & Ardian Syaf Jim Butcher

(maybe it is Jim Butcher specific as other names I put in there get results)

Well, maybe my initial reaction is tainted by the inability to find Jim Butcher in the author section. I'll look again later.

87lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 11:58am Top

I dislike how I can't specify what I am trying to look for immediately.

Me too, though I understand it (the new search is specifically intended to be lowest-common-denominator, for people who think parameters are scary). My workaround has been to bookmark the search page, and ignore the box.

88timepiece
Nov 17, 2010, 11:58am Top

I know this is a bug, but I'm at a loss as to exactly what's happening:

When I search for Shakespeare, one of the results on the first page is Shakepeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris. Fine so far. However, if I search on "shakespeare" and "harris", none of the individual books in the series (which all have Shakespeare in the title) are found (one full set is found).

Oh never mind, I just saw the words|phrase links. May I suggest that "words" should be the default, not "phrase"? I'm pretty sure most people assume that searches are keyword searches, not strings.

89lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 11:58am Top

We'll need a title-only search

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

90girlunderglass
Nov 17, 2010, 11:59am Top

83: Unless I've missed something, to get a tagmash (unless you happen to know how to build the URL yourself) you now have to do a search, switch to the tag results, click on a random tag, get rid of cover view for the umpteenth time, and then enter your tagmash on the tag page

Nah, you just need to switch to tag results and enter tag1, tag2 (separated by a comma) and it takes you to tagmash. I agree that it's one of LT's most useful and impressive features.

81, 84: Guess I'm just confused then. Would be nice to have the ticks but it's not something I feel strongly about, one way or the other. I can see why Tim would want to limit their use to certain areas of the site only.

91jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 12:00pm Top

The Home and Profile tags are back.

92brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 12:01pm Top

86> Yeah, I think those Jim Butcher results (under Author) are a bug/shortcoming-of-the-algorithm that should be fixed.

Also, I note if you search for:

Butcher, Jim

or most any other Lastname, First, it doesn't really work. Might have to make an exception for author names, since they are so commonly searched like this.

93timepiece
Nov 17, 2010, 12:02pm Top

May I suggest that "words" should be the default, not "phrase"?

Aah! And especially don't change it back to "phrase" when I had had it on "words"! I had closed the tab and then started a new search in another tab, but that setting should stick! I almost never do phrase searches for titles (because typing out words like the, and, of, a, and so forth are a waste of time, usually)

94majkia
Nov 17, 2010, 12:12pm Top

wow! it is fast! It's great! Minor glitches on such a major change are normal and I'm sure they'll be ironed out.

Thanks so much!

95SilentInAWay
Nov 17, 2010, 12:26pm Top

First impression: Wow! Fast!

One problem (not a bug, but an issue that can perhaps now be more easily addressed):

The default "Works" bucket lists every work for which at least one of its constituent books contains the target string. When you search for Shakespeare you get (at the top of the list) a lot of works that contain "Royal Shakespeare Company" or "Signet Shakespeare" in individual book titles (although these titles were not selected for the work). Try finding a work with the words "first edition" in the title (Good luck).

Should not the "Works" bucket contain only work-level results? It makes sense. Of course, this raises the question of what qualifies as a work-level title? -- should Original Title and Alternative Titles from CK also be included (Canonical Title is automatically covered). CK data, although less "reliable" than library data, is in this case more useful than the publisher data obtained through Amazon with all the parenthetical additions.

The capability lost though this change would be regained with the addition of a "Title" bucket (which would contain all book-level data).

96jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 12:31pm Top

I do feel the lack of a Title search without getting hits on all sorts of other non-title info.

97brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 12:32pm Top

95> It's been mentioned (Shakespeare specifically, even) and it sounds like Tim is going to add a separate Title option. I think "Works" is a weird thing to label Title+Author, but there you are.

98rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 12:34pm Top

The default "Works" bucket lists every work for which at least one of its constituent books contains the target string.
Right, and it's not clear what the sort order is. Ulysses, the top result, only has the word Shakespeare in *one* of its hundreds of editions (and one with one copy). This makes me think that the number of members for the work is somehow outweighing other factors in the search result, since >10 andyl:,000 people have Ulysses.

Should not the "Works" bucket contain only work-level results?
That may not be possible, and probably we want want the search to pay *some* attention to the information in edition-level titles (think about foreign language editions, for instance). But this needs to be weighted appropriately. So, for instance, more mentions of the word in the editions should count for more; and perhaps the search should ignore words in parentheses in titles, if that's even possible.

99Collectorator
Nov 17, 2010, 12:49pm Top

timspalding, now we are cooking with gas.

100brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:08pm Top

Your Add Books/Your Books things are giving you problems because the html is all screwy. Some browsers fail differently than others in invalid html. Here's the code, with some bolding by me:

<li class="h2 second">Other searches
</a>
</li>

<li class="link">
<a href="/catalogsearch.php?search=ringworld&collection=-1">
<div class="countbox right alwayswhite">
<a href="/catalogsearch.php?search=ringworld&collection=-1" style="color: white !important;">»</a>
</div>Your books
</a>
</li>

<li class="link">
<a href="/addbooks?search=ringworld">
<div class="countbox right alwayswhite">
<a href="/addbooks?search=ringworld" style="color: white !important;">»</a>
</div>Add books</a>
</li>

As you can see, you've got LIs and As intersecting rather than nesting. You've got As nested inside As (not good). You probably just need to take another what at that whole section.

101ReneeMarie
Nov 17, 2010, 1:11pm Top

12> I agree. I miss the old page already.

Bookmarking the new page doesn't solve the problem entirely. One search I used to do doesn't work anymore. I can't figure out how to search on member locations. The only results that turn up are where the location is in the member name.

Did you get privacy complaints or something? I'm just nosy, and like poking through people's libraries based on where they're from. In part, it's useful to see regional variations: I have a lot of books, not all of them entered here yet, on Wisconsin. In part, if someone lands on my library and the map on the page gives me a location, I try to figure out sometimes who landed there. It leads me to all kinds of interesting people and libraries.

Is it broke? Or left out deliberately? Or an oversight?

102r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:25pm Top

Bookmarking/Linking is another thing missing from the new search. It used to be possible to get a URL for an author search, but that seems to be missing now.

Edited to add: Aha! The permalink in the "Other searches" box is for the current search, even if it's a "Bibliographic" search. Perhaps that should be outside the box -- it's not a different kind of search.

Edited to add: never mind. The permalink always says "searchtype=works", even after I've switched to an author search.

103Nicole_VanK
Nov 17, 2010, 1:20pm Top

That's odd, I still see those (in my browser window).

104r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 1:23pm Top

Cute timing bug on a sufficiently slow connection: Say you want to search for an author. Enter the search term in the new search box and hit Enter. The search page loads, the sidebar boxes load, the search results area has the little spinner. Click on "Author" while the spinner is still spinning, it changes to an author search and soon the authors appear. Wait a second... it changes back to a Works search and the results change to the Works search results.

I don't always get the author search results, but the selection does change to author when I click on it, then changes back to Works. Probably depends on exactly how far the page has got in its loading when I click it, but I can get it to display author results and then change to work results better than half the time.

105r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 1:26pm Top

103:
Are you referring to 102? I always see "http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=searchterm" in the address box, in FireFox 3.6.12 on Windows XP.

106tommyarmour
Nov 17, 2010, 1:35pm Top

So far I don't like it, in fact I can't seem to make it work at all. What do I click on? I've tried the magnifing glass, the "search" key that appears below. How does this work? I preferred the old "Search" tab.
TommyArmour

107Nicole_VanK
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:37pm Top

Yes, I was referring to 102. I always get my links from the browser address box, and that still works (XP Pro / FF 3.6.12).

But maybe you meant a different sort of link.

108r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 1:37pm Top

106:
Reported in message 8 - you have to hit enter after you've typed in the box.

109brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 1:37pm Top

106> Hit enter after typing your search term. You're also supposed to be able to click on the magnifying glass, but it's a bug (that's been entered as a bug report already)

110rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 1:39pm Top

101. Yeah, there are a few things missing from the old search page.

If you want to search users, you could try this link:
http://www.librarything.com/searchusers.php

The old search doesn't seem to exist any more, right?

Maybe we can gather some URLs for the individual searches, to use in the meantime while the kinks are ironed out?

111r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 1:40pm Top

107:
So, if you type "fred" in the new search box, hit enter, wait for the results to load, click on Authors to see authors named fred, your browser address box is for an author search? If I follow those exact steps I get http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=fred in Firefox's address box. If I bookmark that, or paste it here, it leads to a Works search. Or are you doing something different?

(FireFox 3.6.12, though now I'm on Windows 7)

112KingRat
Nov 17, 2010, 1:42pm Top

The ranking algorithm could use a lot of work.

Searching on Hathaway brings up The Devil Wears Prada first because someone wrote a review mentioning Anne Hathaway starred in the movie. That really should not be the first result.

113r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 1:42pm Top

110:
There's a "Members" option in the box on the left, which does username and real name, though it doesn't search by location which searchusers.php does.

114rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:45pm Top

Old search URLs, for those who need to access them (for combining, etc. or because some searches not available yet on the new page)

Works: http://www.librarything.com/search_works.php
authors: http://www.librarything.com/search_author.php
members and locations: http://www.librarything.com/searchusers.php
Tags: http://www.librarything.com/tag/ {add TAGNAME here}
I left off Talk and Groups, since those searches are easy to find elsewhere.

Venues by Location never worked anyway (it did a member search). I don't think "Also on" search did anything but a member search either.

115KingRat
Nov 17, 2010, 1:46pm Top

>114 rsterling: You should post that at the start of a new thread, because it's going to get buried in this thread, which i predict will hit 300+ messages within an hour or two.

116brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 1:46pm Top

111> No, I don't think they're saying that. Or if they are, I'm not sure they're right. Looking at the existing source code, I just don't see it as a possibility that you could have a direct link to those. Maybe I'm missing something, but it doesn't look like it.

117timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 1:49pm Top

As you can see, you've got LIs and As intersecting rather than nesting. You've got As nested inside As (not good). You probably just need to take another what at that whole section.

Thanks. Fixed. It was a last-minute change, to cope with a bad float on IE8.

One search I used to do doesn't work anymore. I can't figure out how to search on member locations. The only results that turn up are where the location is in the member name.

That's true, that is removed. I'll put it back when I reindex this night. But I don't really see the point of having separate searches for usernames and (if given) their real names and places.

The permalink always says "searchtype=works", even after I've switched to an author search.

Will fix. Make bugs if there are bugs.

Cute timing bug on a sufficiently slow connection

Yup. A bug. Thanks.

So far I don't like it, in fact I can't seem to make it work at all. What do I click on? I've tried the magnifing glass, the "search" key that appears below. How does this work? I preferred the old "Search" tab.

Put things in the search box and then either press return or the magnifying glass.

Someone is reporting the magnifying bug isnt' working. I'll try to figure out why.

118timspalding
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 1:51pm Top

As you can see, you've got LIs and As intersecting rather than nesting. You've got As nested inside As (not good). You probably just need to take another what at that whole section.

Thanks. Fixed. It was a last-minute change, to cope with a bad float on IE8.

One search I used to do doesn't work anymore. I can't figure out how to search on member locations. The only results that turn up are where the location is in the member name.

That's true, that is removed. I'll put it back when I reindex this night. But I don't really see the point of having separate searches for usernames and (if given) their real names and places.

The permalink always says "searchtype=works", even after I've switched to an author search.

Will fix. Make bugs if there are bugs.

Cute timing bug on a sufficiently slow connection

Yup. A bug. Thanks.

So far I don't like it, in fact I can't seem to make it work at all. What do I click on? I've tried the magnifing glass, the "search" key that appears below. How does this work? I preferred the old "Search" tab.

Put things in the search box and then either press return or the magnifying glass.

Someone is reporting the magnifying bug isnt' working. I'll try to figure out why.

Venues by Location never worked anyway (it did a member search)

Works for me. Anyone confirm it doens't work?

Oh, I get it. You thought it was for venues. It wasn't. It was nested under member searching. See above where it's complained that that feature is now missing.

119timepiece
Nov 17, 2010, 1:53pm Top

And are you going to start saving the words|phrase preference? Cause I gotta tell you, I really prefer "words", and it keeps switching back to "phrase" on me.

120brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 1:53pm Top

Posted magnifying glass bug fix in bug report:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102610#2311338

122rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 2:25pm Top

118 Venues by Location never worked anyway (it did a member search)

Works for me. Anyone confirm it doens't work?

Oh, I get it. You thought it was for venues. It wasn't. It was nested under member searching. See above where it's complained that that feature is now missing.


No, on the old search page there used to be a box called "Venues by Location." What it actually gave you in the search results was members (or members by location). There was either a bug or a typo on the old search page. Since it didn't ever actually search venues on the old page, I didn't see the point in putting the URL string in.
ETA see here - the 3rd search box on the right, under groups and talk: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XJ9UT5mJ8tMJ:www.librarythi...

The "Local" part of the new search works, where the search venues part of the old search page didn't. (Well, the new search works, although it should probably not include deleted venues at the top of the search results: see the local search here http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=borders
I can't figure out how to to a permalink just for the local search, so you'll have to click on LT local in the sidebar.)

123rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 2:32pm Top

The new member search only seems to search whole words. For example, if I search for my surname (sterling) it doesn't pull up my username (rsterling). It used to do search any part of the username, not just the whole word, and that was very useful both for finding real people and for finding spam accounts (e.g. usernames with payday or finance).

Compare
Old member search for payday: http://www.librarything.com/searchusers.php?searchbox=payday&Search=Search
New member search for payday: http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=payday&searchtype=members

PS - can you put the permalink somewhere more prominent - it falls off the bottom of my screen, and it took me a while to notice it.

124MikeBriggs
Nov 17, 2010, 2:38pm Top

Re: my earlier comment about Jim Butcher. I figured out why he wasn't showing up when I searched for him - apparently he fell into that Canonical name bug where his name was removed so the author page ended up having a blank name as the overall author name.

So that's one issue taken care of (well, the issue of what was going on there, not the canonical bug issue). Search looks interesting. Thanks. I'll see if I have any thoughts on it.

125StephenBarkley
Nov 17, 2010, 2:42pm Top

Just checking in on the conversation. Great job on the blazing fast search. And FWIW, I Looooove the Google parody.

126timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 2:48pm Top

can you put the permalink somewhere more prominent

No, it's feature for 1% of users 1% of the time. Sorry, but this kind of thing is what makes LibraryThing's UI unmanageable.

127brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 3:03pm Top

Suggestion: make the HREF for the magnifying glass for the top-of-page search box set to:

/search.php

Would allow middle-clicking to open a new window for a search (something I do frequently).

128_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 3:07pm Top

I've only skimmed the thread, but I haven't seen anyone mention that the tag page we come to in this search is completely useless (and is this the only tag page now?). If I'm searching for works tagged Greek History, I really need to see a weighted result. Blech.

I'll also repeat what other people have already said about wanting a convenient way to specify what field I'm searching from the outset.

129caseydurfee
Nov 17, 2010, 3:07pm Top

The old search indexes are no longer being updated.

We can probably keep them working for a while as we work out the kinks of the new system, but we can't keep them up-to-date, and at some point we'll need to reclaim the server hardware being used.

130brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 3:16pm Top

(cross-posting this from the other thread in case anyone finds it helpful)

You can now click on the magnifying glass to just go to the search page. For example, don't enter any terms, click on the little magnifying glass, click author, then type in King and hit return (or click the big magnifying glass).

Voila, no searching before you tell it what type of search. Effectively like the way the old search tab worked.

It will be nice if Tim eventually gets qualifiers like "author:", etc. that work in the box, but this should hold you over until then.

131timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 3:19pm Top

The old search indexes are going to be deleted very soon. We aren't going to devote resources to supporting a slow, bad, poorly-updated search.

I'll also repeat what other people have already said about wanting a convenient way to specify what field I'm searching from the outset.

The process before was:

Click page
Find right option
Type search in box

Now it is:

Type search in box
Find right option (if not works)

What's changed is:

1. The new way is much faster.
2. The new way involves fewer clicks.
3. The new way is different.

As often, 3 trumps 1-2.

We can, I think make the search icon like iTunes, where you can specify the search type before you click rather than after, ie.,

Click little icon next to search box to choose option
Type search in box

That's not actually faster, and adds visual clutter, but whatever. We'll add fiddle if fiddle is what's called for.

132timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 3:20pm Top

>130 brightcopy:

Right. Just click the magnifying glass, then choose the type. It's exactly like before. Problem solved.

133eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 3:21pm Top

My general reaction to the feature: excellent.

I like the flexibility and I don't mind doing a work search first and then clicking on the other searches in the left column. It's fast and it didn't take long to figure out at all.

As someone else said above, the new keyword and phrase tag search is a great boon to tag combiners and to tag searching more generally.

Another request-
The tag words search highlights the exact match. The tag phrase search doesn't. I'd say they both should.

134rgurskey
Nov 17, 2010, 3:22pm Top

Exactly where is this new Search. As I click on the various tabs, I don't see it.

And I really hope Tim doesn't eliminate Profile pages. If he did that, I would leave LT immediately.

135brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 3:24pm Top

131/132> Yeah, to me it's not really a big deal to have it always search the most common thing first.

The only place I'd really like to see things like "author:" or "tag:", etc. would be if you could put multiple terms on the same search line and have it act as AND filter. Of course, you could do that with the existing interface but it'd probably be a bit cluttery.

Off-topic: I'm surprised no one has complained that there's a "Series" link and a "Common Knowledge" (with children) link. Series are CK. ;) I don't want it changed, just making an observation.

136brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 3:25pm Top

134> At the top-right of every page. Little rounded box with a magnifying glass. See also Tim's screenshot in message 1.

137timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 3:27pm Top

And I really hope Tim doesn't eliminate Profile pages. If he did that, I would leave LT immediately.

I am going to eliminate all pages starting with p.

Series are CK. ;)

It's an intentional violation of hierarchy in favor of things people are most interested in. Series is gold—a way to browse books that isn't commonly available—indeed it was literally unsearchable before. So I bumped it up.

138_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 3:27pm Top

So are you going to fix the tag page to bring back weighted results? What about giving tagmash some more prominence?

