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Help Super Search Newbies

by Tanktalus (Canon)
on Oct 08, 2005 at 17:23 UTC ( #498436=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I see a number of monks pointing petitioners to Super Search. Some of these even point seekers of wisdom at some of the links that the responders have found via Super Search. What I'd like to encourage these (and others!) to also do is post the keyword(s) they used in that search.

Sometimes it seems obvious - especially to you when you're writing it. Trust me when I say, it usually doesn't seem obvious to many of the rest of us. Besides, someone may find your node later and want to retry the query to get nodes that were written after yours.

For example, if you say, "Using Super Search, I typed in the words 'foo grommit' and got the following answers to your query...", it would go a long way to helping people learn how to search. It's not that everyone is an idiot - but sometimes other related words just don't pop into one's head, but having those extra words there may help the petitioner (or any other reader) break out of any self-imposed box.

(Yes, this is a selfish post ... sometimes I'm that newbie and need just a bit of prodding to "think outside" my own boxes. Not all newbies are anonymonks or have less than n XP.)

Thanks to all those who do this already - it's appreciated. (Not that I'm perfect here, either, I'm pretty sure I've forgotten to do this thinking it's too obvious, but I do now realise it isn't always.)

Comment on Help Super Search Newbies
Re: Help Super Search Newbies
by davidrw (Prior) on Oct 08, 2005 at 18:23 UTC
    I would also say that it's a good general practice, too, and not just w/Super Search. Most notably would be google searches -- instead of saying "I found http://blah.com on google" i try to say something like "google('foo bar') found http://blah.com" ...

    Similarily, this applies to the wisdom-seekers and failed searchs as well. A personal pet peeve of mine is posts like "i searched everywhere but couldn't find anything" .. I really wish people would qualify that with what and where they searched, so that could how they were going about and why they came up emtpy ...

      To this end:

      • Simple searches on PM can be linked by putting the search term in square brackets. For example, I could search on finding common data in a hash by specifying [finding common data in a hash]
      • I can duplicate a http://search.cpan.org search using our beloved [cpan://] shortcut. For example, looking for CSV file is a snap with [cpan://CSV file]
      • I would love to see a similar mechanism for super-searches, though I'm not sure how the syntax would look... [super://terms to search|option;option] or something. It's complex enough that adding such a thing would only be useful if the SuperSearch results page could be coaxed into providing the text for easy copy-n-paste to a node.
      • Easier, perhaps, and almost as useful, would be a shortcut like [google://terms to search]. This would be used in the same way as the CPAN search, and might result in "I did a google search for foo bar, and found this nugget: (link)".
      <-radiant.matrix->
      A collection of thoughts and links from the minds of geeks
      The Code that can be seen is not the true Code
      "In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law
Re: Help Super Search Newbies
by spiritway (Vicar) on Oct 09, 2005 at 04:51 UTC

    Great idea. It would make a huge difference to people (read, "me") if we knew what the proper terms were to do the search. Then we could continue to investigate elsewhere. I never even thought of this until your post...

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