First, let me say I have been a bit hesitant about starting new threads here, in part, for this very reason and problem. I don't know how to put this
nicely, so I won't try. Search on ATS sucks! There just is no half way decent way to describe it.
Now how does this relate and why would it annoy me today in particular? Well, I thought I had a decent story for a thread with a TSA issue down in
Florida. The subject is secondary but it caught my eye as a really interesting outrage. I thought I had dutifully checked the Search function and then
I went a step further...thinking this story was too good NOT to have had someone else cover it. So, I searched the New Topic Firehoses line by line
and story by story on the summary headline pages to insure I wasn't again the victim of a weak search system. We see countless people and threads
tagged all the time on the double issue and so where I do OP a thread, I do my best to avoid ever getting sideways with it.
So what was the result of my search and line-by-line review? I still find, after I've posted of course, that I dup'ed someone else on the story.
Okay... This is getting absurd guys. We need help and we need it from the Tech side of the ATS staff. We NEED a Search function that *WORKS* on here
and we do NOT have it right now. What we have is a single entry field box for search...and YEARS upon YEARS of mix-mash results coming back.
What specifically would I suggest? Well, since no one asked, I have to offer my two cents.
A few specifics here I think would solve a great deal of
the issue with not only duplicate threads or VERY similar ones which were never intended to be, but the ability to find coverage on specific events
ATS might have had solid information on. Wow is that a tough one to accomplish at the moment if the topic in question wasn't a VERY VERY recent one.
So here goes my wish list:
A). Add the ability to define search by DATE.
MANY of these stories we're dup'ing each other on are breaking or nearly so. If we could
simply set limits to search to the previous 1, 2 or 7 days it would be possible to enter a couple specific words, run the search and a blank means a
REAL blank for previous thread coverage. No screens upon screens of results with no apparent order to dig through and hope to find a duplicate.
B). Forum based limiting and screening to searches.
This area gives far more to the search for information than the hunt for duplicates,
but it would be useful for both. Particularly where it's a very topic specific story like Space Exploration or Secret Societies. There aren't that
many places a post would go...but there are *A LOT* of posts IN those places....without adding the whole website system into the mess of results that
C). TOTAL and UNRESTRICTED coverage of ATS public material in the search function.
I fully understand the reasoning and thought behind
carefully closing some areas of ATS to google and public indexing. It makes sense and it's appreciated that we have a few places on here where we can
post and know that it isn't a line item for a Google search within moments. However, if it requires a whole new script to handle it, we really need
those same areas INTERNALLY included for search where finding duplicate material or hunting down a specific story months or even years prior are
I've put this in the Rant section because it is a point of true irritation. Now I've only had the one thread really called for a duplicate issue...and
grats to the person who noted it. This has nothing to do with that. It's the degree of effort I DID put into avoiding that very thing to still come up
a FAIL that I find very aggravating.
Someone in the tech side of ATS, please give this a quick look over and see if something can't be done to improve that all important part of the site
for everyone. Christmas is coming up....I'll bet we'd all consider it a present, given the timing and all.
(P.S. I know the last paragraph of the search page notes some of this is on the list to be worked on...but how long ago was that written...and does
anyone in the tech side even recall that statement is there at this point?
edit on 2-12-2011 by Wrabbit2000 because: minor correction.