Also, the search is bringing up some weird results when I look for Room. The popular book that actually has that title is way down the page.

139lilithcat
Nov 17, 2010, 3:30pm Top

> 136

It really needs to be labeled.

See also Tim's screenshot in message 1.

Looking at that screen shot, I see a page with a field marked "Search LibraryThing". The message references a "search bar", but nowhere does it say anything about "a box in the upper right-hand side of your screen".

140eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 3:32pm Top

>138 _Zoe_:
I don't think the tag pages have changed. I think what you are seeing is the tag count bug.

141brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 3:35pm Top

139> My point about seeing his screenshot was in case for some reason the search bar wasn't appearing on their screen. By looking at his screenshot, they could see they are missing something. My comment wasn't supposed to mean anything beyond that.

142_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 3:35pm Top

>140 eromsted: What happened to the sort options on the tag pages? There used to be a choice between raw and weighted. I don't know whether this is new with the search page, but I only noticed it now.

Or are they hidden somewhere so that I have to mouse over the right place for the options to appear? That drives me crazy on the cover view.

143lilithcat
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 3:37pm Top

> 141

Ah. Got it. thanks. Sorry I misunderstood.

144rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 3:49pm Top

Please before you delete the old search engines, I hope it's possible to make sure that the new results are as extensive - picking up all the authors, picking up all the members, etc. that the previous search would have (e.g. giving us an option to see authors that have been combined into these authors, showing us partial word searches on member matches, etc.)

145rsterling
Nov 17, 2010, 3:49pm Top

135 Yes, some shorthand for the searchbox would be great, like au: ti: tag: etc.

146EveleenM
Nov 17, 2010, 4:08pm Top

While returning only the top-level author pages really streamlines simple searches, it looks like it could thoroughly banjax a lot of things that combiners used to be able to do easily.

Take pseudonyms: use the new author search and look for Richard Bachman. The Richard Bachman page has over 1600 members, but from an author search you'll no longer find it. I was expecting an improved author search to list it with some kind of marker that it's a subsidiary page, not to return a total blank.

The real problem will arise if a subsidiary page is wrongly combined. If we can't find it, how can we fix it?

147timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 4:12pm Top

Looking at that screen shot, I see a page with a field marked "Search LibraryThing". The message references a "search bar", but nowhere does it say anything about "a box in the upper right-hand side of your screen"

Come vote here:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102649

148Aerrin99
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 4:25pm Top

> 127 Suggestion: make the HREF for the magnifying glass for the top-of-page search box set to:

/search.php

Would allow middle-clicking to open a new window for a search (something I do frequently).


Please please. I do this a lot too. In fact, I've already tried to do it and was sad when it did not work.

Other comments:

This is FANTASTIC. It's fast, it's easy, it narrows very quickly, and I abruptly find myself wanting to explore LT a lot more. I cannot say enough good things about this and I think it was worth every bit of development time and YAY you guys!

Of course I have other suggestions. ;)

- I agree about needing a title and an author bucket under 'works'. I like how CK works and would like to see something similar here, where if 'works' is selected it expands to let you narrow further.

- You might put some serious thought into considering (if possible) adding HelpThing to the things indexed and the way people can narrow. I think that new users are going to expect to be able to find help on a variety of topics there. I might be wrong, but it's where /I'd/ look if I were new!

149KingRat
Nov 17, 2010, 4:31pm Top

Really really dislike this new search.

a) it is *NOT* blazingly fast (may be caused by #2)
b) it's buggy as hell
c) the ranking algorithm makes no sense. Jean M. Auel's Plains of Passage is first result for Traffic?
d) there's no way to change ordering. sort works by author? nope, you just get them in order of how many people have a book. order author search alphabetically? Nope.
e) term matching is bad. "Hathaway" search on series does not bring up the "Hathaways" series, for instance.

150dchaikin
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 4:38pm Top

Tim - I haven't read this thread, so maybe redundant.

I love quite a bit about the new search, especially all the new stats.

But I don't like how works are displayed

First there is the title/author line in blue - this is nice
Than there a second line with black text, and bold key words - not sure what this is.

It's combination I don't like, visually. The blue/black/black bold/blue/black/black bold makes it difficult for me to "see" the list.

ETA - black bold in the combo.

151timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 4:38pm Top

> 127 Suggestion: make the HREF for the magnifying glass for the top-of-page search box set to:

Done.

general

I've improved the work-sorting algorithm somewhat.

152caseydurfee
Nov 17, 2010, 4:44pm Top

149 > I'd be interested in what constitutes "blazingly fast" for you, then. I haven't found a search that takes more than a second to complete.

153r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 4:49pm Top

make the HREF for the magnifying glass for the top-of-page search box set to:
Done.

Is it possible for that to be combined with actually doing the search, so you can enter a search term then middle-click the magnifying glass? (I was quite excited when I read message 151, but the first thing I tried didn't work.)

I've improved the work-sorting algorithm somewhat.
Try a search for "fred". The first work is Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, fair enough. You have to get down to #15 to find another with fred in either the title or author's name, then #18 for the next, then #23. All the others have an inappropriate "fred" in some obscure edition, e.g. #2 on the list is The Great Gatsby which has one edition of one copy that someone has cataloged with "Fitzgerald, F. Scott, Illustrated by Meyer, Fred" as the author. That got it to number 2 on the search results for "fred"!

154Aerrin99
Nov 17, 2010, 4:47pm Top

> 123 The new member search only seems to search whole words. For example, if I search for my surname (sterling) it doesn't pull up my username (rsterling).

Wow, this /does/ seem weird. You'd think it'd at least search the beginning of words, but 'Aerrin' doesn't pull me up - only 'Aerrin99'.

It'd be really nice if this were changed, because lots of people throw numbers on the end of names and people end up thinking of them as the before-numbers part.

155dchaikin
Nov 17, 2010, 4:48pm Top

Noticed an accuracy problem:

I searched for "Larry D. Thomas"

-The list on right claims six works are found.
-Five works are listed.
-There are nine works listed on the author page. (http://www.librarything.com/author/thomaslarryd )

Perhaps this is just an inherited problem from the earlier search algorithm, not sure.

156_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 4:48pm Top

Are the tag-page rankings related to the search changes, or is that a separate issue? I'll happily go to another thread if that's where the discussion belongs, but if it seems like it's just getting overlooked here then I'll keep asking about it.

157brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 4:50pm Top

152> Everything is relative. It is blazingly fast compared to the old search. It is not compared to google. This is a pretty meaningless comparison. I'd say the search part of the search is very fast, given today's expectations on searching. How long it takes the data to flow down the pipe to the user is another issue.

151> Thanks!

150> Yeah, I find they run together a little bit, too. A lot better than before. I was playing with indenting a bit:

Original:


Indented:

158timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 4:56pm Top

Is it possible for that to be combined with actually doing the search, so you can enter a search term then middle-click the magnifying glass? (I was quited excited when I read message 151, but the first thing I tried didn't work.)

Actually, I don't think it is possible. Casey?

search algorithm

Okay, I'm working on it. I think I'm giving copies too much importance. I'm going to try the boost being the square-root of copies. It'll take a partial reindex, though.

Wow, this /does/ seem weird. You'd think it'd at least search the beginning of words, but 'Aerrin' doesn't pull me up - only 'Aerrin99'.

Casey, is it posssible to do mid-word searching in SOLR? Can we do it two different ways, by type?

Noticed an accuracy problem

Yeah, but. It indexed zero-copy works. I'm getting rid of them now.

Are the tag-page rankings related to the search changes

Can you explain what you mean? You complained that the tags weren't weighted, but they are exactly weighted--a compromise between use and how close they are to the term. Can you tell me more?

159Carnophile
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 4:57pm Top

I typed "Heinlein" and the first result was Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune. ?

160brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 4:58pm Top

158> Actually, I don't think it is possible. Casey?

I'm not casey, but I can say that it IS possible, just not worth it. You have to do some javascript to pull the content of the edit box and update the href dynamically as they type. Bleh.

161caseydurfee
Nov 17, 2010, 4:58pm Top

70 > "Speaking of ponies, the prettiest pony in my stable would be being able to do:

searchterm1 -searchterm2"

You can do that! If you select a "words" search, the - operator works to exclude the term, eg:

velveteen -rabbit

you can do whole phrases, too:

constitution -"we the people"

162brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:00pm Top

161> Ahhhh, I see! Very good. Well, now I'll hop off that pony and onto one that will let the little search box always default to searching words.

163timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 5:02pm Top

I was playing with indenting a bit

Change it. I'm torn, but let's try that.

164timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 5:03pm Top

I typed "Heinlein" and the first result was Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune. ?

Okay, I agree. I'll work a bit. It's treating the high count with too much respect.

165eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 5:05pm Top

I'm finding the info on search matches below the results in the work search visually distracting.

It's an interesting idea but often the excerpt isn't big enough for me to tell just what it is I'm looking at and it makes it harder for me to scan the list.

And if the weighting is improved I will care less about knowing how the result got into the list.

166bergs47
Nov 17, 2010, 5:07pm Top

This is totally unacceptable surely as I use zeitgeist all the time. You can't just remove it to a URL.

http://www.librarything.com/zeitgeist

Am I supposed to store this in favourites or what?

167timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 5:07pm Top

And if the weighting is improved I will care less about knowing how the result got into the list.

Yeah, I don't know. Search on a non-English title, for example, and you may have no idea what the connection is.

Do you find the way the text has moved over better now, or not?

168keristars
Nov 17, 2010, 5:09pm Top

I saw mention of old search stuff eventually disappearing. The Combine With Another Author box on the author page - will that eventually change? I saw that it finally reverted back to fuzzy matching and I got a bunch of Iain Pears variants combined together, but I'm not sure how that box will work with the new search.

Also! People have been posting about middle-click/ctrl+click on the magnifying glass:

There's something weird about it, where if you ctrl+click to get a new tab with the search page, your current page ALSO goes to the search page. (Currently, also, it's a search page with "search" as the query.) I don't know what's causing it, but it's kind of irritating when you're typing a talk post and want to doublecheck something and then you have to hit the back button to go back to your talk post (which for me wasn't erased, but that might not always be the case).

169brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:12pm Top

166> This is totally unacceptable surely as I use zeitgeist all the time. You can't just remove it to a URL.

From post #1:

* The search tab has been removed and the "More" tab moved left. The "Zeitgeist" tab has been removed. It will probably be available under "more," from the home page and at the bottom of every page (like "about," which was a tab once).


And, in fact, it's already available at the bottom of the page at the "57,247,876 books!" link.

170_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:13pm Top

>158 timspalding: Sorry, I don't think it was clear what tag rankings I meant. The list of tags is fine. But when you actually go through to a particular tag page, it seems like there's no weighting at all. The Greek History tag page is basically Greek literature; look how small the tag itself is in its own related tags cloud!

171staffordcastle
Nov 17, 2010, 5:12pm Top

>159 Carnophile:, 164 I typed "Heinlein" and the first result was Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune. ?

There is a zero-copy record of God Emperor of Dune with Heinlein as the author. :-P

172eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 5:13pm Top

>167 timspalding:
It's better with the indenting. Still not sure that the matching excerpt is useful. We'll see how it goes.

173caseydurfee
Nov 17, 2010, 5:14pm Top

158, 160 > If you want to be changing the URL without triggering a refresh, you have to be putting it in the hash (the stuff after the #). This is how twitter, facebook, etc. do their ajaxy-style searches.

As far as matching the middle of a word, we can allow wildcards (eg "Aerrin*") -- or implicitly make the search term be "foo OR foo*" -- though Lucene doesn't allow search strings to start with a wildcard (eg "*durfee"), only in the middle or at the end.

The other alternative would be to have another search index that's very loosey-goose that's only used for some search types. I think it's really an edge case, though.

174brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:14pm Top

168> Also! People have been posting about middle-click/ctrl+click on the magnifying glass:

FYI, it's being talk about here and Tim has responded:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102649

175_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 5:14pm Top

To expand on the tags issue, I think half of it may just be the bug that was mentioned earlier where the counts were off, but surely the option to change between weighted and raw should still exist?

176keristars
Nov 17, 2010, 5:17pm Top

174> I can't keep track of all these threads. Oy. Turns out I'd already posted in that thread and forgot, just minutes earlier -.-

177brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:18pm Top

173> I think we must be talking about two different things. I'm talking about in javascript you can just do:

maginfyingGlassAelement.setAttribute('href', '/search.php?search=' + $('stxt').value)

every time they change the text in the edit box. Then if you middle clicked on the magnifying glass, the URL would already include the terms typed into the box.

178owlswelove
Nov 17, 2010, 5:18pm Top

Is anybody else having a hard time adding books?

179timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 5:19pm Top

The other alternative would be to have another search index that's very loosey-goose that's only used for some search types. I think it's really an edge case, though.

We could just use the non-SOLR one here—the one we were otherwise using. I don't know if I want to mix two different types of search, or do that search over and over and over.

Maybe we could make it an option from the members search.

To expand on the tags issue, I think half of it may just be the bug that was mentioned earlier where the counts were off, but surely the option to change between weighted and raw should still exist?

I'll look into it. I think that it'll only be available if there are less than a bazillion tags.

Note, the key thing that's changed here is that you can actually SEARCH for tags—impossible before!

180brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:19pm Top

178> Is anybody else having a hard time adding books?

Yes, and they're talking about it here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102611

181Aerrin99
Nov 17, 2010, 5:20pm Top

> 173

I'm waffling on this - I'm inclined to like 'foo OR foo*', but really the only place I'm crazy about that is usernames, and I don't know whether it can function differently for different types of searches.

I'd love to see wildcards available throughout, though, on the user end. Are they?

182timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 5:20pm Top

Is anybody else having a hard time adding books?

Can you be more specific?

183brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:23pm Top

182> No, don't derail the thread! Heh

There's a whole bug report just about it. Post there. Everyone is doing it. :D

ETA: Nevermind, you seem to have gotten to the other thread at the same time I posted this.

184owlswelove
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:24pm Top

@182

When I click on "add to wishlist" it brings me to the add books page, but when I press "enter" nothing happens. I went to the thread brightcopy mentioned and it looks like some other people are having this problem also.

eta: and it looks like brightcopy has already said this.

185brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:27pm Top

I'm also wondering just how useful the detail on the searches is. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better just to start out hiding the detail behind "(more)", and making the detail MUCH more informative, like a little explanation of why it matched on that (rather than just a string of data). That is, if the way the indexing works will support it.

186_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 5:29pm Top

I'll look into it. I think that it'll only be available if there are less than a bazillion tags.

If you have to cut back, a better option would be just to exclude the super-popular books in cases where the numbers are getting unmanageable. Entirely eliminating effective tag browsing would be a huge loss for the site. Tags are supposed to be one of your greatest strengths.

And I have to ask--are these the same results you're selling with LTFL? Have the libraries started complaining yet?

Note, the key thing that's changed here is that you can actually SEARCH for tags—impossible before!

I'm sorry, but this is completely useless if the tag pages themselves no longer have any interesting content. Yes, now when I look for Greek History it will show me that I might want to consider Ancient Greek History as well.... But if I'm really just getting super-famous works of Greek literature no matter what, then why bother?

187_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 5:30pm Top

>185 brightcopy: I like that idea.

188timspalding
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:38pm Top

>185 brightcopy:

No. This is a case where, if I didn't show the data, an equal or greater people would be telling me its results didn't make sense. Having a show/hide link to explain search results is a non-starter. It is completely over-doing it.

And I have to ask--are these the same results you're selling with LTFL? Have the libraries started complaining yet?

No. It's not. But thanks for asking. As I said, I am looking at the search algorithm. Fundamentally it's a hard problem.

I'm sorry, but this is completely useless if the tag pages themselves no longer have any interesting content

I'm sorry I can't fix two bugs at once. But you can be sure of one thing on LibraryThing—anything is declared USELESS every day. Until the day you change it. Then it's vital.

189jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 5:39pm Top

186> I'm still not sure that Tim understands that your talking about the tag pages and not the search page. Do you remember what kind of weighting it was?

190brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 5:44pm Top

188> No. This is a case where, if I didn't show the data, an equal or greater people would be telling me its results didn't make sense.

Fair enough, but can you see where I'm coming from? Here's the results for "Heinlein":


God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert (5,058 copies)

Herbert, FrankHerbert, Herbert, Herbert, Franck, unbekannt, -, Robert Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (6,126 copies)

1960-1963 1962 A Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein, Stranger ... étrangère, Stranger in a Strange Land (signed), Heinlein, Robert A., Heinlein ... Robert, Heinlein, Robert A, Heinlein, Christopher Hurt Robert A., Robert


All I can tell is "yep, Heinlein's in there". I have no idea WHERE or WHY. How did this actually give me any more information than "God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert (5,058 copies)" about why the match makes sense?

191LucindaLibri
Nov 17, 2010, 5:45pm Top

First impression . . .Great improvement!!

Agree with the above requests for an "Advanced Search" option where I can specify fields or types of info to search, perhaps even some boolean things like AND, OR, - . . .
Haven't tested it with Talk and Groups yet (that's where I've had the most problems with search in the past) . . .

Also haven't tried more than one word (that often got garbage or nothing in the past) . . .

So far, so good.

192klarusu
Nov 17, 2010, 5:51pm Top

Thanks Tim & Casey! The new search is sweet. It's different & I've been so used to the old one that it seems odd right now but I totally acknowledge that's a case of Stockholm Syndrome. Big, big improvement for me. And speedy fast - 'Search' with go-faster-stripes!

193_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 5:51pm Top

No. This is a case where, if I didn't show the data, an equal or greater people would be telling me its results didn't make sense. Having a show/hide link to explain search results is a non-starter. It is completely over-doing it.

The thing is, you're already completely overdoing it. If the word we're searching for is in the title of the book, we don't need to see any further explanation. Especially when it's not always clear where the explanation is coming from.

I'm sorry I can't fix two bugs at once. But you can be sure of one thing on LibraryThing—anything is declared USELESS every day. Until the day you change it. Then it's vital.

I don't even know what two bugs you're talking about. Was the removal of the weighted option a bug or a deliberate decision? Who was declaring that the tag pages were useless before?

I'm still not sure that Tim understands that your talking about the tag pages and not the search page. Do you remember what kind of weighting it was?

