Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Those Nagging Little Details....

I just uploaded a few tweaks to Atlas Quest this afternoon, and this one is so minor, it's probably not even going to be noticed by anyone. So, I'd like to bring your attention to it, if for no other reason than to let you know what I've been up to and, perhaps, catch any defects that I might have introduced.

In this case, an example might be the easiest way to explain this tweak. Take a look at this search of San Luis Obispo, CA, sorted alphabetically. The #2 entry is for the "Beach Vacation Series"--the quotes are part of the box name, not me quoting the box name. In the old days (that is, before today), Atlas Quest would sort boxes on a character-by-character basis, and because quotes come before letters, it would have shown as the first box. Now, quotes (and other punctuation marks) are ignored, so the box is now correctly placed after the A from All the News That's Fit to Print.

A related issue are box names that start with "useless" words--the, and, a, etc. In the old days (that is, before today), a box named The Building would have been sorted under the T's. If you check those search results, however, you'll now see it listed along with the other B's, where it should be.

Number 12 in the search results is called A Dragon in the Library: Adelinde. In the old days, it would have shown up in the A's. Today? Nope, not anymore.... It's with the other Ds.

Because punctuation marks are ignored, you'll also find that words like dogs and dog's map to the same word pattern. In the old days, a search for either of those words wouldn't find both of them. You can see this happen in a global search for boxes with the word dogs. In my results, the first six use the word dogs, but #7 uses the word dog's.

In another slight tweak in the search results, in this search for Winter Falls, you'll find none of the first several entries use the word winter. Why would they rank so highly, then? Because it's part of a series, and one of the boxes in the series use the word winter. If you click on the Silver Falls series, it ranks highly because there's a box within the series named Winter Falls. In the old days, AQ was not able to match words in the names of individual boxes within a series--but now it should!

Anyhow, these are minor little tweaks, but I'm a little concerned I've overlooked something. If you happen to notice any search results that aren't quite as expected or find an unexpected glitch, do let me know! Thanks! =)


Anonymous said...

Not sure you should ignore words like A and THE since they might be an integral part of the box name.

Sue KuKu said...

Thank you, thank you, Ryan!

This will make the searches so great.



Anonymous said...

Thank you! The boxes with quotation marks were always so hard to find in the searches.

Does this apply to searching for people too? For example, when looking for "The Toadfrogs", when I typed in "Toadfrogs", they didn't come up in the search because of the word "the." -Rose

Ryan said...

I fixed the people thing months ago. Like I said, one of those minor changes that nobody ever notices. ;o)

-- Ryan

Beth said...

The librarian thanks you!

Di said...

Bless you, bless you! And many, many thanks. I love the way you are always looking to improve the site, and especially appreciate the changes regarding the quotation marks and articles a, an and the.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. Thanks Ryan!

The Mischievous Four