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Google Ajax Search Development

Development topic for the experimental search service currently described in TWiki.GoogleAjaxSearch
See also GoogleYourTWiki

I am wondering if the key may be shared among TWiki sites, or if each site owner needs to use their own key for the Google search.
  • One key for each domain, so the key is not transferable. -- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Jul 2006

I am a bit concerned about the complexity of the page layout. There are now two search boxes with the same purpose. Not sure how to solve that. Move the Google search to the header, with a floating search result? Move jump box and Google search to sidebar?

  • Sidebar cannot handle the results list. We could remove the search box from the top bar. -- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Jul 2006

Next step would be to make this a contrib so css and js can be placed in the header - important for page validation.

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

On reducing complexity, how about moving the AJAX search to the header, and showing a popup below the search box? Example:

Screen layout before search (click to enlarge):
Screen layout before search (click to enlarge)

Screen layout after search (click to enlarge):
Screen layout after search (click to enlarge)

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Jul 2006

  1. It would mean that the search results layer would need to be closed if one wants to read the topic
  2. A default search param like ?aq=installation would obscure the topic
There must be a better place.

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

Should search be site-wide? I am beginning to think it should. Support web users would be helped with documentation in TWiki. Codev users as well.

In any case it would be handy to pass a list of webs to search in.

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

On page layout for search: I do not think that closing the box is an issue since a user typed in a search to go elsewhere. Also, in case the user decides to cancel, the user needs to do an action anyway (scroll below search in current behaviour; close the box if popup.)

I would reserve the search for plain search, nothing else. That is, for a special case add a new AJAX search box in the topic text if a default search result is needed.

On search scope: It depends. A search in the Plugins web should only search that web; a search in the Support web could search the Support web and TWiki web.

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Jul 2006

Problem with the results is that changes only appear after a certain amount of time when Google updates the indexes. Do we use the search link to WebSearch only, or should we keep 2 search boxes?

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

Something akin to the new hanging tabs of http://maps.google.com/ could be used: Google Search vs. TWiki search

-- ArthurClemens - 17 Jul 2006

Yes, that could be done, also for jump. That is, tabs for /Jump to topic\ /TWiki search\ /Google search\

I'd go for normal tabs, inverted tabs are unusual and hard to understand.

  • Depends on the implentation. Amazon uses hanging tabs as well at the bottom of the "Used and New" page to mirror the top tabs. -- ArthurClemens - 18 Jul 2006
    • Agreed on special case: Hanging tabs at the bottom of the page are intuitive, as seen in Excel. -- PeterThoeny - 18 Jul 2006

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Jul 2006

Should the code be packed in a plugin or in a contrib? I tend towards a plugin, because the unique Google key should be set somewhere in a variable.

-- ArthurClemens - 19 Jul 2006

Hmm, Plugins need to be enabled, and typically expand a variable. This sounds more like a Contrib to me. The JavaScript code can depend on a %GOOGLE_SEARCH_KEY% variable, defined as a site level setting (at contrib installation time.)

  • You mean as a preference in Main.TWikiPreferences? -- ArthurClemens - 19 Jul 2006

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Jul 2006

With the tags, the design needs to be reviewed again anyway. I've come up with a few modifications that looks cleaner (left bar left empty but should be filled):

Redesign - before search (click to enlarge):

Redesign - after search (click to enlarge):

(also note the changes to the tags interface)

  • The results screen layer needs a close button. -- ArthurClemens - 22 Jul 2006

-- ArthurClemens - 19 Jul 2006

I've made it a plugin, because I needed it to write to the page header and to read a few settings as well. See GoogleAjaxSearchPlugin.

-- ArthurClemens - 21 Jul 2006

The plugin is now installed on twiki.org.

-- ArthurClemens - 22 Jul 2006

This is a really nice feature, but I'm not sure it's working - to be more correct, Google is not indexing some TWiki.org pages, whether found via Google.com or our AJAX search.

One example is Google:site%3Atwiki.org+central+european+czech, which doesn't find CentralEuropeanCharacters, which is not that recent.

I guess this should be logged with Google, as it generally indexes TWiki.org fairly quickly.

-- RichardDonkin - 03 Sep 2006

Is anyone using the Google search on twiki.org? I never do, and I find that the many input fields on twiki.org clutter the pages. If no objections I'd like to remove it.

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Aug 2007

For searching TWikiDotOrg w/ google I'll normally use the google toolbar in my browser to search for site:twiki.org foo bar ... but when I'm already at twiki.org, I find that the google AJAX search is counter productive and will usually nav to WebSearch if I'm really trying to find something .. I'd say remove it

-- KeithHelfrich - 14 Aug 2007

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Topic revision: r15 - 2007-08-14 - KeithHelfrich
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