Yeah, you may be right. What do you mean by "kind of weighting"? It took into account how frequently the tag was applied to the book as a proportion of its total tags, I guess. So even though The Odyssey is a popular book and has a fair number of Greek History tags (presumably--can't check the numbers right now), Greek History isn't really a key aspect of that work, as indicated by the fact that Greek History doesn't even occur in its small tag cloud. The weighted results would take this into account and not show The Odyssey as the top work with a Greek History tag.

194_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 5:54pm Top

Haven't tested it with Talk and Groups yet (that's where I've had the most problems with search in the past)

Yeah, I was hoping the new search would offer an option to compress all the results for a single thread into one, but no such luck (so far?).

195timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 6:03pm Top

>193 _Zoe_:

Yeah, I get it. The bug where tag-to-work counts go weird has happened again. I am tracking it down now.

> If the word we're searching for is in the title of the book, we don't need to see any further explanation

I understand what you're saying, but it's not generally applicable. It wouldn't work to say it sometimes, and not others. Maybe I need to ape Google more. Google shows context for each other its hits, but because the link is bigger or perhaps because people are now used to it, nobody care—or it's wanted.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mrs.+dalloway&ie...

T

196timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 6:06pm Top

Odyssey has realistic numbers now:
http://www.librarything.com/work/1526

Working through rest. Will take some time.

T

197thorold
Nov 17, 2010, 6:07pm Top

>90 girlunderglass:
No, it doesn't: if you switch to tag search it searches for tags. Any commas you introduce are stripped out.

To get a tagmash search, you have to go to the tagmash page. Which is as it should be, except that the link to the tagmash page has disappeared. All we need is to bring back the link for tag mash in the search menu.

198dchaikin
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:11pm Top

163, 172 etc- re: indent

Current (---- is the indent)

New and Selected Poems (TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series) by Larry D. Thomas (2 copies)
----Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (Tcu Texas Poets Laureate Series ... Larry D. Thomas

The Woodlanders by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies)
----THE WOODLANDERS., The Woodlanders, Thomas, Larry D., THOMAS, HARDY, Larry ... D. Thomas

The lighthouse keeper by Larry D. Thomas (3 copies)
----The lighthouse keeper, The Lighthouse Keeper, Thomas, Larry D., Thomas

Amazing Grace (Winner, 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies)
----Larry D. Thomas

Where Skulls Speak Wind (Winner, 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomass (4 copies)
----Skulls Speak Wind, Thomas, Larry D., Larry D. Thomas

How about this:

New and Selected Poems (TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series) by Larry D. Thomas (2 copies) : Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (Tcu Texas Poets Laureate Series ... Larry D. Thomas

The Woodlanders by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : THE WOODLANDERS., The Woodlanders, Thomas, Larry D., THOMAS, HARDY, Larry ... D. Thomas

The lighthouse keeper by Larry D. Thomas (3 copies) : The lighthouse keeper, The Lighthouse Keeper, Thomas, Larry D., Thomas

Amazing Grace (Winner, 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : Larry D. Thomas

Where Skulls Speak Wind (Winner, 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomass (4 copies) : Skulls Speak Wind, Thomas, Larry D., Larry D. Thomas

Or this (my preference)

New and Selected Poems (TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series) by Larry D. Thomas (2 copies) : Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (Tcu Texas Poets Laureate Series ... Larry D. Thomas
The Woodlanders by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : THE WOODLANDERS., The Woodlanders, Thomas, Larry D., THOMAS, HARDY, Larry ... D. Thomas
The lighthouse keeper by Larry D. Thomas (3 copies) : The lighthouse keeper, The Lighthouse Keeper, Thomas, Larry D., Thomas
Amazing Grace (Winner, 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : Larry D. Thomas
Where Skulls Speak Wind (Winner, 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomass (4 copies) : Skulls Speak Wind, Thomas, Larry D., Larry D. Thomas

199brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:14pm Top

195> I understand what you're saying, but it's not generally applicable. It wouldn't work to say it sometimes, and not others. Maybe I need to ape Google more. Google shows context for each other its hits, but because the link is bigger or perhaps because people are now used to it, nobody care—or it's wanted.

Thanks, I think you're seeing our point. Right now, you aren't really providing something to "make sense" of the result. I understood your logic, I just didn't think it applicable here. The reason I suggested hiding the results now is that, right now, they don't provide any actual help. That made me question if anyone was using them. That then led me to suggest the "(more)" link (they wouldn't miss things that don't provide any usable information). That then led me to suggest that you could put a different detailed result that actually shows context behind it, perhaps taking up more screen real estate so that if someone wants to know "duh, why did it pick THAT?!" you could easily show them without them trying to parse some arcane string of data.

That was my thinking, anyway.

200dchaikin
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:14pm Top

Or even this

New and Selected Poems (TCU Texas Poet Laureate Series) by Larry D. Thomas (2 copies) : Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (Tcu Texas Poets Laureate Series ... Larry D. Thomas
The Woodlanders by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : THE WOODLANDERS., The Woodlanders, Thomas, Larry D., THOMAS, HARDY, Larry ... D. Thomas
The lighthouse keeper by Larry D. Thomas (3 copies) : The lighthouse keeper, The Lighthouse Keeper, Thomas, Larry D., Thomas
Amazing Grace (Winner, 2001 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomas (4 copies) : Larry D. Thomas
Where Skulls Speak Wind (Winner, 2004 Texas Review Poetry Prize) by Larry D. Thomass (4 copies) : Skulls Speak Wind, Thomas, Larry D., Larry D. Thomas

ETA - Er, NO!

201brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 6:14pm Top

198/200> None of those are better in terms of readability and navigability, in my opinion.

202timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 6:15pm Top

>197 thorold:

Stay tuned on Tagmash. You influenced me above. I just haven't gotten around to it—it's more of a request, not a fire.

203dchaikin
Nov 17, 2010, 6:17pm Top

#201 - yeah, I think you're right. I'm trying for one line per work to compress the list vertically. Perhaps something could be done with fonts or text sizes ?? Or, perhaps this should be forgotten.

204_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:17pm Top

>195 timspalding: I'm actually more concerned with the removal of the weighted option (which seems like a design decision) than with the existence of a bug (which would presumably get fixed eventually). Thanks for looking into it, though.

As for the Google comparison, I think Google's context tends to occur more in sentence form. At least in the example you provided, reading the extra information gives me a better idea of where that link will take me. The LT "context" mostly just looks like noise.

I'd be in favour of you distracting us from that noise by means of cover images, though ;)

205brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 6:19pm Top

204> I'd be in favour of you distracting us from that noise by means of cover images, though ;)

You are pure evil.

And I like it.

206timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 6:19pm Top

>204 _Zoe_:

Give it a second, k? I think it'll make a lot more sense when the tag data is correct.

For what it's worth, though, what do you mean by the weighed option? What do you want to weight by?

207jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 6:26pm Top

And you know that Google's context is coming from the text of the page somewhere. With LT's search results you don't know which piece of data the hit was on. Take this search on 1984:

Works search: 1984

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (16,996 copies)

by Bernie Wrightson. 1984, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus.: Or, the Modern

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (10,352 copies)

Capote, Truman / b: September 30, 1924 / d: August 25, 1984 / Liver Disease


The second one seems to be a hit on the date that Truman Capote died, but in the first one I have no idea what the 1984 is in reference to.

208_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 6:30pm Top

>205 brightcopy: >:D

>206 timspalding: Sure, I'll wait a bit. By weighted option, I mean it should prioritize the books for which a given tag is important, not just those that have the tag a lot because they have lots of owners and lots of tags in general.

So, for the example of The Odyssey: look at the basic tag cloud for that work. Key tags (i.e., the ones that are big and bold) are Ancient Greece, Epic, Epic Poetry, Greek, Greek Literature, Greek Mythology, Homer, Mythology.

"Greek History" is not a sufficiently important aspect of the Odyssey to warrant an appearance in that tag cloud. The Odyssey isn't really about Greek History. But it's listed as the top book on the Greek History tag page. This shouldn't happen.

(Incidentally, it would be nice if the work tag clouds had another level between the small tag cloud and the all-tag cloud. Loading the full one takes a long time and makes the page very slow to scroll, so that I still haven't managed to check the Greek History number for the Odyssey.)

Basically, I want exactly the same weighted option that we used to have on the tag pages. It seemed to work well; I certainly don't remember seeing complaints. Does that code still exist somewhere?

209timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 6:31pm Top

>207 jjwilson61:

No, it's always either work or title. The other stuff isn't searched.

By the way, work ordering is going to be screwy for an hour or two as I change it.

210timspalding
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:32pm Top

>208 _Zoe_:

Okay. I get it. No, there never was a tag-weighting factor. We just had real numbers for tags-to-work, and we sized and ordered the tags by those numbers. The current numbers are crazy wrong numbers, produced in a way I can't figure out. So it's showing the wrong tags at the wrong sizes. No weighting involved :)

211r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 6:34pm Top

209: Either title or author, I assume.
207: when you search for 1984 it finds Frankenstien because one person has it in their catalog with the title "Frankenstein. French Edition Illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. 1984".

Very glad that Tim's working on the work ordering.

212mvrdrk
Nov 17, 2010, 6:35pm Top

Searching on 紅摟夢 gives me my book. Searching on 紅 gives me other books but not my book. Is that the correct behavior?

213_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 6:36pm Top

We just had real numbers for tags-to-work, and we sized and ordered the tags by those numbers.

Okay, so this is what I meant by weighting ;). It's all good.

Except one option really did go away.... But it sounds like when everything will be back to normal, the option that will be missing will be "raw" rather than "weighted"? Is that intentional? That seems like an easy one to keep.

214_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 6:37pm Top

Wait, no, I'm still confused. Because "sized and ordered" sounds like you're talking about the tag cloud. There was no sizing in the list of works on the tag page.

215brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:44pm Top

207/209>No, it's always either work or title. The other stuff isn't searched.

Well, that helps a lot, I have to say. I was thinking it did something other than that. Shows how much the details helped me make sense of it. ;)

So, to annotate the original search:

--------------------------------------------------​
Works search: 1984

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (16,996 copies)

by Bernie Wrightson. 1984, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus.: Or, the Modern


Edition match:
Title: Frankenstein. French Edition Illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. 1984
Author: Shelly, Mary
ISBN: 2226021078
Copies: 1

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (10,352 copies)

Capote, Truman / b: September 30, 1924 / d: August 25, 1984 / Liver Disease


Edition match:
Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Capote, Truman / b: September 30, 1924 / d: August 25, 1984 / Liver Disease
ISBN: 0375507906
Copies: 1
--------------------------------------------------​
I guess something like that (though you can probably leave off the ISBN/copies) would have helped me understand why there was a match.

ETA: Though I can understand that from an algorithm/indexing standpoint, it may be hard to pull the data out and present it that way. Perhaps some kind of "why?" link could do that if the user wanted to actually know. If the search is successful, most of the time you don't really give a damn about the why. If the search had prioritized an exact match for 1984 for the title, I probably wouldn't have gave a damn about any of the whys.

216jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 6:43pm Top

210> Tim, I still don't think you get it. Zoe is talking about the list of books on the tag page *NOT* the tag cloud.

217keristars
Nov 17, 2010, 6:44pm Top

212> That seems to be the partial-word matching that doesn't quite work that was mentioned earlier (as with "aerrin" not resulting in "aerrin99").

It's going to be a problem for writing systems which don't put spaces between words.

218_Zoe_
Nov 17, 2010, 6:48pm Top

What's supposed to be restricted to works and titles? What does "works" mean? It seems a bit strange to me when a book sometimes shows up as a search result because the word in question appears in a review.

219brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:56pm Top

218> Oh yeah, that's right. I knew I wasn't crazy in thinking it searched other data. Tim even says it up in post #1, indirectly: "It includes a number of elements not formerly searchable (or searchable well), like member reviews". Though maybe he didn't mean that like I'm taking it.

And KingRat gave an example earlier:

http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=Hathaway&searchtype=works

First hit is due to a German language review of Devil Wears Prada talking about Anne Hathaway. Which, oddly enough, doesn't show up on the review page for that hit at all...


Actually, I think this was all a mistake. From
http://www.librarything.com/work/10284/editions

Il diavolo veste prada / Weisberger (1 copy separate)
Der Teufel trägt Prada: Roman zum Film - Der Bestseller jetzt verfilmt mit Meryl Streep und Anne Hathaway in den Hauptrollen / Weisberger, Lauren (ISBN 3442463416) (1 copy separate)
Der Teufel trägt Prada: Roman zum Film - Der Bestseller jetzt verfilmt mit Meryl Streep und Anne Hathaway in den Hauptrollen / Weisberger, Lauren (ISBN 3442463416) (1 copy separate)
The ¤devil wears Prada / Weisberger, Lauren (ISBN 0007156103) (1 copy separate)

Back to being crazy, I guess...

Though I am wonder how one searches reviews as Tim said you can now do with this search in post #1...

220r.orrison
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:57pm Top

I'm pretty sure in 209 he mean that it only searches title and author (not work).

In the search for Hathaway, there's a title that shows twice up on the editions page:
"Der Teufel trägt Prada: Roman zum Film - Der Bestseller jetzt verfilmt mit Meryl Streep und Anne Hathaway in den Hauptrollen"

Edit to add: yeah, what he said (219)

221_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 6:59pm Top

Okay, what about the Separate Peace result for a search of "Room", justified by "are told a story between 1942-1943 were two best friends are room mates"?

ETA clarity. I hope.

222jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 6:59pm Top

209> No, it's always either work or title. The other stuff isn't searched.

What do you mean by work though. A work contains a lot of data including CK data but presumably you don't mean that. Are you referring to the titles in the editions being searched? Are Author and ISBN in editions searched as well or only Title?

223brightcopy
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 11:38pm Top

222> Yes, I agree. The use of the term "work" where he presumably means "title" or "edition string from the editions page" is quite confusing.

224_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 7:06pm Top

So, the ranking is still off. There's an edition of A Separate Peace where a plot summary is apparently given in place of the title, including the phrase "room mates", and this is enough to move it above The Amber Room and Jacob's Room in the search results.

225r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 7:06pm Top

221: On the editions page for Separate Peace there's a title listed as "A Separate Peace begins with Gene going back to his old prep school and visiting the places that he was afraid of there. The story quickly moves into the past and we are told a story between 1942-1943 were two best friends are room mates at the prep school. I read this novel in 9th grade and was never extremely fond of it. However, I think that it is a very popular novel that students read in high school and I want to make it interesting when I teach it. I think that A Separate Peace can be a good novel for" (no current copies)

226r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 7:07pm Top

the ranking is still off
He said he's working on (message 209) - he hasn't said he finished it.

227jjwilson61
Nov 17, 2010, 7:10pm Top

225> This is also a zero-copy edition and Tim said earlier that he will be excluding zero-copy editions from the search indexes.

228jenniebooks
Nov 17, 2010, 7:11pm Top

this is fantastic.

229jjwilson61
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 7:16pm Top

You may think that this issue of having titles of some editions being summaries or reviews of the books is rare, but try a work search on 'nazi'. It shows pages of this kind of hit.

230r.orrison
Nov 17, 2010, 7:16pm Top

227: True. That was two hours ago - I wonder how long it takes to clear them out or rebuild the index, or whatever it takes?

231eromsted
Nov 17, 2010, 7:22pm Top

>229 jjwilson61:
Yeah. This search seems very good at finding all of the odd data entry habits of a very small fraction of LT users.

232timspalding
Nov 17, 2010, 7:37pm Top

The process is probably still going. I am, however, going to read to my kid before returning to work!

233brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 7:41pm Top

232> I hope they're not as much of a critic as we are! :D

234caseydurfee
Nov 17, 2010, 7:52pm Top

232> the reloading process got stuck for a while. I whacked it with a big hammer and it's continuing now. I'll post when it's done.

235rsterling
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 8:40pm Top

For authors, aren't you going to have to keep the old index around, for the search-and-combine operation on the author page? This one doesn't seem like it will work well for that, mostly because it doesn't show every author.

PS - why aren't all authors showing up on the search? If I search for "Evil Spammer," I should get the Evil Spammer 1 and Evil Spammer 2, which are authors with author pages with works on them, although the works attached to them generally get voted on then suppressed.

236brightcopy
Nov 17, 2010, 8:50pm Top

235> It's possible that it only searches that author names on each edition that aren't marked as spam. I wonder if you had an author and changed their canonical name to something other than appeared on ANY edition, if that name would appear as a search hit.

237Heather19
Nov 17, 2010, 8:55pm Top

Meh. Obviously I came in on this right when a lot of bugs are being worked on. Well that sucks.

General Response: I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I didn't realize the site-wide search would REPLACE the Search Tab. That I *do not* like. Sometimes I actually do want to search just author or work, and not have to go to a site-wide search *first*. I have to load the sitewide results before I can narrow it down to author, and that is an extra step with a lot of seconds that I don't like. It seems you made more steps, not less.

I'm sure this is just part of the bugs you are squashing right now, but I searched for a specific author and the only result it brought up was a multi-author (specifically, "Torey Hayden/ Stuart Woods/ Henry Denker/ Robert D" instead of bringing up Torey Hayden alone).

238brightcopy
Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 9:01pm Top

237> sometimes I actually do want to search just author or work, and not have to go to a site-wide search *first*.

You don't have to do any of that. See message #130:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102604#2311511

ETA: Also see #131. It's unfortunate this thread is so long, because a lot of people (understandably) jump to the end and just re-iterate previous issues.

239lorax
Nov 17, 2010, 9:09pm Top

237>

I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I didn't realize the site-wide search would REPLACE the Search Tab.

I don't think anyone expected that, but in retrospect by Conservation of Feature it's obvious.

Now that we can click on the magnifying glass, that's less of an issue for me, but the "bad results in work search" is still a big problem.

240Jannes
Nov 18, 2010, 3:58am Top

I love it!

The search function has been in need of an overhaul for some time, and now it's here and you deliver. As usual.

241girlunderglass
Nov 18, 2010, 6:06am Top

197: No, it doesn't: if you switch to tag search it searches for tags. Any commas you introduce are stripped out.

To get a tagmash search, you have to go to the tagmash page. Which is as it should be, except that the link to the tagmash page has disappeared. All we need is to bring back the link for tag mash in the search menu.


