BIR - Issue - Inadequacy of Page Name Search

Inadequacy of (Page Name) Search (2011-01)

I just performed a search for "Peter Reeves". I entered the name as Reeves_Peter and the search yielded 34 wiki pages before Peter Reeves. The correct Peter Reeves was also on the second page of the results.

There are currently only about 10 individuals in the wiki named Peter Reeves. Surely all pages named Reeves_Peter should appear in the results before his children, grandchildren, a few deeds and various other pages.

Before we come out of stealth mode, we really need to improve the search feature. How will visitors ever be able to find someone using the Search?


I totally agree.

I'd spotted similar issues some time back when looking for AboutMe_ pages and in early December asked Barry to look at one specific technical issue which I think may be impacting search. When I last checked, it was still pending with him.

I will check the Admin of the search function again, just to make sure there is not a weighting option to the ranking algorithm which is counting negatively against page name, but I don't recall any such controls.

I also note the introduction of a new (or is it alternative) search capability is one of the main objectives for TW version 7 see http://dev.tiki.org/Tiki7 due in April 2011. Being of a suspicious nature, I wonder why.


Posted Tuesday 25 Jan 2011

Firstly, I've not found any magic Admin spanner which seems to impact the search ranking algorithm.

But I have noticed a find box within the "Wiki" -> "List Pages" function which does successfully find Wiki pages beginning with whatever search term one chooses to use. It found all five pages beginning "AboutMe_" and nine pages of "Reeves_Peter"

Perhaps search isn't as broken as we thought, but I would have expected to find some control over relative ranking, which I didn't.

Update posted Wednesday 26 Jan 2011 at 07h30GMT by MartinB

This is bugging me. I've just found a very unhelpful comment over on tiki dot org at http://doc.tiki.org/Search
"If you can't find results that you think should appear, first check the search mode."
Elsewhere on this page it confirms that searching Wiki Pages searches over Wiki Page Name, Description and Data (content). I think this was really referring to the distinction between "Simple Search" compared to "Full Text Search".

For "Simple Search" there is a caution on page http://doc.tiki.org/Search+Details under the heading (b) Simple Search, which indicates ...
  1. The search is very noisy: a lot of objects are returned
  2. There is no relevance and the objects are not sorted. It means that an object with 2 occurrences of the searched word will be returned as an object with only 1 occurrence.

I can confirm that "Full Text Searching" is enabled (called Database Search in our version of the TW software which utilises My SQL's Full Text search as described on the web page) and that neither of the two permissions which weaken security but improve performance are enabled.

However, I wonder whether simple search is being used some of the time, because of the issue I've already reported to Barry. I have no way of checking/knowing.

Rummaging further, it seems there are three distinct search modules. One is specifically "search_wiki_page" but there seems to be little useful documentation. The page http://doc.tiki.org/Module+search_wiki_page is essentially blank.

So I'm left wondering if general searching does include the wiki page name as their documentation indicates or whether it is data (page content) only. Otherwise why a separate module for page names?

I've created an experimental page ZZZ-MRB-TEST023 with all three search modules so everybody can experiment for themselves.

Update posted Wednesday 26 Jan 2011 at 09h10GMT by MartinB
Link to this experimental page removed 31 October 2011 as it is no longer required, freeing the page for future re-use.
MartinB 31 Oct 2011

I've come to the conclusion that search may not be as broken as we had feared. It seems there are two search mechanisms within the Tiki software, one specifically focused to Wiki Page Names and the other a more general content search.

I've added a widget to the top of the right hand column, so it now sits immediately below the content "Find" box.

I'm going to close this item based on this addition of this new widget.

Update posted Thursday 27 Jan 2011 at 14h40GMT by MartinB^

Status Closed

Contributors to this page: MartinB. , Beverly and system .
Page last modified on Monday 31 of October, 2011 05:18:32 CDT by MartinB..