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The search feature

Unread postAuthor: pizlo » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:46 pm

Perhaps this has been brought up before and I missed it in my weeks of absence, but It's a problem I've noticed for months, and probably years if I remembered that far back. Whenever an ill informed noob comes to the forum and wants to make something like a full auto gun, a piston valve, or in the most recent occurrence, a vortex block people come along and wither give them some tips and then say hey you should search, or they just say USE THE SEARCH BUTTON! I agree that noone should be spoonfed. I agree that if they're not smart enough to read up first they could be a danger. As far as piston valves go the how too was a great idea. But I really think that the search feature is way overrated. About 5 minutes ago I searched for vortex block in our search box. Checked the first 10 pages and didn't find any simpel instruction posts. Then I decided to check a few of the 165 other pages, and didn't get lucky. vortex block is used in so may threads and the search finds em all and covers up useful posts. Crowley and the mods you do a great job keeping these forums clean helpful, and usable. But locking a topic, leaving a person with the search bar really isn't helping them at all. I'd be willing to make a post with links tooo all the major how toos contributing members have wrote, if mods could send the newbies that instead of you see the pretty search button?

Thanks for your time, sorry to post in this section.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:54 pm

BTW, when we lock a topic, we always PM the member. I always give a lecture to that member how to narrow down search results to find what they are looking for.

I also direct them to the SpudWiki. I tell them that search features are crap on most forums and that they are just going to have to improvise their search term to get results they want.

Searching 'vortex block' will bring up every page mentioning the word 'vortex' and 'block'. Instead check the circle below that says "Search for all terms" and it will give you results that contain both words. Not just one or the other. That brings it down to ~260 results.

So if you want plans, try 'vortex plans' and you get 24 matches from the entire forum. Unfortunately, the forum is lacking detailed plans from our own members on vortex blocks as far as I know.

So instead i'd direct you to the Spudwiki, if you follow the links untill you find the Vortex Block page you get this:
http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/inde ... rtex_block

Which has a link to Burnt Latke for plans on building one.
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:54 pm

Well there are other parts to the search that make it more useful that help you narrow down what you are looking for. It usually doesnt take me too long on what i am trying to find.

If you use the advanced search you can search for all terms which helps narrow down your selection and helps ypu find what you want. You can also used stuff like search only in the BBMG discussion so that you can get better results.

Dang i have been beaten
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:07 pm

I've been saying this for a while, and I usually advise people to read the Spudwiki instead - I know it's not exactly complete, but usually there's enough for a basic idea.

Where someone like me can usually find it what I'm looking for, that's with my knowledge of the terms involved (and usually when I'm looking for a specific example), a person with without that knowledge is stymied.

Seriously - for the newbies, direct them to the Wiki, not the search.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:17 pm

I also believe it's a good thing NOT to offer each and every exact detail of a how-to...some critical knowledge, of course. However, there are some things should be deductively deduced by looking at pictures, experimentation and thinking about the project at hand. If a person is incapable of thinking through and reasoning out some things, then they are very likely to be a danger to themselves and others.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:48 pm

starman wrote:If a person is incapable of thinking through and reasoning out some things, then they are very likely to be a danger to themselves and others.

Indeed. If they're just equipped with plans, if a problem comes up and they're not capable of dealing with it, or even realising it's a problem - that's pretty dangerous. As such, it's well worth filtering out those without that brainpower by making them do some of their own work.

It's not exactly hard to build a combustion (Um... 7 parts maybe? - and the glue of course), so if they can't even work that out, I don't have much hope for their safety with it.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:52 pm

Why is everyone looking at me? :shock:

I know i'm guilty of handing out overly-detailed plans to the feeble minded, but that's the great thing about feeble minds, detailed plans confuse them too much. :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:06 pm

MrCrowley wrote:Why is everyone looking at me?

Was I looking at you?
Damn, I thought I was glaring with my laser eyes! I was wondering why you weren't catching fire. :tongue3:

Indeed, that's a fair point. 95% of those people who can't make do with simple plans will never manage with detailed ones, but I'm not going to make it easy for the 5% who will be able to make something out of the plans that require them to apply no thought power.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:21 pm

I dunno, I always liked having plans the first time I do something. It's nice to have the confidence that what you're building has been done before, and will eventually work if you keep at it enough.

Granted, I've never really asked for plans, a simple Google search will reveal more plans than anyone would ever need. I think Latke's site is the best for learning to build a vortex cannon. I was looking at it for a while, and then built a cloud instead(with plans).

This site used to have a section with only pictorial plans, what happened to it?
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:19 pm

I personally think a plan is best for a newbie. It shows them the basics without harm (if built correctly). If they enjoy the hobby enough, they will start to actually make there own.
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Unread postAuthor: Hydra » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:57 pm

You shouldnt give them a plan. You should give them tips.
Like "Make sure the Chamber to Barrel ratio is right" OR "Dont use too many elbows and turns in it, it might stuff it up" You know what I mean.
But seriously, your right, the search feature doesnt show the useful posts and instead shows useless ones on the first few pages.

Noobs probably search, but they only go through the first few pages which dont have useful posts.

Right now Im using the "quick search" (Most noobs probably wont see the advanced search, they will see the quick search first because its a search bar and everything) SEARCHING=Piston Valve how to
TOPICS
First result- Another auto reload idea
2nd result-My Pneumatic Crossbow
3rd-Rainbird Sprinkler Valve
4th-here is my new bb gun
5th and 6th are -My pneumatic crossbow

Well yeah you get the idea. The closest thing to building a piston in the first 5 pages is
"Air gun finsihed!" (http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/viewtop ... tml#215895) posts 11-13 And that shows some diagrams of a HAMMER valve, not really a piston.
I think you should make some topics come first. Like when someone searches "piston valve" force a couple of topics (Piston valves visually explained by clide and making epoxy pistons by JSR) Onto the first page.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:09 am

Hydra wrote:Right now Im using the "quick search" (Most noobs probably wont see the advanced search, they will see the quick search first because its a search bar and everything) SEARCHING=Piston Valve how to
TOPICS
First result- Another auto reload idea
2nd result-My Pneumatic Crossbow
3rd-Rainbird Sprinkler Valve
4th-here is my new bb gun
5th and 6th are -My pneumatic crossbow

Well yeah you get the idea. The closest thing to building a piston in the first 5 pages is
"Air gun finsihed!" (http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/viewtop ... tml#215895) posts 11-13 And that shows some diagrams of a HAMMER valve, not really a piston.
I think you should make some topics come first. Like when someone searches "piston valve" force a couple of topics (Piston valves visually explained by clide and making epoxy pistons by JSR) Onto the first page.

We all know the Quick Search is hopeless, I only ever use it if there is a recent topic I know of that I want to quickly search as it lists topics by date. Afterall it's called Quick Search for a reason, by no means is it meant to search for topics that there are plenty of, or topics that date way back.

So i'm not surprised about your results and frankly they don't matter.
And again, searching 'piston valve how to' will bring up topics with 'valve' and 'piston' in it, I think the search will ignore 'how' and 'to'.

Also what you are suggesting would require mass filtering, going through thousands of topics. We don't have the man power or time to do that. So we use things called 'stickies'. They do pretty much what you describe except they don't show at the top of a search result page. :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: pizlo » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:03 pm

Alright so we agree to not say use that search button, and give them a link tot he wiki?. That sounds fine, because I doubt many people will figure out that they need to advanced search and such.
Thanks.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:06 pm

Hmm, maybe it's just me but using the advanced search seems like common sense to me when on any forum.

But yeah, if they want plans, direct them to stickies or the Wiki would probably be the best bet.
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