Thorold, that's probably because Tim changed it after I mentioned that it does that (?). It did switch yesterday when I said it, I can see that it doesn't anymore. In any case, what's important here is can that the tagmash goes back on the search page so we can access it? And please please do stick to the original plan of making the tagmash look like the tag page (with the shelf view, cover view, multiple pages, etc.)? Don't let that promised page-redesign remain unfinished just because there are other new features to focus on (search). There are always new features to focus on around here (it's simultaneously the greatest and most annoying - for the aforementioned reason - thing about LT)

242timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 7:34am Top

General Response: I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I didn't realize the site-wide search would REPLACE the Search Tab. That I *do not* like. Sometimes I actually do want to search just author or work, and not have to go to a site-wide search *first*. I have to load the sitewide results before I can narrow it down to author, and that is an extra step with a lot of seconds that I don't like. It seems you made more steps, not less.

There is no site-wide search feature; it doesn't exist. Nothing has replaced the search tab, except in sofar as there is no longer a tab-shaped button to get to the search page. There was a search page, now there is a page. You get to it by either (1) searching, which was impossible before, or (2) clicking the magnifier.

The former search tab was divided into different searches for all the various types. The new search is divided exactly the same way. The former search tab could be gotten to by clicking on it. So too the new one--just click the glass. The only differences are:

1. The new one is much faster.
2. The new one allows you to see hits across different types, and click to them. Before you'd have to back out of the search you were in, choose a new search, and run it, and then discover whether there were any results or not.
3. The new one searches things previously unsearchable before.

Even IF the new one required you to search first, it would still be fewer steps than before. See 131.

243lorax
Nov 18, 2010, 7:44am Top

242> See, Tim, I don't see your #2 (results across types) as an issue, because I always know what I'm searching for. If I want a tag, I'll search for a tag; if I want an author, I'll search for an author. So while I agree it's nice in principle, I'm not excited about it.

As for "allowing you to search things not searchable before", that's nice, but you've also taken away ISBN search (I know you've said you'll bring it back, but I don't know the timescale on that), and that was very important to me -- frankly I'd much rather have that than searchable reviews.

244DaynaRT
Nov 18, 2010, 8:07am Top

Something changed last night, in a good way. Yesterday evening I searched on the word photography and the first result was a memoir by David Sedaris. Just now I redid the search and was presented with a slew of books about photography, with the Sedaris book pushed way below the fold.

245timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 8:26am Top

It's still changing. (Or rather, I'm changing it again, to further injure the top books.) I'll be some hours before the changes are totally in. I also need to talk to Casey, who's on Pacific time.

T

246timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 8:31am Top

Yeah. I need Casey to take a holistic look at the weighting with me. It won't happen until this afternoon, I think.

247andyl
Nov 18, 2010, 8:39am Top

How do you search the equivalent of author:dozois tag:anthology now?

I admit multiple term searching may be a minority thing - but it is a jolly useful (and important) thing nevertheless.

248vaneska
Nov 18, 2010, 8:48am Top

I think the words/phrase thing needs addressing. I mainly use site-wide search to look for authors, not book titles, so that's what I've been playing with. Is it really reasonable that I should have to switch the setting from phrase to words in order to see an author's name come up in search?

v

249timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 8:48am Top

Right. There is currently no way to do that. It might be a good idea, I agree. But it wasn't possible before.

I'm game to try it, but we need to get all the indexes working well—as well as possible—separately before we try to combine them.

250timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 8:52am Top

I think the words/phrase thing needs addressing. I mainly use site-wide search to look for authors, not book titles, so that's what I've been playing with. Is it really reasonable that I should have to switch the setting from phrase to words in order to see an author's name come up in search?

Okay, to be clear again, there is no site-wide search!

However, I do see that the work index currently has authors in last, first format. That's obviously bad for author searching. So I'm changing it now—and restarting the process I started above. Let's look at it again in 2-6 hours.

251vaneska
Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 8:58am Top

250: I was just using that expression (rather carelessly it seems) to give the context of searching LT as a whole rather than searching my own library, and that I haven't looked in detail at what search results show for anything other than authors. Didn't mean to send sparks flying.

v

eta: can we call it a "cross-LibraryThing search system" without getting slapped then? :P

252timspalding
Nov 18, 2010, 8:58am Top

No, I'm sorry. So you didn't mean searching the works? (If not, well, I improved it based upon a misreading...) You're clicking on authors?

Can you explain what the author problem then is, for you?

253vaneska
Nov 18, 2010, 9:20am Top

252: Let's do an easy one: search on Tim Spalding. In the lefthand column you get '1' next to Author but nothing shows. Click on 'words' and it shows. This happens for other authors as well.

Except that things seeme to be completely fluid as you are re-indexing. I did exactly as described before writing the first sentence of this post. Then I did it again just now and it's changed. No results for Tim Spalding, neither under 'words' or 'phrase'.

I think I'm going to refrain from commenting further until you stop tuning the system!

v

254gangleri
Nov 18, 2010, 10:15am Top

Hi! Thanks for the new search! So far I have not read all posts here.

Just noticed that some other bugs are interfearing with the new search:

/author/tischbierekr (Tischbierek, Raj) CK has a deleted "canonical name" in LT.rus (Russian) but still has a "canonical name" in LT.www (English) : /search.php Tischbierek, Raj.

subsequent bug: /search.php?term=Tischbierek
does not list any result as author; only some works.

Regards Reinhardt

255gangleri
Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 10:31am Top

>254 gangleri: Note: The author counter is 1 (one) but the author name is the empty string.

----
CK search for Международная шахматная федерация will show 49+ CK in Russian LT about FIDE members / chess players.

I wounder what happened to the ФИДЕ link: Neither /commonknowledge/search.php nor the new /search.php?term will provide results.

I am confident that the new search will provide (step by step) full suport for LT in other languages.

256EveleenM
Edited: Nov 18, 2010, 4:54pm Top

Here's a comparison of author searches, new versus old, for Anthony Smith.

New:
http://www.librarything.com/search.php?term=anthony+smith
(picking authors from the left column and 'words' under search)
Results:
2 pages above the line, 15 below, in no discernable order.

Old:
http://www.librarything.com/search_author.php?q=anthony+smith
Results:
38 pages, in roughly alphabetical order.

As well as all the pages found by the new search, the old search finds the following pages, giving three separate problems by my reckoning:
1. Prof Anthony D Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/smithprofanthonyd&norefer=1 (top-level page) I've no idea why the new search missed this one.

2. Anthony Annakin-Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/annakinsmithanthony&norefer=1
Anthony Heckstall-Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/heckstallsmithanthon&norefer=1
Anthony Oliver-Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/oliversmithanthony&norefer=1
Anthony Poulton-Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/poultonsmithanthony&norefer=1
Anthony (Editor) Wilson-Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/wilsonsmithanthony&norefer=1
These are all top-level pages; since these kind of names are sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not, I think a search should find them.

3 (the problem I was originally concerned with)
Anthony Charles H. Smith http://www.librarything.com/author/smithanthonycharlesh&norefer=1
At the moment, this is a sub-page combined into the A.C.H. Smith page. It possibly shouldn't be; what is important to me at the moment is that this is an active author page for an Anthony Smith which can't be found by a (new) author search for Anthony Smith.

257ExVivre
Nov 18, 2010, 7:30pm Top

A small thing that made me happy:
I did a search to test this out and stumbled across a work needing combining. After combining, I went back to the search results and the combination was already reflected in them. Very nice!

258ReneeMarie
Nov 18, 2010, 9:17pm Top

110> Thanks! For as long as the page remains, that'll work for me.

117>That's true, that is removed. I'll put it back when I reindex this night. But I don't really see the point of having separate searches for usernames and (if given) their real names and places.

Thanks. I'll keep checking to see when it comes back. (So far, still not there.)

Was someone asking for separate searches? The old search used to do member names and locations together.

Sidebar: I work at a bookstore, and it drives me nuts when other booksellers do very general searches and then sort through pages of results to find the right item, when they had enough information to narrow it down from the beginning and turn up exactly what they were looking for. Help the customer faster. Look smarter. Help more customers. (And I wish our database at work was better, so I could be even more specific. I've asked for Boolean logic for years. The powers that be apparently believe, probably rightly, that the majority of my fellow employees wouldn't use it....)

259SugarCreekRanch
Nov 19, 2010, 1:53am Top

Squeeeeeeeeeee!

Thanks. :)

260timspalding
Nov 19, 2010, 3:06am Top

anthony smith

So, I can understand the combiners reason, but I don't think the average user needs to be presented with dozens of names—often totally junk data—that has been combined into authors. Giving people lots of links to authors without a single book whose very name has been combined into a more common variant of the author's name... is this really what LT should be doing? And if so, is it really better to lay all this crap out in the most arbitrary order imaginable—alphabetical—rather than trying to suggest that some are better matches. For example, in listing the hits for Mark Twain, does it make any sense at all for number 1-4 to all have been combined into 5, and most of them empty anyway?

Was someone asking for separate searches? The old search used to do member names and locations together.

Processing now. Check in morning.

261EveleenM
Nov 19, 2010, 4:45am Top

#260
anthony smith

So, I can understand the combiners reason, but I don't think the average user needs to be presented with dozens of names—often totally junk data—that has been combined into authors. Giving people lots of links to authors without a single book whose very name has been combined into a more common variant of the author's name... is this really what LT should be doing?


I agree that the average user doesn't need to be presented with dozens of names. But I think there should be some form of advanced/further search that will find author pages that have been combined. If I get a blank result on an author search, this should mean There is no author page of that name not There may be a page of this name, but I'm not going to show you it today. I know you deprecate work-arounds that use the system in unintended ways: it strikes me that the fastest way to find an author page which doesn't come up by an author search will be to add a work by that author and see what page it ends up on.

And if so, is it really better to lay all this crap out in the most arbitrary order imaginable—alphabetical—rather than trying to suggest that some are better matches.

Again, I agree that the new system is far better for ordinary searches. But if you want to scan a list for matching variations (as author combiners may want to do) the results of the new system will be pretty well impossible to handle with more than 10-15 names. (As an example, I found I had to scan through that Anthony Smith list a few times to be sure that the Prof Anthony D Smith page wasn't actually showing up). Didn't you say that you are going to stop indexing the old search? Are the results of the combine author search going to show up in this order, where two identical pages may be separated by an undetermined amount rather than show up together?

262SilentInAWay
Nov 19, 2010, 4:48am Top

260>

I have no problem with the consolidated results of the new search, provided that something like the old author search is still available from the combiner's area of each author page. Without searchable access to the different variants of each name, author combining would be crippled.

If it is too distasteful keeping the old author search--or if continuing to maintain the old index is no longer tenable--then perhaps you could add "brief" and "verbose" modes to the results page of the new search? (I realize that it's not as easy as it sounds.)

263Betelgeuse
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 8:21am Top

(Edited to retract my suggestion, because I see that as of this morning you've fixed it, thank you!)

264girlunderglass
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 8:25am Top

I'm still not sure that Tim understands that your talking about the tag pages and not the search page. Do you remember what kind of weighting it was?

Yeah, you may be right. What do you mean by "kind of weighting"? It took into account how frequently the tag was applied to the book as a proportion of its total tags, I guess. So even though The Odyssey is a popular book and has a fair number of Greek History tags (presumably--can't check the numbers right now), Greek History isn't really a key aspect of that work, as indicated by the fact that Greek History doesn't even occur in its small tag cloud. The weighted results would take this into account and not show The Odyssey as the top work with a Greek History tag.


Zoe, I'm with you here. How s it possible that The Catcher in the Rye shows up as the fifth book tagged "immigration"? Immigration? Catcher in the Rye? Seriously? The tag page needs to have the weighted/raw option back.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/immigration

ETA: And Dracula! I'm sorry but immigration is not a key aspect of Dracula!

265lilithcat
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 8:35am Top

We desperately need a way to see all variants of an author's name, and we need to have the results of an author search in alphabetical order.

It appears that now, when author names are combined, the subordinate page disappears from the list. This is terrible! It means that often bad combinations cannot easily be fixed, and that searching for an author's correct name yields no results.

For instance, G. Scheidl has been combined with Gerda Scheidl. Unfortunately, it is the former name that dominates. So a user searching for the author's full name will get a page with "no results"! This is very, very bad.

266lilithcat
Nov 19, 2010, 8:35am Top

> 264

ETA: And Dracula! I'm sorry but immigration is not a key aspect of Dracula!

I expect that depends on your interpretation of "key". It is Count Dracula's plan to emigrate from Transylvania to England that sets the entire plot in motion, after all.

267justjim
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 8:41am Top

…immigration is not a key aspect of Dracula!

As important as fooling the plebs by spelling your name backwards..

(note sarcasticon)

eta: link to first mention of sarcasticon (which I found by searching for 'sarcasticon' and clicking on Talk!)

268EveleenM
Nov 19, 2010, 8:37am Top

To return to the points I was making in #256 and #261, have another look at the old search for Anthony Smith, http://www.librarything.com/search_author.php?q=anthony+smith
The problem with that results page is not really that it is showing a load of sub-pages and empty pages, it's that you can't tell which is which without clicking on them.

If the exact same 38 results were shown, in the same order, but the sub-pages were indented and the empty pages were in italics, then more casual users could quickly find the more important pages, while combiners would still have access to the extra data they need.

269norabelle414
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 8:39am Top

>264 girlunderglass: The issue with the tags is not weighted vs. raw, it has to do with the fact that the tag count data is wrong right now.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/101220#2308728

270keristars
Nov 19, 2010, 9:19am Top

Speaking of author search, it'd be nice if some authors would display at all: Nagaru Tanigawa is still showing a blank list when the column on the left and the search text suggest that there ought to be 2 results.

271_Zoe_
Nov 19, 2010, 9:32am Top

>269 norabelle414: Yeah, it does look like the tag pages with proper numbers are better, but the option to toggle between weighted and raw has still been removed. I'm not sure which is gone.

As for the authors, I think there has to be a whole other set of search results for combining purposes. Combiners and regular people need vastly different things, and both needs are important. Just keeping around the old search for combiners might be the easiest option.

272keristars
Nov 19, 2010, 9:43am Top

Just keeping around the old search for combiners might be the easiest option.

It doesn't consistently work the way it used to, though, I found. I miss the old super fuzzy matching - now it's kind of hit or miss if you get it, though I don't know what makes the difference. I'm mostly seeing the change when I'm searching with non-Latin characters (lots of Japanese names where the imported data has garbage characters). On the other hand, the new search works better to find author variants when you use the "works" option, it seems. I've not tested extensively, though.

273girlunderglass
Nov 19, 2010, 9:44am Top

266: I still think someone looking for books tagged "immigration" is very likely looking for books on the immigration experience, and Dracula does not qualify. Also, how do you explain Catcher in the Rye then? Who emigrates there? Unless you consider ditching school "immigration".

269: The tag count may be wrong but there still used to be two options for viewing the tag page (raw/weighted) and now there is just one (raw?)

274_Zoe_
Nov 19, 2010, 9:45am Top

>272 keristars: Well, the old search as it used to be, then.

275girlunderglass
Nov 19, 2010, 9:50am Top

Also (unrelated) when I type a search and then click on the magnifying glass it takes me to the search page but deletes what I typed so I have to do it again. When I click enter instead of the magnifying glass it's perfectly fine (does the search without me having to retype) - is this a bug?

276jjwilson61
Nov 19, 2010, 9:53am Top

Tim, I know that combiners are a minority of users but they are a key set of users. You need combiners to keep this place functioning and they sometimes need specialized tools to do so.

(In that light, could I plead for a way to directly combine two works from the work page, like the author page already has? Currently to combine two works with different authors the standard technique I suspect causes all sorts of bad-data zero-copy editions to be added to the database.)

277_Zoe_
Nov 19, 2010, 10:02am Top

Can we have a "don't show this again" option for the notice about the add books page?

278_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 10:04am Top

Actually, I'm just not a fan of that notification at all. It's possible to use the basic search to find a work and then click the green plus to go to the add books search. Telling people that they're doing something wrong as soon as they start using the site seems like it will be a big turn-off.

279rsterling
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 10:12am Top

For author search:

1) Right now, if I'm understanding right, if you search for an author name variant that has been combined into another name, you get no result. If that's indeed what's happening, could we instead get a "matched on" result, like we used to for the old works search? That way it would be clear that there is an author with that name in the system, but s/he has been combined into a different name.

2) I agree that we really need a way to see full results for sub-names (those that have already been combined). Is there a way to have an indication next to a name for "see more" to show those that have been combined, or else a "see more" at the bottom of the page to show long results like before?

Again, I don't see how you'll be able to get rid of the old author search index while keeping author combining, because I can't see how searching for combining purposes from the author page could work with this new search.

280timspalding
Nov 19, 2010, 10:55am Top

tags

Well, that proves it. The tags are going wonky in a way unrelated to the various systems I run on them every two weeks. Back into the code...

281lilithcat
Nov 19, 2010, 11:28am Top

> 271 Combiners and regular people need vastly different things, and both needs are important. Just keeping around the old search for combiners might be the easiest option.

It 's not just combiners. "Regular people" need to be able to find authors by searching under variants, too. If I'm searching to find books by "John Peter Doe", and he's been combined with "John P. Doe", or "John Doe", or "J.P. Doe", and it's the latter that's dominant, I won't find him. "Regular people" do that kind of search all the time.

282timspalding
Nov 19, 2010, 11:35am Top

>281 lilithcat:

Yeah. I hear you. It's a hard problem, I have to say. A very hard problem.

Okay, back to the drawing board on author search.

283brightcopy
Nov 19, 2010, 11:38am Top

281/282> For a real world example, search for Samuel Clemens.

284LolaWalser
Nov 19, 2010, 11:46am Top

I don't like the new search one bit.

I want to search for Interviews, by Djuna Barnes. Previously I'd type in Interviews Barnes and get it.

Now this doesn't work and 1) searching for Interviews will pull up a zillion unwanted works, and 2) searching for Djuna Barnes will pull up her author page, which I have to skim then.

MORE work than before, and tons more for cluttered author pages. This is not good. This is not a good search mechanism. It was better before.

285rsterling
Nov 19, 2010, 11:48am Top

284 - if you do the search interviews barnes and then click "words" rather than "phrase," the first result is the one you're looking for.

I wonder whether "words" should be the default, or whether we should be able to set our preference.

286brightcopy
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 11:50am Top

284> Actually, it DOES work for that. Do your search and click on "words" under the search box. Unfortunately, Tim wants "phrase" to be the default instead of "words". I can see his logic but I disagree with the conclusion. You give a perfect example that normal users don't expect to be always be typing in exact phrases when doing searches on the internet.

ETA: Damn you, rsterling! ;)

287LolaWalser
Nov 19, 2010, 11:56am Top

This is the dumbest thing ever.

I have first to DO the search, get nothing, and THEN click on something that will give me my result? And I can't even set the dumb thing as default?

Why is this suddenly so stupid?

288shadrach_anki
Nov 19, 2010, 11:58am Top

>270 keristars: Sai Yukino and Tohko Mizuno are two more authors that return a blank list when the column and search text indicate there ought to be results.

It seems like this affects a relatively small subset of the total authors, but I'm not sure what the factors would be that create a situation like this.

289brightcopy
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 12:16pm Top

287> A little patience, perhaps? First off, it's been a whole of two days. Second, your questions have already been answered multiple times. It's not a big deal to ask a question again, given the thread has almost reached 300 messages, but it'd help if you came at it with a little different attitude. People tend to be a lot more helpful, cooperative and open to suggestions when they're brought forth in a constructive and friendly manner.

1) As I said, the feature has been out a grand total of two days. That's VERY new. As with most new features, they require some changes to get them working correctly. This is especially true of a small site like LT where its founder and owner is also its chief programmer. That's part of what you get with LT, and it's a price for all the other great things. If this were someplace like facebook or google, do you think you'd have a snowball's chance in hell of actually having a conversation with the person who could actually address your complaints?

2) To address your actual gripe. We're trying to convince Tim to make words the default or failing that to at least save the preference so you don't have to click on it every time.

Have a nice day. :)

290timspalding
Nov 19, 2010, 12:25pm Top

I've changed it to default to words. It will allow "interviews barnes" or whatever. Some other results will be worse (ie., a book called "interviews barnes" will vault itself up from obscurity).

Technical for brightcopy: The basic problem is that SOLR doesn't easily favor matches that are close together—only in very, very slow ways. You have to post-process it. I played around with doing two queries--one for the words and one for the phrase--and then mixing them, but that gets complicated when you get to page 2. (Actually, page 2 is fine, but page 1,000 isn't.) So it's just post-processing the result list now--partially reordering the (now) 200 returned works by whether the text occurs as a phrase. Being merely close doesn't help. We'd have to return larger highlight fragments and do some rather annoying post-processing there. I'm not sure it would be much better, since being words 1, 3, 4 and 5 doesn't seem that much better than being 1-4.

291brightcopy
Nov 19, 2010, 12:30pm Top

290> Excellent change; many thanks!

Makes sense on the technical note, though I've never worked with SOLR. I figured it was probably both a performance thing and a philosophical thing. I just think the philosophical thing had to trump here because most users (myself included) just would not expect the default search to be an exact phrase match.

292brightcopy
Edited: Nov 19, 2010, 1:01pm Top

Whats the X for below? Bug?



The search was for Twain, from the small search box. Then I clicked on Other. HTML source says:

<div class="countbox broken">X</div>

ETA: Also, saltmaz pointed out below that the total for Other is 860 but for Member review text it's 861

293brightcopy
Nov 19, 2010, 12:45pm Top

(Sorry for so many back-to-back posts, but they're all different questions and issues and having specific message numbers might help. Plus going back and editing to add unrelated stuff risks it never getting seen if someone's already read your message.)

Just wanted to point out that the change from phrase to words for the default might have a (positive) effect on the author searching. It won't fix all the problems caused by combined authors, but it will address some. In the previous example for Anthony Smith, there were a number of issues. Having it use the words search means it finds things like "Anthony D. Smith" that wasn't returned previously. Still a problem with something like "Prof Anthony D Smith", though, due to combinatorics.

294saltmanz
Nov 19, 2010, 12:45pm Top

292> I wondered about that myself. Notice how the total for Other is 860 but the member review subtotal is higher?

295timspalding
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:50am Top

This is the dumbest thing ever.

I have first to DO the search, get nothing, and THEN click on something that will give me my result? And I can't even set the dumb thing as default?

Why is this suddenly so stupid?


First, instead of executing a specific search, you can just click the magnifying glass to get to the search page. Then you can choose what you want to search. That process—click, choose, type, click—is exactly the same length as the previous search tab. That's the worst case.

I could add a search-type select to the search box on every page. So, you'd click to open the menu, select the search-type, then type and click. The problem is that click, select, type, click is exactly the same process as above. It can't be said to save any time. Meanwhile, it adds another fiddly select option to the page—on every page.

As to a default, I could make it default to whatever you did last. So you search for a tag and the next time you're hanging out on the site and do a search it remembers this and searches for a tag again. But I'm not the least convinced that users want this--it could be a hinderance as much as anything. I see even less reason to get even more fiddly and have it not stick unless you click some sort of "make this stick" button somewhere.

Just keeping around the old search for combiners might be the easiest option.

It doesn't consistently work the way it used to, though, I found. I miss the old super fuzzy matching - now it's kind of hit or miss if you get it, though I don't know what makes the difference.


Nothing has changed. Believe me, I am not messing with that code!

296brightcopy
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 1:04am Top

295> Actually, in this case she has a point (however poorly addressed). She was talking about choosing a words search instead of a phrase one, back when you still had phrase the default. The words|phrase link doesn't appear until AFTER you search.

lilithcat had to point it out to me, too ;)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102811

297timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 1:03am Top

Fair enough.

299timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 1:24am Top

>298 timspalding:

But userid dropped out. Adding them back. Will take some hours to get back in...

300Heather19
Nov 20, 2010, 1:49am Top

So why did the Zeitgeist tab get pulled amidst all of this? *I* know we can get to it through the bottom "suchandsuchnumber books!" link, but how many regular, non-power-users know that? Why was it pulled, were there just not enough people using it?

301timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 2:01am Top

It got pulled because we don't have infinite space. It does need a new home, I agree.

302brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 3:06am Top

Probably worth a link to the new "Work search: What's left to fix?" thread:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102841

303SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 8:09am Top

> 295

The problem, Tim, is that the new search "slot" is not intuitive. Just change the search "slot" to a search "button" and you'll be okay. Page one looks as if it's asking for search terms when it is really just asking you just to press a button to take you to page 2 (the actual search page). If truth be known, it took me a while to figure this out as well.

304jjwilson61
Nov 20, 2010, 11:04am Top

The box looks like its asking for a search term because it *is* asking for a search term. That would be the normal way to do a search just like many other sites do. It doesn't take any more time to enter the search term, click on the magnifying glass (or just hit enter) then click on author or tags or whatever else you really wanted to search on, than it took before to click on the tab and then enter your search term in the right box etc. But most people are going to want the work search.

So, it's the same in the way you want to use it and its better in the way that most people use it.

305_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 11:20am Top

The problem is that click, select, type, click is exactly the same process as above. It can't be said to save any time.

Actually, it would save time by significantly reducing scrolling.

306_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 11:26am Top

If you need to keep the add books warning, can you at least get rid of the warning exclamation mark icon? It makes it look like something has gone wrong every time we search.

307timspalding
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:32pm Top

I notice that what we've made is completely the same as our main competitor—whose search we were told was the gold standard—except that:

1. Their search box reads "find books by title or author or ISBN," making it unclear how you search for other stuff until you try a work search once.
2. They allow you to subsequently switch to searches of some other categories, just as we do, but they don't say ahead of time how many results there are or whether the search will even work. I at least think this is a majorly cool feature of our search.
3. They have an "all results" page, but it doesn't actually work (eg., search for "love" and then click "all results." There are results on many subpages, but none on all results, presumably because the high count breaks it).
4. They insert advertisements in between results, to distract and/or fool you into clicking on them!

Of course, making a search that was like theirs was the big request!

In fairness, their results are sorted better, mostly because they have no work/book distinction--just a single unified Amazon-derived catalogue.

The problem, Tim, is that the new search "slot" is not intuitive.

A little box marked "search" with a magnifying glass and a place to type at the top right corner is one of the most common UI elements out there. It is exactly what our main competitor has. It looks almost exactly like iTunes search box too. Pick a random shopping site. They'll probably have it too.

"I couldn't find What The Bee Knows, not even Mary Poppins by Travers. What the hell is this site anyway?! "57,313,610 books!" to wipe your asses!

That this person couldn't figure our where to search is not, ultimately, that important to me. They can infest some other site. You're assuming they wanted to catalog the book. False assumption. That user almost surely wanted to download a free book. And when their lame attempt to search without paying the slightest attention failed, they spent time to insult and attack members. Screw 'em.

308timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 12:42pm Top

I'm sorry my frustration is showing. I should take a break.

309SqueakyChu
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:43pm Top

> 304

The box looks like its asking for a search term because it *is* asking for a search term.

Why would it even *need* to ask you to type a search term if you were going to have to type that eact same search term again on the next page?! That's redundant!

> 307

I don't know if this is a bug or not (I'm using IE8), but the search term I enter on page 1 does *not* carry over onto page 2. Perhaps that's the issue?

310SqueakyChu
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:45pm Top

> 308

I think there's an additional problem (see message 309) of which you might not be aware.

311rsterling
Nov 20, 2010, 12:46pm Top

I just wanted to say that the weighting seems much better than originally. The Shakespeare results, for instance, are much more what I would expect - books by Shakespeare and books about Shakespeare.

312timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 12:46pm Top

I don't know if this is a bug or not (I'm using IE8), but the search term I enter on page 1 does *not* carry over onto page 2. Perhaps that's the issue?

Ah. Yes. That's the problem. It's trying to function like the search box on most commerce sites, as well as Safari and Firefox--a search box that jumps you to a dedicated search and then prepopulates and runs the search. Let me look at it, then.

313SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 12:47pm Top

Okay, I just tested in FF, and it still require the search terms to be entered twice (page 1 and page 2). My question (and don't get frustrated!) is a simple why?

314lilithcat
Nov 20, 2010, 12:48pm Top

> 308

Yeah, you've been working way hard! Go play hide-and-seek with Liam or something for a while.

315timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 12:48pm Top

>313 SqueakyChu:

I'm opening up my virtual machine again. Are you clicking return or clicking the magnifying glass?

316SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 12:50pm Top

Phew!! At least I wasn't imagining things!!

I had been experiencing the same frustration as the user with the "lame attempt to search". ;)

317timspalding
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:52pm Top

Try now? Click refresh a few times, to make sure you're getting the page, not a cache.

318timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 12:51pm Top

Well, thank you for not inviting me to wipe my ass with anything...

319SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 12:52pm Top

On FF, it carries over when I press "enter" but not on the magnifying glass. I'll now try IE8.

320brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 12:52pm Top

309/312> Heh, gotta wonder how many of these arguments are just based on bugs or misunderstandings. Here's the bug report btw:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102678

I put some stuff that might be causing it in there.

321SqueakyChu
Edited: Nov 20, 2010, 12:56pm Top

> 318

LOL!!

322timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 12:54pm Top

Pretty sure it works on FF too, but perhaps it wasn't on the server by the time I said to try it. Can you try again?

323SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 12:54pm Top

It works on both. It's now.......perfect! :)

324SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 1:07pm Top

I see that we can have the search result for talk in words or phrase order. Could we also have the option to arrange the results in date order for talk (with the most recent result being on top)?

I also notice that the search results for Talk only go up to November 18th. I presume they will eventually reach "Today". Am I correct in that assumption?

325brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 1:17pm Top

324> Right now, the search has no concept of user-defined ordering on anything. I think the date ordering on Talk would be useful, as would being other kinds of ordering like being able to sort the Author results by lastname, firstname instead of unsorted (well, rank sorted) as they are now. But from some of Tim's descriptions, I'm afraid sorting might be a bear in this system.

326timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 1:21pm Top

Talk results preference recent stuff very strongly, but also care about the quality of the hit (basically how many times the words appear and how large the message is they're appearing in).

327SqueakyChu
Nov 20, 2010, 1:25pm Top

> 325

I'm afraid sorting might be a bear in this system.

I'm sorry about that because I had been looking up "Talk" search terms by most recent date. I guess I can learn to live without it (...but it will be missed). Oh, well...

328brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 1:32pm Top

326/327> I think Talk is one where date order does matter a lot. For example, if I want to find the early discussions of checkmarks, there's no good way to do that other than digging through the results. I think the Talk search is MUCH better now, but there are some things Talk-search-specific options would be better for. It would also probably help if the Topics search wasn't broken, but I think that's another place where things like date sort would be handy.

329brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 1:35pm Top

Random thought - maybe the small search box should be disabled/hidden when on search.php. Given some of the confusion people have had over things more technically-oriented users would consider "obvious", it might be just another thing to trip them up. Because if you are already on the search page and enter a search in the small box, it will ignore all your options. I know it's probably a standard header, but you could put some code into search.php to disable/hide it (or hook into it like it was the big search page at that point). It just seems like another thing people could, then complain things don't work right, and we'd never understand fully WHY it doesn't work right for them.

Just a thought.

330lorax
Nov 20, 2010, 2:14pm Top

307

I notice that what we've made is completely the same as our main competitor—whose search we were told was the gold standard -- except that (list of ways in which LT's search is better)

Told where, by whom? I never saw that; I saw vague requests for "search on every page", but I think they generally expected that search box would work like the previous version, rather than expecting a revamp. (I will add that the revamp is getting better fast, now that some of the wrinkles of the initial rollout have been ironed out (i.e. requiring a generic works search first, and overweighting results due to a single-copy edition in a popular work).

Now just give us title-only and ISBN search and it'll be fantastic. :-)

331_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 2:44pm Top

>330 lorax: Yeah, I don't remember people saying GR's search was the gold standard either. The key thing for me was just getting the search box onto every page.

I'm sorry you're getting frustrated, Tim. In all seriousness, I suggest taking a break from search and working on some quick and easy thing that will get a lot of positive feedback for a minimal amount of work. Looking at the ranked list, a few possibilities are highlighting the cover we're looking at on the cover page (#16), bringing back Tag Mirror (#18), making a gallery of "your uploaded covers" (#42) and making a list of ER books we've requested (#46).

332timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 4:29pm Top

Okay, tags are now sortable by relevancy (old), count or alphabetical. Relevancy, which is the default--and which doesn't stick--is as fast as before. The others are much slower, because they require me to suck all the data in and sort it before making a subselection.

I'll look at adding it to the others. Whether and what sorts I can offer is going to have to be case-by-case for performance reasons.

333Heather19
Nov 20, 2010, 5:16pm Top

Can I just say how much I love the "To add books to your library, use the add books search" note at the top of the search results? Maybe that will cut down on the threads about that a *little* bit.

334_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 5:46pm Top

>332 timspalding: Oh, thank you!

335_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 5:52pm Top

It's a bit weird that trying to leave the box blank and go directly to the search page now searches on the term "search". It makes it seem much slower when we're trying just to search a specific tag, for example.

336keristars
Nov 20, 2010, 6:08pm Top

And the ctrl+click to open in a new tab is completely gone, it looks like (Firefox 3.6.12)

337lilithcat
Nov 20, 2010, 6:14pm Top

> 336

So it seems.

In Safari, as well.

338timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 7:24pm Top

Argh. Okay, I'll look at it again.

339_Zoe_
Nov 20, 2010, 7:38pm Top

I'm very glad the yellow error icon has been changed to a blue information icon; thanks!

340SilentInAWay
Nov 20, 2010, 7:52pm Top

336 > 337 > 338

You didn't just introduce this problem, Tim -- It's worked like that for the last couple of days.

341timspalding
Nov 20, 2010, 8:04pm Top

So, there's no easy way to have control work. So I've settled for having it work, without seaching for "search" if you click on it.

342SilentInAWay
Nov 20, 2010, 8:14pm Top

The search box works differently on the "More" page than it does on the other main pages. If you click in the box on most pages, "Search" is replaced with your entry. On the "More" page, the word "Search" remains in the box when you start editing.

343cyderry
Nov 20, 2010, 11:48pm Top

I gue4ss I must be doing soething wrong because every time I put something in the search box and click on the magnifying glass, I am taken to a blank Search page and I have to enter my data again.

What's the secret to making it work?

344Larxol
Nov 21, 2010, 9:30am Top

Hit ENTER instead of the magnifying glass.

345SqueakyChu
Nov 22, 2010, 11:29am Top

As noted in message #343/344, what seemed to have been fixed in message #323 no longer works on IE8 when pressing the magnifying glass. Page 2 comes up, once again, with a blank search box. :(

346brightcopy
Nov 22, 2010, 11:40am Top

345> Reopened the bug report.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102678

347timspalding
Nov 22, 2010, 12:03pm Top

Ugh. This is like riding four bicycles at the same time.

348timspalding
Nov 22, 2010, 12:08pm Top

Wait, what? It's working perfectly for me on my IE8.

349brightcopy
Nov 22, 2010, 12:09pm Top

In snow boots!

350brightcopy
Edited: Nov 22, 2010, 12:10pm Top

348> I think maybe you're not trying the right thing. Type "twain" into the mini search box. Click the magnifying glass. Should take you to search.php but with no search terms.

Fails for me on IE8.

351brightcopy
Nov 22, 2010, 12:13pm Top

Following up in the bug report.

352SqueakyChu
Nov 22, 2010, 12:19pm Top

It's now working in IE8.

353hdcclassic
Nov 22, 2010, 12:41pm Top

Long long thread, so maybe this has been answered already, but...
Is there a syntax for search if I want to search for a book and know the name exactly, but can't remember how the author's name was spelled?
Tried to look for a book named "Voices" and got 7000+ results with wide variety of titles, some of them not even matching (books which had editions with series names like "Modern Voices" and stuff like that).
Eventually managed to find the author name elsewhere and noted the book was indeed in LT, in two people's library...
Now if I had been able to get a search for books which have exactly that title, I might have had a chance to find it.

354brightcopy
Nov 22, 2010, 12:44pm Top

353> No, there is (currently) no search/option that matches exactly rather than as a part of the title. It'd be a good future improvement.

355jjwilson61
Edited: Nov 22, 2010, 1:08pm Top

But Tim has improved how the search results are ordered and if you do a search on voices now the works with titles that match exactly look like their all sorting to the top.

ETA: Although none of them have only two copies so maybe your case isn't solved after all.

356EveleenM
Nov 22, 2010, 1:20pm Top

#355
Yes, it's still only showing some of the single-word title works at the top, not all of them.
For reference, using the old search, the alphabetical sort would have put them all together:
http://www.librarything.com/search_works.php?q=voices&offset=250&so=6318... and
http://www.librarything.com/search_works.php?q=voices&offset=275&so=6343...

But I think Tim is still working on this, anyway.

357timspalding
Nov 22, 2010, 2:04pm Top

Okay, here's my guess. It's now working in IE8. It was working before only if you'd hit refresh a bunch of times--that is, I didn't up the version on the JavaScript file, so some people had it cached.

Anyway, if anyone is having a problem with the magnifying glass now, let me know.

358TLCrawford
Nov 22, 2010, 2:10pm Top

It worked for me. I think you about have it just, please, bring back tag mashes.

history, urbanism

used to bring up a list of books starting with Jacobs and Mumfords classics, now all I get is a list of tags with those words in them.

359SqueakyChu
Nov 22, 2010, 2:20pm Top

> 357

It's still working in IE8... :)

360timspalding
Nov 22, 2010, 3:04pm Top

361lorax
Nov 22, 2010, 3:11pm Top

360>

If you're granting wishes, can we please have ISBN search back?

362timspalding
Nov 22, 2010, 4:49pm Top

Yeah. I'll try to get it tonight.

363gangleri
Edited: Nov 22, 2010, 4:50pm Top

>360 timspalding: I remember that ISBN search has jumped to the first occurence. This was not a search. The link is still available as /search_works.php?q=. What would improuve the search would be displaying all identified occurences. Please remember the nine significant issue notes (either ISBN10 and/or EAN13).

364linus_evans
Nov 23, 2010, 1:15pm Top

I think the new changes are really great. One query/comment though: how are members ordered on the member search? It seems to be by some kind of relevancy to the search term? This is ok, but does remove one potentially quite useful option. I think they used to be ordered by sign-up date, which was kinda useful for finding new and interesting people who had joined in your area (I spotted a colleague from work who had joined this way, and would never have done so with the current ordering). I'd certainly vote for sign-up date to be the default ordering again, or for there to at least be an option for this/alphabetical/alphabetical for location. It's always nice to know when new people in your area join, and if they didn't want to be found on the basis of their geography, I'm guessing they wouldn't set their location...

365Nicole_VanK
Nov 23, 2010, 1:46pm Top

> 349: I don't think you actually need snow boots for IE8 ;-)

366timspalding
Nov 23, 2010, 1:54pm Top

>360 timspalding: I remember that ISBN search has jumped to the first occurence. This was not a search. The link is still available as /search_works.php?q=. What would improuve the search would be displaying all identified occurences. Please remember the nine significant issue notes (either ISBN10 and/or EAN13).

It does that. It shows all works that have any editions with the ISBN. That indeed is largely why it doesn't jump.

367LolaWalser
Nov 23, 2010, 2:01pm Top

Thanks for making words the default!

368anglemark
Nov 23, 2010, 2:32pm Top

Word!

369andyl
Nov 23, 2010, 5:27pm Top

#361

If Tim is granting wishes I want him to come and build me a new library building on the back of my house.

370Heather19
Nov 23, 2010, 6:08pm Top

369: If you get one I get one toooo! :P

371_Zoe_
Nov 23, 2010, 7:57pm Top

Reposting from the works thread, though my particular concern is works (and this thread is way too long):

Now that the basic functionality has been improved, I really think we should revisit the issue of what displays. It seems likely that one of the first things a new user will do is search for a favourite book to see what the site is about. The results don't look very friendly. The results are plain text, title and author only, and there's a garbled repetition of the search results under each item.

Compare this to GoodReads. Each book that turns up in the search results has, in addition to title and author, a cover picture, a notification if it's by a GR author, an average rating with visual representation, the number of users, the original publication year, and the number of editions. It's very clear what all the information means and why it's there, and it's just a lot more welcoming overall.

372brightcopy
Nov 23, 2010, 8:05pm Top

371> Work/title searches could have books covers. Authors could have author photos. Series could possibly have a few books from the Series. Though that could be a bit obnoxious and a bandwidth hog. Perhap only for the top few results? Or would the just be confusing? Everything would be loaded dynamically so the speed of the search itself isn't affected.

You could use the user icon+number like it shows up on the right in your catalog for the user count. I like the idea of the rating as you mentioned, but I think that'll be a tough sell for some users and probably Tim. The original pub date is good, too.

I wonder if this is the kind of overall idea Tim might hate... I think it could be done in a way that still kept the page very clean and text-oriented.

373_Zoe_
Nov 23, 2010, 8:10pm Top

Oh, I left out that the LT search does show a user count already.

I wonder if this is the kind of overall idea Tim might hate...

Yeah, probably. But if he just wanted to keep the page clean, he could at least get rid of the "explanations" or display them in a coherent way.

I do think covers are pretty important, especially when the results aren't perfectly ordered; if the book I'm looking for is #10, I can probably find it more quickly by skimming the covers than by reading the text.

374brightcopy
Nov 23, 2010, 8:15pm Top

373> Oh, I left out that the LT search does show a user count already.

Aren't those copy counts? Or am I missing something?

375_Zoe_
Nov 23, 2010, 8:18pm Top

>374 brightcopy: I don't think there's a distinction made between copies and members elsewhere on the site. It seems to be the same number that's shown under "members" on the work pages.

376brightcopy
Nov 23, 2010, 9:57pm Top

375> Learn something new every day. I had just assumed since the field in the catalog was called "total members" and the picture was a person and because clicking it took you to the "All members who have the book" page, that it was members rather than copies. What a fool I was!

377Aerrin99
Nov 23, 2010, 10:35pm Top

I agree with the above suggestions. The stuff under title/author is unclear and a bit meaningless and I'd rather see a neat result with cover and rating at the VERY least.

378SqueakyChu
Nov 23, 2010, 10:58pm Top

When you get a search result, let's say for a book title... Why do you get a link and then, under the link, a line that says the same thing that the link does?

Example:
Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson (38 copies)

Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free, Emily Colson

379keristars
Nov 23, 2010, 11:00pm Top

The second line shows the bits that matched your search query, I believe. The first line is the name/link of the work in question.

380brightcopy
Nov 24, 2010, 12:20am Top

Book photos on search results> Dang, I was going to gin up a greasemonkey script to pull in covers for the search results. Thought it might be interesting to do some semi-working mockups. But there appears to be no easy way to go direct from a work# to the work image (coverthing only supports telling it a book#).

381girlunderglass
Nov 24, 2010, 7:20am Top

Great suggestion, would especially love to see cover and average rating. (Tim said it would be quite difficult to sort by avg rating when I asked, so maybe this is an easier option for those of us who are interested in the field. Just displaying the avg rating so at least one doesn't have to open every book separately in a new tab to be able to see it would be immensely helpful!). Number of copies doesn't seem that vital to me, but maybe that's just me.

Also, thanks so much for fixing the tag counts, Tim! The results are much better now!

382timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 9:15am Top

Check it out now. I've added covers, and counts for members, reviews and editions. I didn't add ratings.

383Collectorator
Nov 24, 2010, 9:21am Top

382, omg omg omg!!!

384DaynaRT
Nov 24, 2010, 9:25am Top

Big thumbs down to the covers. They take up too much vertical space.

385SqueakyChu
Nov 24, 2010, 9:44am Top

> 382

Oh, much nicer!!

What's the reason you didn't add ratings?

> 384

Sorry to disagree, but I love the visual effect of the covers.

386SqueakyChu
Nov 24, 2010, 9:46am Top

> 382

Since the cover images are so small, would it possible to get a larger image to hover by placing my cursor on each small image?

387timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 10:00am Top

Oh, I added a book-titles only option.

388jseger9000
Edited: Nov 24, 2010, 10:08am Top

#386 - would it possible to get a larger image to hover by placing my cursor on each small image?

That would be nice.

I've liked the new search since day one and every day it seems to get just a little bit better.

389lorax
Nov 24, 2010, 10:10am Top

387>

I added a book-titles only option.

That's fantastic! I've been asking for that for years; that, alone, makes the initial bumps for the new search system worthwhile. Thank you!

390eromsted
Nov 24, 2010, 10:13am Top

>387 timspalding:

Thanks.

But it seems to be returning (all?) edition titles instead of (combined) work titles. That's rather confusing.

391SqueakyChu
Nov 24, 2010, 10:21am Top

Just wanted to add that the site search is so quick that I'm using it now to pull up my own books instead of the "Your Books Tab". This is so much easier.

Thanks, Tim!

392timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 10:26am Top

>390 eromsted:

Right. Works have multiple titles. The search searches them all.

393saltmanz
Nov 24, 2010, 11:04am Top

Wow. This has really turned out fantastic.

394jjwilson61
Nov 24, 2010, 11:11am Top

392> I don't understand. The first result for 1984 under titles has the number 12,801 after it but when I click on it I get this work that has only one copy. I'm assuming that its' combined into the main work but there doesn't seem to be a way to get there.

395_Zoe_
Nov 24, 2010, 11:43am Top

Thank you; it looks great!

396timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 11:48am Top

>394 jjwilson61:

Weird. Looking into.

397dchaikin
Nov 24, 2010, 12:44pm Top

follow up on #198/#200 - The display of results is really nice now. Thanks Tim!

398staffordcastle
Nov 24, 2010, 1:35pm Top

I like it! MUCH better than all the stuff that was under the title before - my eye was just bouncing off of that, it conveyed no meaning.

I like having the covers too.

399timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 2:04pm Top

I've changed the book-titles seach. It now lists the works that the title falls under:

http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=Huckleberry+Finn&searchtype=bo...

It's fussy, but completely true. And truth is a virtue!

400timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 2:28pm Top

I've added copies and alphabetical sorting on the work search. I'll be adding it on the others soon.

401jjwilson61
Nov 24, 2010, 3:22pm Top

399> I still don't get it. Using your example, the first item says it has 3,424 copies. If you click on it though it takes you to a work page listing 16,890 members. The second one says 12 copies but 721 members.

And what does it mean for a work to fall under a title. It looks like all the works under the first title go to different works, some of which should be combined, others (like the Norton Critical Editions) maybe not. But the only work under the second title is the same work as the first work under the first title.

So what does it all mean?

402eromsted
Nov 24, 2010, 3:27pm Top

>401 jjwilson61:
I think it's matching on edition titles (though not editions because editions with different ISBNs might have the same title).
The count is for the number of books that have that title.
The works listed below are works that have an edition with that title.

I still think this layout is a bit odd for a book search. But it does potentially make for an useful combiners tool as a title appearing on more than one work page may indicate a mis-combination.

403timspalding
Edited: Nov 24, 2010, 3:32pm Top

>401 jjwilson61:

Yeah, it's complicated. It's exposing the complexity of the edition and work systems.

It means that exacty title "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is used 3,424 times within that work, and various numbers of other times within the other works. So, basically it's:

Book title
   Work (copies)
   Work (copies)
   Work (copies)

Book titles
   Work (copies)
   Work (copies)
   Work (copies)

Does that make sense.

404jjwilson61
Nov 24, 2010, 3:39pm Top

Yes, that makes sense and its quite interesting (I think it shows that there's a lot of combining work needed for that title) but I think it's a better combiners tool than a general-purpose report.

I think what people expect from a title search is basically the same as the work search but with the author field excluded as a search target.

405Collectorator
Nov 24, 2010, 4:17pm Top

"I think what people expect from a title search is basically the same as the work search but with the author field excluded as a search target."

yes

406timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 4:25pm Top

Yeah, I hear you. The problem there is that you'd still have people wondering why such-and-such is showing up. So then we show the highlights, so then people complain about the highlights—round and round.

407Nicole_VanK
Edited: Nov 24, 2010, 4:40pm Top

Sure. You can't please all of the people all of the time. We're throwing ideas and views aroud here, in hope we will reach a solution that isn't "too bad" for anybody.

But I have to agree : "title search" sounds like work minus author.

408Collectorator
Nov 24, 2010, 4:44pm Top

I would like it if the title search gave me the work name(s) associated with my keywords. If it could display the canonical title if there is one, that would be good. If there is no canonical title, then display the calculated title. But just give me one per work. A link straight to the editions page is great! With this method, I could spot works that should be combined with others.

409eromsted
Nov 24, 2010, 5:22pm Top

>406 timspalding:

What I expected was:

Work
Book title (copies)
Book title (copies)
Book title (copies)

Work
Book title (copies)
Book title (copies)
Book title (copies)

Perhaps with only 3-5 book titles showing per work by default and a see more link.

Don't know if that's possible.

410Aerrin99
Nov 24, 2010, 5:52pm Top

LOVE it. Love it lots and lots and lots.

Can we please have ratings in the display? Covers means there's plenty of space, after all...! ;)

411timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 9:47pm Top

Ratings suck. It's a simple as that. :)

412jjmcgaffey
Nov 24, 2010, 10:13pm Top

...but they'd suck less if they were actually useful (here we go round again!).

How many authors had Gender filled in before the M/F meme? Birth/death dates before D/A? Give people a reason to use ratings, and ratings will get used...

413_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 24, 2010, 10:44pm Top

There's actually plenty of ratings data already, and it doesn't suck. I look at it all the time.

414timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 11:06pm Top

(fingers in ears, singing)

415timspalding
Nov 24, 2010, 11:12pm Top

(I'm thinking it over. I'm working on search tonight anyway, so it'll get better in various ways.)

416_Zoe_
Nov 24, 2010, 11:18pm Top

Thanks, thinking it over is progress :)

417timspalding
Nov 25, 2010, 12:35am Top

Local search is now splittable by type. That took WAY longer than it should have. Sometimes code is that way...

418timspalding
Nov 25, 2010, 1:10am Top

I can't figure out the best way to incorporate tagmash.

1. Provide a link whenever someone does a tag search of the form X, Y (, Z, etc.)

2. Add existing tagmashes into the tag results, either as a subcategory of tags or into tags directly.

3. Put them in a separate column—tags on the left, tagmashes on the right.

Ideas?

419timspalding
Nov 25, 2010, 1:32am Top

Add favorites count to venues in search.

420SilentInAWay
Edited: Nov 25, 2010, 3:03am Top

I've never really understood why tagmashes persist -- they have to be populated anew each time they are invoked, right? Is it so that we can see what combinations have been of interest to other members? Does saving them somehow reduce processing time for repeated mashes? I have a hard time thinking of tagmashes as anything more than AND-searches using tags as terms. Am I missing something obvious?

421_Zoe_
Nov 25, 2010, 8:40am Top

Hmm, I'm not sure what would be the best way to incorporate tagmashes. There should definitely be an easy way to distinguish them from individual tags, though.

On the topic of favorites count, can you let us sort venues that way on the Local page? (I'm getting a bit side-tracked, I know.)

422SqueakyChu
Edited: Nov 25, 2010, 9:55am Top

I got the following error when I searched "Titles only" for the book Exodus:

Warning: extract(): First argument should be an array in /var/www/html/inc_sitesearch_display.php on line 47

ETA: Apple crumb pie's in the oven. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

423girlunderglass
Nov 25, 2010, 11:04am Top

Ratings suck. It's a simple as that. :)
I'm pretty sure a lot of LT members would disagree with that. But thanks for thinking it over.

Re tagmash
3. Put them in a separate column—tags on the left, tagmashes on the right.

This seems like the best option to me. Although I'm more concerned about what will happen once you get to the tagmash page - yes, yes, here I go again with my "Please make the tagmash page look like the tag page with pretty covers and everything" pony. I apologize.

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving where I am, but nevertheless thank you Tim for a wonderful feature! The new search is amazing. Even with no ratings :)

424_Zoe_
Nov 25, 2010, 12:01pm Top

Just for the record, "Ability to order search results by rating" is #59 on the ranked list of requested improvements, with 37 more in favour than against.

425_Zoe_
Nov 25, 2010, 12:28pm Top

I'm sad to see that the "search this group" boxes have now converted to the new search, which doesn't have an option to restrict Talk search to a specific group. Hopefully the restrict-by-group option will be back and the search boxes on the group pages will go back to searching that particular group.

426timspalding
Nov 25, 2010, 12:50pm Top

Yeah, I'm only working on the top 50. ;)

427timspalding
Nov 25, 2010, 12:51pm Top

>425 _Zoe_:

Ah, unintended consequence. I'll work on it later, post-Turkey.

428gangleri
Edited: Nov 26, 2010, 8:14am Top

re: ISBN search 363 and Tim's asnswer 366

In order to be able combine works for ISBN 0874413494
/search_works.php?q=0874413494 should inentify
/work/4249427/editions and
/work/178978/editions
The Google link search?q=0874413494 site:librarything.com will identify only work/4249427

Also ISBN and related EAN's: ISBN 9783804430266 / 3804430260 /search_works.php?q=380443026 (9 significant digits):
/work/6610175/editions and
/work/9860699/editions
None of the links will identify one of the works: 380443026 3804430260 9783804430266

429timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 1:47am Top

I've added a title option within the works setting. See:



The "book titles" option of before has been moved to the "other" section. It's useful for combiners, I think, but it's a bit odd for most members.

430thorold
Nov 28, 2010, 3:20am Top

>429 timspalding:
On the iPad (possibly on other smaller screens too) the right-justified options get covered up by the left-justified statistics.

431jjwilson61
Nov 28, 2010, 10:56am Top

430> It's happening on my 1024x768 PC Screen as well.

432keristars
Nov 28, 2010, 11:19am Top

If I maximize my screen to the complete 1280px width, it doesn't overlap, but it does at about 1160px (which is the standard width of my browser window, a bit more if you include the window borders and scrollbar).

433Larxol
Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 6:21pm Top

Is search in talk working for anyone this morning? I get a response on how many results, but the links don't render in Firefox.

six hours later: working fine, now.

434SqueakyChu
Nov 28, 2010, 11:55am Top

> 430

the right-justified options get covered up by the left-justified statistics.

I have the same issue. IE8/17" monitor.

435keristars
Nov 28, 2010, 12:22pm Top

433> Yup. Ex: http://www.librarything.com/search.php?term=tag+combining, over 600 results promised.

This is what was happening with certain authors when the new search was first released.

436timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 12:43pm Top

Okay, I'm diving in.

437timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 12:48pm Top

Response #1: Geeze, people. Get bigger screens! ;)

438keristars
Nov 28, 2010, 12:51pm Top

437> You wanna buy me a new laptop? ;)

Though I'm actually looking for a netbook, which would be a smaller screen, in the end...

439timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 1:00pm Top

Okay, the "titles and authors | titles only" has been moved to a second line.

440timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 1:02pm Top

>438 keristars:

As a personal opinion everyone who can should get a bigger screen. Screens are so cheap now, compared to just a few years ago. Big screens are enormously liberating and, dollar-for-dollar, a better way to improve your computer than any other. But, well, personal opinion from a man with two screens—one huge and one decent.

441timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 1:05pm Top

Talk searching is back. I'm working on adding group-specific searching now.

442Heather19
Nov 28, 2010, 1:47pm Top

*looks up, realizes Tim was posting on Thanksgiving* Do you ever take a day off? :P

I have to admit this new search is growing on me. I didn't really like it at first. ..... I can't remember why, now.

443Morphidae
Nov 28, 2010, 2:00pm Top

Tim, can you PLEASE check your email? Thanks.

444PhaedraB
Nov 28, 2010, 2:05pm Top

442 > I didn't really like it at first. ..... I can't remember why, now.

Do Tim a favor and copy/paste that to every New Feature thread ...

445timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 4:18pm Top

Group-specific searching is now in place and works. But the data isn't fully populated. (It's about 1/3 in.) I'm going to set it running and leave for Irish music now. It will in any case be fully in by tomorrow morning.

Morphidae: We'll sort it out. I'm not handling SantaThing account problems because I know nothing whatsoever about how it's set up. I'll get with Abby on Monday and sort it out.

446jseger9000
Nov 28, 2010, 4:32pm Top

#438 - I was goofing around with a Netbook on Thanksgiving. Now I want one! Sort of like an iPad, but with an actual keyboard and without an evil overlord deciding what software I can install;)

#437, 440 - With people accessing the internet from netbooks, iPads, tablet PCs and smart phones, smaller screens are here to stay.

447krazy4katz
Nov 28, 2010, 8:13pm Top

I didn't read this entire thread, so please forgive me if this has been covered. I searched for "Ray Chandler" and did NOT come up with "Raymond Chandler," who, of course, was the one I wanted. He is there if I search using his full first name.

I don't know if this is on purpose, or a bug or just something waiting to be worked on.

Thanks, k4k

448timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 8:58pm Top

I've added ratings and sorting by ratings. Let it not be said that I don't give people what they think they want!

Also, I'm so glad we know what the best Mark Twain books are:
http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=stephen+king&searchtype=work&a...

>447 krazy4katz:

It doesn't look like anyone has called him Ray. So, no, it doesn't find him.

449lilithcat
Nov 28, 2010, 9:12pm Top

> 448

Let it not be said that I don't give people what they think they want!

~snerk~

450Aerrin99
Nov 28, 2010, 9:50pm Top

HOORAY!

One thing this makes clear real fast is books that need combined. A search for 'Pern' sorted by ratings turns up a lot of 2 copy books, etc.

451timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 9:59pm Top

I've added an option within "members" to search for partial names (towns, real names too). So you can search for "spal" and get timspalding.

452libraryhermit
Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 10:07pm Top

This is not the thread that I need to put this on, but is zeitgeist still available? I am not sure if I turned it off accidentally, or if it has been discontinued forever. I used to use it a lot for finding the ranking of authors in order of how many books they have listed on LibraryThing and by how many people. I used it as a sort of "recommendations" tool.

453krazy4katz
Nov 28, 2010, 10:12pm Top

I guess I never realized that you wouldn't be able to search unless you know the exact name of the author. For example, you might not know whether E.O. Wilson is Edmund or Edward etc. It seems a shame that you can't just put in Ed and still find him, (or Ray for Raymond, Al for Albert, Alphonse etc.). Is that just too labor-intensive for search?

Otherwise, it seems to work well!

Thanks,

k4k

454lilithcat
Nov 28, 2010, 10:14pm Top

> 452

It's not obvious, but if you go to the bottom of the page and click on "57,556,416 books!", that will take you to the zeitgeist. It would be nice, though, if there were a more direct and obvious link!

455timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 10:19pm Top

>453 krazy4katz:

You don't need to know the exact name, but you need to know a name that has appeared SOMEWHERE. Literally nobody has called him Ray, just as nobody has called Mark Twain "the Twainster!" Wilson is available as Edmund or E. O.

456eromsted
Nov 28, 2010, 10:51pm Top

>448 timspalding:

Pick a slightly less popular author and you get can get usable results: Italo Calvino.

On a side note: trying a few authors in the work search I found that "last, first" (quotes included) seemed to work best.

457brightcopy
Nov 28, 2010, 11:09pm Top

448> Also, I'm so glad we know what the best Mark Twain books are:
http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=stephen+king&searchtype=work&a...


The best Mark Twain books are... the ones written by Stephen King?

;)

Still, great stuff. Can we get fancy star graphics? Think of it as more a saddle than a pony...

458timspalding
Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 11:33pm Top

>456 eromsted:

Even if you get non-crap answers, as I've argued elsewhere, ratings don't "aggregate" well. What are Arthur Miller's best plays? Not the Crucible or Death of a Salesman. People are forced to read those. Even if they aren't, people who don't like his work rate him low and never read any more. Which is better, Xenophon's Anabasis or his Hellenica? The Hellenica, because people like the edition and nobody who isn't already a dedicated lover of Greek history would consider reading the Hellenica.

As I argued on Twitter but don't have the energy to blog, I analyzed a huge set of Sci-Fi shows on Hulu—all cancelled. All but one got more stars as the series progressed. Does everything really get better? I doubt it. I suspect the stronger factor is that people who don't like a series drop out of it. The last people watching a series are the ones who love it.

Examples could be multiplied forever. It's not that ratings are useless, it's that they require a fair amount of analysis to get to their real meaning. Showing ALL the ratings helps this. Throwing masses of books together and pretending the ratings are all equivalent hurts it.

459brightcopy
Edited: Nov 28, 2010, 11:47pm Top

458> As I argued on Twitter but don't have the energy to blog, I analyzed a huge set of Sci-Fi shows on Hulu—all cancelled. All but one got more stars as the series progressed. Does everything really get better? I doubt it. I suspect the stronger factor is that people who don't like a series drop out of it. The last people watching a series are the ones who love it.

Yes, but think of it another way. You've got Person A and Person B. Person A has liked all the episodes of Show X so far. Person B hasn't liked them all that much and has considered dropping the show. For Person B, the ratings for the next few episodes of Show X may not be that useful due to the effect you pointed out. But for Person A, they ARE useful. And in all likelihood, the person who is actually going to be looking for a rating of episodes 14 of Show X is Person A, not Person B.

So, like you said, ratings aren't useless. It's up to the user to use them in a way that is meaningful to them. If you try to look at them as some objective quantifiable value you'll never find it. A work has no inherent rating, only one given to it by a pool of people who will watch/read/listen to it. The same is true of reviews.

460timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 11:47pm Top

I should just divide every book at 3.8. If above, thumbs up. If below, thumbs now. Useful to someone.

461_Zoe_
Nov 28, 2010, 11:47pm Top

Thanks for including the ratings! I'm really glad you've decided to give users what they want even if you don't think it's worthwhile. I hope we'll see more use of ratings in the future :)

462_Zoe_
Nov 28, 2010, 11:49pm Top

>460 timspalding: I'd actually be very happy if we had an option to exclude books below 3.8 from recommendations.

463timspalding
Nov 28, 2010, 11:58pm Top

Cambridge Latin Course—rated five stars by you? 3.4 by others.
Rough Guide To The World—rated five stars by you? 3.7 by others.

Etc.

464eromsted
Nov 29, 2010, 12:03am Top

>458 timspalding:

I basically agree with you. At best I think average ratings can be mildly interesting as one data-point among many. Usually they don't tell me much more than edition counts.

I was just trying to balance your habit of picking the worst possible examples when it comes to this topic.

465_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 12:06am Top

>463 timspalding: Yeah, but that doesn't matter. The goal of recommendations isn't to show me any book I might possibly like. If you wanted to be sure not to miss anything, you'd have to include every book on the site--in which case there would be no need for recommendation algorithms at all.

Recommendations should show books that I'm likely to enjoy. But they obviously won't show every book that I'll enjoy. This isn't a problem.

466timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 12:09am Top

So, what's left, anyone?

I'm running groups through now to add tags.
I'm running messages to allow per-group message searching.
Users now searchable by pieces.
Works now title-searchable.
Works now sortable by ratings, and include ratings.

CK is left. Anything else?

467keristars
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 12:21am Top

Some authors are showing up oddly in the search, I'm not sure why. "Mario Canongia Lopes" (with an acute accent above the a in Mario) only shows up as "Aliased" if you search for Canongia or Lopes, even though there are only two versions of the name combined, and both include Canongia and Lopes.

I don't know what the cause of it is, or if it's a sign of a bug, but it's odd.

(Also, is the old author search still going to be used for combining, or are you going to eventually switch over the "Can I combine an author not listed above? Yes." link and function?)

ETA: Actually, I don't know if by "anything else", whether you're talking about the author search. The whole "aliased" list works really weird, and some of us pointed out the oddities on the Author Search thread, but they seem to persist. One of them was that certain of the second half of an aliased line didn't show up anywhere else on the page, though it should have. Possibly the same thing with the Mario Canongia Lopes results.

468_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 12:19am Top

The "relevancy" sort text is overlapping with the "link" text of the line above (well, partially-above).

469_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 12:19am Top

Tagmashes are left.

470timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 12:22am Top

Ugh. Tagmashes. Thinking about them.

Can I work on lists instead? ;)

>467 keristars:

There are all kinds of oddities with how authors work. But, until I can redo the system, I'm mostly interested in when the system fails.

471_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 12:24am Top

Can I work on lists instead? ;)

Does the old way of doing tagmashes still exist somewhere? If so, then sure ;)

472brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 12:25am Top

466> Including bugs? Here's one:

Author search skips Legal Names, Other Names and possibly Canonical Name:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/102679

And apparently you said search still doesn't take Canonical Title into account:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100237#2332562

473keristars
Nov 29, 2010, 12:25am Top

470> Got it. I'm not sure if the fact that some author names don't show is simply an oddity or a failure, but I guess since they all seem (so far) to have to do with aliased names, and there's at least one version that points to the right page somewhere in the results list, it's not a total failure.

474eromsted
Nov 29, 2010, 12:25am Top

Subject search still seems incomplete.

And the Tim Drum/Divine Comedy search problems are still unresolved.

But talk topic searches and Melvil Decimals seem to be working. Excellent.

475_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 12:28am Top

Brandon Sanderson search results are still listing all sorts of insignificant works above the major ones.

ETA: sorted by relevancy, supposedly.

476r.orrison
Nov 29, 2010, 2:05am Top

So, what's left, anyone?

It doesn't look like the Other Authors fields are being searched when searching by works:

http://www.librarything.com/search.php?term=Kerri+Miller

Doesn't find The Silence of the Loons: http://www.librarything.com/work/383908/details/63953685

I'm just pointing it out, and not expecting it to get fixed until the Other Authors work gets finished.

477Aerrin99
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 3:07am Top

Is there a reason that the URL of a search does not change to match the new search once you do one from the search page?

IE, I do a search from the header box and get:

http://www.librarything.com/search.php?term=pern

Then I use the search box on the page to do a different search, but the URL does not change - causing problems for trying to link.

Let me also second (and third and fourth ;) the request for visual stars!

On another note, while I love being able to limit to titles only, the UI for it feels very odd and easy to miss. I'd much rather see it appear below 'works' in an expandable like Series, CK, Tags, etc. It's more consistent /and/ more intuitive. Is there a reason it doesn't work in that fashion?

I am really loving all the changes, btw! The refining is really paying off!

ETA: I'd do the 'full words/partial words' over on the left as well - limiting options should go there, sorting options on the right, otherwise it's inconsistent and confusing, as well as really easy to miss.

I would also suggest 'exact match' and 'partial match' as clearer terminology. It's more common and also clearer in my mind. To use my username as an example again, I think of 'Aerrin' as a full word (I understand to the system that it's not, but I think to most people it probably is!), so if I were a little less search-savvy, I'd expect 'full words' to pull up 'Aerrin99' on a search for 'Aerrin' - but I wouldn't expect 'Exact match' to.

478235711
Nov 29, 2010, 8:38am Top

Gollum error: on the search results page for tags, it says "1 uses", "4 usess", etc.

479girlunderglass
Nov 29, 2010, 8:40am Top

I've added ratings and sorting by ratings. Let it not be said that I don't give people what they think they want!

Thank you for that! You indeed give people what you think they want, however in this instance I think you misunderstood what they want. I agree that ratings are not that useful if you use them only for authors or titles - your Arthur Miller example says it all. The field that would most benefit from sorting by ratings would be tags, and yet the tag page is the only field that doesn't have that option. When one attempts to sort by rating all books on a subject, one is not thinking "what are the most highly rated books with the words 'cultural theory' or 'civil war' in their title?" but "what are the most highly rated books tagged 'cultural theory' or 'civil war'?" Regardless of whether they include the actual words in their title, because that doesn't matter. What one would want to know is the most highly rated books on a particular subject, not with a particular title in mind. Presumably, if a user already knew part of the title of the book then he/she would not have to sort by rating to find these books. The point is to get at highly rated books about (e.g.) the civil war even if they do not contain the words "Civil War " in their title.

480EveleenM
Nov 29, 2010, 8:49am Top

#466
So, what's left, anyone?

Something which is likely to become increasingly annoying as time goes by:

The series search shows all series pages with the search term, including ones which have no works. For example, I used the series page to find and consolidate duplicate 'Eyewitness' series http://www.librarything.com/search.php?term=eyewitness . Three of these series pages are now empty:
http://www.librarything.com/series/Eyewitness+travel+guides
http://www.librarything.com/series/Eyewitness++Travel+Guides+
http://www.librarything.com/series/DK+Eyewitness+Top+10
but they continue to show up in the search. Over the long term, this will lead to a lot of unnecessary checking, and wasted effort.

481paradoxosalpha
Nov 29, 2010, 9:06am Top

I'm as grumpy about ratings unmeaningfulness as Tim is. Maybe more. Recently, I read a review of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on LT that began, "I gave this book its 3 1/2 star rating simply because it is difficult to read." That says it all for me.

As long as nothing defaults to sort by rating, or screens out low-rated items or otherwise impacts my use of LT based on the inscrutable ratings of unnamed others, okay then.

It took me too long to realize I could turn off the element in my "Connection news" that showed me every time one of my connections rated a book.

482_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 9:14am Top

>481 paradoxosalpha: Surely it wouldn't harm you if other users had an option to screen out low-rated items.

Am I the only one who finds the LT "for user" recommendations almost entirely useless, because they're so clogged with books by authors already in my catalogue and books that I've already decided not to read because they're reputed to be mediocre?

483DaynaRT
Nov 29, 2010, 9:20am Top

So, what's left, anyone?

The option to turn off covers.

484paradoxosalpha
Nov 29, 2010, 9:20am Top

>482 _Zoe_:

No, what you describe wouldn't harm me. Just don't make it a default!

And I share your experience of LT "for user" recommendations. But I chalk some of that up to having read thoroughly for decades in my principal fields of interest. I assume that greener readers are more likely to benefit from those recommendations.

485_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 9:32am Top

I assume that greener readers are more likely to benefit from those recommendations.

I don't know; my boyfriend has only very recently started doing a lot of reading and keeping track on LT, and his recommendations are still more unhelpful than not.

486_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 9:39am Top

Oh, on the topic of what's left to be done: it would be really nice if the Talk Search had an option to compress results by thread.

Edit: Maybe "thread search" and "message search" should be two different things?

487brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 10:06am Top

481> I'm as grumpy about ratings unmeaningfulness as Tim is. Maybe more. Recently, I read a review of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on LT that began, "I gave this book its 3 1/2 star rating simply because it is difficult to read." That says it all for me.

So, I guess reviews now get to be put in the "useless" category, too. I mean, you read ONE stupid review, after all. Who cares if the larger mass of non-stupid reviews balance it out? ;)

488TLCrawford
Nov 29, 2010, 10:45am Top

Tagmashes seem to be working. I can feel safe in recommending them to my fellow students again.

489_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 10:53am Top

>488 TLCrawford: I'm glad they're there. They're really not noticeable, though, because they're below a lot of other useless stuff (i.e., lots of single-use tags). Maybe Tagmashes should be its own page, not just a subset of Tags?

490girlunderglass
Nov 29, 2010, 10:55am Top

I think tagmashes are only working for tagmashes that have been tried before. While with the old tagmash, if you tried a new combination, it said something like "this tagmash has not been tried before, please wait a few seconds until your results are generated etc etc" now it just says "no results". I've tried it with several combinations that should have results but don't.

Bug?

491_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 10:57am Top

>490 girlunderglass: It still seems possible to generate new tagmashes from an existing tagmash page, but I agree that that's not ideal.

492timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 10:59am Top

Is there a reason that the URL of a search does not change to match the new search once you do one from the search page?

Yeah. It's a speed thing. The page updates just the parts it needs to and is therefore faster. It's similar to how your catalog works, shelves on tag pages, etc. The get the URL of the final search, click "link" right below the search box.

ETA: I'd do the 'full words/partial words' over on the left as well - limiting options should go there, sorting options on the right, otherwise it's inconsistent and confusing, as well as really easy to miss.

Yeah, I was debating this. MMMMmmmmm. I don't know. Others?

exact match' and 'partial match

Vote: "Exact match" and "partial match" are better than "full words" and "partial words."

Current tally: Yes 32, No 0, Undecided 6
Gollum error: on the search results page for tags, it says "1 uses", "4 usess", etc.

Fixed, my precious.

The field that would most benefit from sorting by ratings would be tags, and yet the tag page is the only field that doesn't have that option

I hear you. Although I think that would be a wildnerness of noise, my point was to be working on the search feature, not other pages willy-nilly. So, I'm focused on that now.

The series search shows all series pages with the search term, including ones which have no works

Logged as a bug. http://www.librarything.com/topic/103421

The option to turn off covers.

Too many options. Design is choosing. Not every result will be agreed to by everyone.

Edit: Maybe "thread search" and "message search" should be two different things?

I hear you, but there's no easy, fast way to do it. I'll think it over.

493paradoxosalpha
Nov 29, 2010, 11:07am Top

>487 brightcopy:

I'm a firm believer in Sturgeon's Law. 90% of reviews, just like 90% of ratings, are crap.

But unlike ratings, good reviews are identifiable as such. One thing that contributes to a good review is when the reviewer is clear about the criteria being applied to the object of the review. That's usually not true of individual ratings, and never true of aggregated ratings.

Moreover, no algorithm "averages" all available reviews into something that I'm expected to pretend is meaningful, when I know that a 90% crap sandwich tastes like crap.

494brightcopy
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 11:10am Top

492> Yeah. It's a speed thing. The page updates just the parts it needs to and is therefore faster. It's similar to how your catalog works, shelves on tag pages, etc. The get the URL of the final search, click "link" right below the search box.

I think I suggested in some thread that you make the search a POST rather than a GET. Not sure if you saw that or just didn't like it. It would avoid some (though not all) of the confusion. It would mainly make it obvious that the browser's URL bar is not going to have the search terms you want.

495brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 11:19am Top

493> I disagree with the 90% of ratings being crap. I just don't see 90% of the people rating The Crucible (3.71 average rating from 1,440 members out of 6,117 members with the book) and Death of a Salesman (3.73 average rating from 1,295 members who rated out of 5,805 members with the book) being because they bore some grudge against a book/play they were forced to read in high school so they couldn't wait to join LT, catalog it and stick it to 'em by rating it low. I think it much more likely those people (if they ever even manage to get to LT to begin with, much less catalog the book and rate it) will be among the 80% who don't bother rating.

And plenty of users have already posted in this and other threads that they HAVE found the ratings on LT to be meaningful and useful. I'm not very shocked that 100% of LT users don't agree on it, though. I'm pretty sure that'd be a sign of the Bookpocalypse.

497jjwilson61
Nov 29, 2010, 11:28am Top

Some things I've noticed not working:

1 - I thought right-clicking on the magnifying glass was supposed to take you to the search page but it just gets me a new copy of the current page in a new tab. FF 3.6.12 on XP.

2 - I was going to say that sometimes when I do a new search on the search page the contents of the search box revert to the previous search, but I can't reproduce it now, so maybe its fixed.

498timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 11:29am Top

I think I suggested in some thread that you make the search a POST rather than a GET. Not sure if you saw that or just didn't like it. It would avoid some (though not all) of the confusion. It would mainly make it obvious that the browser's URL bar is not going to have the search terms you want.

I saw it, but it didn't penetrate the skull. I've made the change. Very good one.

499brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 11:32am Top

497> I'm sure you meant middle-clicking (or ctrl-clicking) rather than right-clicking the magnifying glass. I think Tim had to dumb it down due to the neverending bugs that kept cropping up with the fancier ways of doing it.

500timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 11:33am Top

Exactly.

501timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 11:36am Top

I've moved "tagmashes" to "classification." Having it constantly mixing up in tags was getting to me. It seems fiddly. I'll add a special link to the tagmash whenever you make a tag-comma-tag search.

502jjwilson61
Nov 29, 2010, 11:40am Top

499> No, I meant right-clicking and choosing Open in New Tab, although I suppose it would work the same way if I choose Open in New Window. My trackball doesn't have a middle button (and the remote keyboard doesn't either).

503brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 11:41am Top

Hmmm, 500+ posts. New thread time?

502> Yeah, same deal. For me, middle-click does open in new Tab, much the same as ctrl-click does for a lot of browser setups.

504Aerrin99
Edited: Nov 29, 2010, 12:23pm Top

> 492 Yeah. It's a speed thing. The page updates just the parts it needs to and is therefore faster. It's similar to how your catalog works, shelves on tag pages, etc. The get the URL of the final search, click "link" right below the search box.

All right, thanks for explaining!

And since no one seems to be responding to this bit:

ETA: I'd do the 'full words/partial words' over on the left as well - limiting options should go there, sorting options on the right, otherwise it's inconsistent and confusing, as well as really easy to miss.

Yeah, I was debating this. MMMMmmmmm. I don't know. Others?

Vote: I'd rather see all limiters (including 'full words/partial words' and 'titles and authors/titles') on the left as it works for CK etc.

Current tally: Yes 1, No 2, Undecided 9
(My full explanation is at 477, if anyone is confused)

505brightcopy
Nov 29, 2010, 12:33pm Top

Another "what's left?": make the touchstone searching algorithm use the same algorithm as the new search. Here's a bug about author touchstones:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/102120

506r.orrison
Nov 29, 2010, 1:02pm Top

I answered No to the poll in 504. I see the options on the left as "What do you want to search" and would group limiters and sorting options together as "how do you want to search".

507jjwilson61
Nov 29, 2010, 1:13pm Top

504, 506 > Yeah, I don't see the options on the left as limiting the search as much as what to search or what you get back from the search.

508_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 3:39pm Top

So, why does the tagmash consisting of exactly the two search terms not occur above all other tagmashes on the Classification page? (example: plague, fiction)

509timspalding
Nov 29, 2010, 3:48pm Top

That's a good idea. I'll redo the importance calculations.

510_Zoe_
Nov 29, 2010, 3:50pm Top

Thanks! I'm really happy with how this search is turning out.

511thorold
Nov 30, 2010, 5:43am Top

>501 timspalding:
The way Tagmash is set up looks pretty good to me now - perhaps not 100% intuitive, but I think anyone who was looking for a way to intersect tags would find it without any difficulty.

512timspalding
Nov 30, 2010, 8:24am Top

Yeah, it's hard. The point of tagmash is that you get works back. So searching for a given X gives you Y. That's not how search works, so there needs to be this middle step. It's uncomfortable to me, but I can't see a better way.

5132wonderY
Nov 30, 2010, 9:40am Top

I'm enjoying using the new set-up, with one medium irritant.
Once I click on a title on the search page, and then click back to it, the search term is still in the box, but I have to click on the magnifier for the titles to re-appear. That seems an unnecessary middle step to go on to the next entry.

I should maybe right click and open in a new tab?

Also I see above that someone has already mentioned that search by series gives all of the variants, even those which are now empty. Can we discard the empty series pages somehow?

514jjwilson61
Edited: Nov 30, 2010, 11:29am Top

I'm not sure what you mean by "...then click back to it...". Do you mean by using the Back function in your browser?

515brightcopy
Nov 30, 2010, 11:45am Top

514> Probably so, as this is likely to give the behavior in many browsers.

5162wonderY
Nov 30, 2010, 12:19pm Top

Sorry, yes, that's what I meant.

I suppose I could train myself to go back and forth in another manner.

517gangleri
Nov 30, 2010, 5:19pm Top

two search boxes: the small one supports UTF-8 but the big one does not

ハリー Japanease Harry may be inserted (in IE 7/8) in the small search box but not in the big one
there is one result only: /work/7635295

other test words:
chess is linked to (without any results so far) http://ja.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1672 jap チェス, is linked to chi 國際象棋 and kor 체스
"Harry Potter" chess is linked to http://ja.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5694 jap ハリー・ポッターシリーズ (with a space ハリー ポッターシリーズ), to chi zh-classical 仙界傳 and to kor 해리 포터

518TLCrawford
Dec 2, 2010, 2:25pm Top

Tagmash is a little awkward but it is working.

This book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, about a mid 19th century kidnapping of a Jewish child by the Catholic Church popped up in my search with the tagmash "Cincinnati, history". At first I was confused about what it could have to do with Cincinnati but then I remembered reading about a riot in Cincinnati when a papal representative visited the city. I have ordered the book to see if I am right about the connection, to see it there is any connection between the book and Cincinnati history. If there is I will have to take a step back and admire the power of crowd sourcing.

519lorax
Edited: Dec 2, 2010, 2:41pm Top

518>

Geographic locations with tagmashes are risky. A book tagged "Cincinnati" could be about the city, or set in the city; it could also be that someone's physical copy is located there. Since only one person has that book tagged "Cincinnati", and it's someone with a lot of random books tagged that way (list here), who uses lots of geographic tags, I strongly suspect that in this case it's the geographical use. Generally if something looks strange in a tagmash, I check to see if the tags are used more than once on those books, or just one-offs.

Edited to close rogue link

520TLCrawford
Dec 2, 2010, 3:23pm Top

lorax,

I agree, his tagging looks... strange? So, how do you find out how many times the tag has been used?

521lorax
Dec 2, 2010, 3:34pm Top

520>

On the tags page, it will show numbers automatically, though there's a bug that means they're sometimes wildly wrong. On the work page, in the tag section, click on "show all" and on "numbers" (which is how I was able to see that the work in question is tagged "Cincinnati" only once. That doesn't tell me who tagged it that way; I was lucky in that the person who uses the tag most frequently is our geo-tagger.

522TLCrawford
Dec 2, 2010, 3:44pm Top

lorax,

OK, I knew from looking at the tag cloud for the book that few people used the tag. When I looked at the book it seemed, seems, that it might offer some answers I have about a protest by the German and Irish Catholics in Cincinnati when a Papal emissary visited the city at about the same time as the events in the book. Without knowing about his particular tagging peculiarities (what is the date about anyway? did he read all 66 books in Cincinnati on the same day?) I would have gotten the book even if I had know that exactly one person had used the tag.

523Heather19
Dec 3, 2010, 11:08pm Top

heeeyyy we got a Zeitgeist tab again! Whee!

524timepiece
Dec 6, 2010, 10:43am Top

And, I have made a new browser search plugin for the new search. Go to this page:

http://mycroft.mozdev.org/search-engines.html?name=librarything.com

And click on the one with the green N (that's the new one - there are two labeled LibraryThing Works, one for the old search and one for the new).

Tim, if you want to put that on LT itself for download, I have no objection.

525timspalding
Dec 6, 2010, 1:38pm Top

That's neat. Anything more you want us to say about it or you?

526timepiece
Dec 6, 2010, 5:13pm Top

Nope. I think the search plugins are common enough now that most people should know what to do with it. Last time I tried this, there was some confusion, but hopefully not this time.

527timspalding
Dec 6, 2010, 5:17pm Top

I'm wary of pointing to that page. There are so many. People aren't going to get what to use. Solution?

528timepiece
Dec 6, 2010, 5:40pm Top

Well, here is the official page for hosting them:

http://mycroft.mozdev.org/developer/hosting.html

There's a link at the top to a more technical page. I think that "auto-discovery" refers to the ability to have the browser signal the user that a plugin is available (the arrow next to your search plugin menu glows blue).

529timspalding
Dec 6, 2010, 6:04pm Top

Yeah, but the page above--people need to know to click on the last of ?6 options.

530timepiece
Dec 6, 2010, 9:07pm Top

Yeah, I understand - it is confusing. Which is why I suggested hosting and linking it here on LT (the More tab?), plus the autodiscovery, which eliminates the need for a link entirely. Though of course I'm sure a lot of people have never noticed the autodiscovery hint.

Since the links on that page are Javascript, I don't know of a way to do a direct link to the file hosted at mozdev.

I'm basically saying you should do this:

http://esdev.net/make-your-own-firefox-and-ie-search-bar-plugin/
(where I've already generated the plugin - if you've installed it, then you have the xml file for it somewhere in your browser profile, so you don't have to paste the code into a new xml file)

531timspalding
Dec 6, 2010, 9:48pm Top

Ah. Okay. I missed that. So I'll put it on LT itself? Cool.

532rsterling
Dec 7, 2010, 1:13am Top

Timepiece, thanks for doing this! I'd been meaning to tinker with mine since the old works search plug-in has been broken, and I figured it was time to rework them for the new search - only one plug-in now instead of several! Great!

533SilentInAWay
Edited: Dec 7, 2010, 4:32am Top

Now that the old author searches have all been converted over to the new search mechanism, it would be extremely useful if author search results could be sorted alphabetically -- it's one of the easiest ways of finding authors that need combining.

534gangleri
Dec 7, 2010, 8:02am Top

Hi! I lost the overview: XXX combined with XXX ( XXX )

László Polgárcombined with László Polgár (30)
Zsuzsa Polgarcombined with Zsuzsa Polgar (7)
Zsuzsa Polgár combined with Zsuzsa Polgár (6)
Alfred Polgar, Kritiker, Schriftsteller, Journalist, Oesterreichcombined with Alfred Polgar, Kritiker, Schriftsteller, Journalist, Oesterreich (1)
Dr. Polgar Laszlo.combined with Dr. Polgar Laszlo. (1)

I suggest two changes:
a) the title of the second link should be the name of the target;
b) the first link should use the "&norefer=2" parameter;

László Polgárcombined with László Polgár (30)
Zsuzsa Polgarcombined with Susan Polgar (7)
Zsuzsa Polgár combined with Susan Polgar (6)
Alfred Polgar, Kritiker, Schriftsteller, Journalist, Oesterreichcombined with Alfred Polgar (1873–1955) (1)
or Alfred Polgar, Kritiker, Schriftsteller, Journalist, Oesterreichcombined with Alfred Polgar (1)
Dr. Polgar Laszlo.combined with László Polgár (1)

Touchstones: László Polgár, Susan Polgar, Alfred Polgar

535timepiece
Dec 7, 2010, 11:14am Top

>532 rsterling:: rsterling

No big deal. They have that nice plugin generator - you can see I've used it before (since 3 of the links on that page have my name on them).

The Add Books search is still the same and the plugin works, right? I don't need to update that one?

536timspalding
Dec 7, 2010, 12:35pm Top

>533 SilentInAWay:

I'll work on it later.

537SilentInAWay
Dec 8, 2010, 1:37am Top

Thanks

538gangleri
Edited: Dec 8, 2010, 5:59am Top

re: search for hyphenated items
Please note:
a) /tag/Peter-Dietmar Leber
b) Annemarie Podlipny-Hehn and /tag/Annemarie Podlipny-Hehn
Neither search for "Leber" or "Hehn" nor /search.php?search=Hehn&searchtype=authorname ... will identify the hyphenated items
This might be a duplicate. Please post the corresponding bug report here or open a new report. Thanks in advance!

P.S. Search should identify this tread.

539Heather19
Jan 14, 2011, 12:07am Top

If I don't get a response here I'll post a bug thread, but I figured I'd post here first.

Search seems to turn up some... interesting... results for certain searches. When I use the search bar and search "At Issue", it brings up 19,592 works. That's a lot!! When I try to narrow it down by clicking on "titles" (instead of "titles and authors"), it still brings up 19,519 books. The first 8 of which don't even have "at" or "issue" in the title.

What's going on?

540jjwilson61
Jan 14, 2011, 12:32am Top

I think despite it's name "title" searching other work fields. As I remember from the days of testing it, when it displayed what it had matched on, it could match of the publication field of the editions that make up the work. So I'm guessing that issue is a common work in publication fields.

541timspalding
Jan 14, 2011, 7:31am Top

No, it doesn't narrow it much because "at" isn't very common in author names.

The other trick is that LT is no longer showing which (sub)-titles it matched on. The subtitles may or may not be reflected partially or fully in the work title overall. So when you search for "bellum civile" the top hit is "The Civil War." I rather liked it when it showed you that, but it was definitely more noise. In the case you gave, "at issue" you can check what they hit on by looking at the editions tab for the book, eg.,

Empire by Michael Hardt
Imperio - Compacto / Teacher Training at Issue (Spanish Edition) / Hardt, Michael (ISBN 9501253368)
Imperio - Compacto / Teacher Training at Issue / Hardt, Michael (ISBN 9501253368)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson
Treasure Island Collector's Issue / Stevenson, Robert Louis

Lastly, while "issue" and "at issue" are sorted differently, they are the same list. "At" is a "stop word"—a word so common it was eliminated from the index for speed. So that's also making it harder.

What did you think you were trying for?

542r.orrison
Jan 14, 2011, 7:41am Top

Is it possible to include stop words when they are in quotes? So that (issue) and (at issue) return the same results, but ("at issue") returns only results that include that exact phrase?

543SilentInAWay
Jan 14, 2011, 12:06pm Top

>542 r.orrison:

I was thinking the same thing.

544Heather19
Jan 14, 2011, 8:43pm Top

I guess I understand most of the mechanics as you explained them, Tim, but the whole this is very counter-intuitive, especially to non-power-users. What I expected, when I searched for "At Issue", was to find works that had "At Issue" in the actual title. I don't think that's too much to expect. I understand that search is finding, but not displaying, the different editions of those works, but it really is counter-intuitive to search for "At Issue" and see a bunch of results come up with *neither* word in the title.

I agree with 542 that a good way to fix this would be to include "stop words" when the phrase/title is in quotes. And... I'm really not sure what else would help.

545brightcopy
Jan 14, 2011, 9:01pm Top

544> I think the issue might just be in indexing large amounts of data. Sometimes you have to throw out some things in order to be able to effectively give back those search results quickly and accurately. Tim will have to address if there's any way around it here, but it may well be there is no way of doing this with the amount of hardware LT can afford.

546jjwilson61
Jan 14, 2011, 9:09pm Top

Early on, the search results listed the source where it found the hit on the search term. Perhaps if the search term isn't in the title it should display something like "found in edition title: ...". I agree that it's very valuable to be able to find a work even when you're searching by a non-winning title, but the results as they are now can be confusing.

547timspalding
Jan 15, 2011, 9:47pm Top

>546 jjwilson61:

That's a very good idea. Thanks.

548timspalding
Jan 15, 2011, 10:00pm Top

Implemented. If the exact phrase you are searching for is not in the title, it shows the context, as it once did.

Example: "eat, pray, love"
http://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=eat%2C+pray%2C+love&searchtype...

549gangleri
Edited: Jan 16, 2011, 5:55pm Top

>549 gangleri:: Note: the link will show "Works 8" but only seven links. I noticed this inaccurate counter several times today. The difference seems to be always 1.

550gangleri
Edited: Jan 16, 2011, 5:54pm Top

>549 gangleri:: another link with puzzling counters: ... search=PraxisSchach&searchtype=work ....
Why Other 2?

btw: in the permanent "link" the parameter "searchtype=foo" is doubled. Does this makes sense?

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