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7 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2013 9:30 AM by jgarry RSS

Google is better for searching OTN forums

PPlatt Explorer
Currently Being Moderated

I've found that searching for keywork searches using google is a more efficient door into the OTN forums than the forum interface itself.  The google links take you straight into the forum pages much quicker than going through the forum tabs and options.  Particularly the newer version of the forum which is confusing for the new user when they just want to find a matching hit.  It also has the added advantage of identifying blogs that are relevant to the question.

PaulP

  • 1. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    BillyVerreynne Oracle ACE
    Currently Being Moderated

    Now you are being just silly - slamming a forum search as inferior because it does not happen to search blogs too, like Google.

     

    Fact. The new forum search feature is significantly better than the old (and often broken) forum search feature.

     

    Does it compete with Google? That depends entirely on your nature of search. For example, searching for a postings via a forum username is much more accurate using forum searching than Google. However, using numerous keywords in a search could deliver better results using Google.

  • 2. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    BluShadow Guru Moderator
    Currently Being Moderated

    Aren't you the same person who thought it was confusing because the Apex forum is called "Application Express" on the new forums... and use that as part of your excuse for saying how difficult it is for you to navigate these new forums... (even though the Apex forum was called "Application Express" on the old forums too)

     

    New Forum Interface (Not happy!)

     

    It took most people a matter of a couple of days to get familiar with the new forum interface after being used to using the old forums.  Aside from the obvious glitches, that the admin team are looking to fix, the new forum is much better than the old one for usability... and at least the Search actually works on the new forum which it wasn't doing on the old one.  I've had no problem using the search functionality on these forums, and haven't had a need to go to google to find what I want.

     

    Particularly the newer version of the forum which is confusing for the new user when they just want to find a matching hit

     

    Confusing... you mean it's difficult to type your search terms into the "Search" box at the top of the page and then narrow it down by typing the name of the 'group/space' into the results page filters?  I just did an example... I entered "Regular Expressions" in the search box and hit enter.  It gave me a page of results from across different forums... so I typed "SQL" into the group/space filter which gave me a popup of all the spaces with SQL in the title... I clicked the SQL and PL/SQL space, and lo and behold, the results were narrowed down to just those in that space.  Is that not straightforward enough?   Now, via google I've gone to do a search.  If I enter "Regular Expressions" as a search term... it's not just restricted to the oracle forums site, which is what I want (as I don't want all those rubbishy blogs by people who think it'll boost their internet presence by writing small articles that tell me nothing interesting), so I've got to look up googles advanced search options to figure out how to restrict it to a particular site... and my search term becomes "Regular Expressions site:forums.oracle.com" but now I also want to restrict it to just the SQL and PL/SQL space/forum... erm... I'm not sure... so I'll just type "regular expressions site:forums.oracle.com sql and pl/sql" and hope for the best... but I can't actually see from the results which ones are actually in the sql and pl/sql forum without going into each one and seeing what is brought up.  Wow, what a lot of work that was... far easier to search directly on the forums to get what I want, with the additional features of restricting by member, period of time and relevance too.

     

    So, I would suggest that your perception is just that... a personal perception that has no technical truth to it.  Especially when you say "The google links take you straight into the forum pages much quicker than going through the forum tabs and options".... how can google be quicker than doing it directly on the forums... does google have a magic "speed up the browser for google results" feature?

     

    Not surprising to see that your most recent activity on the forum is all complaints about the new forum, and little else.

  • 3. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    PPlatt wrote:

     

    I've found that searching for keywork searches using google is a more efficient door into the OTN forums than the forum interface itself.  The google links take you straight into the forum pages much quicker than going through the forum tabs and options.  Particularly the newer version of the forum which is confusing for the new user when they just want to find a matching hit.  It also has the added advantage of identifying blogs that are relevant to the question.

    PaulP

    So what else is new?  Most online spaces I know are better searched by Google than by the space's own search function.  Why should that be surprising?  Google's entire business model is built around their advanced and proprietary search capability.  Why would you expect Jive or any other provider of forum software to do it any better than .. or even as well as ... Google?

  • 4. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    Dude! Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm not sure which search is better. Sometimes I find a Google site search more efficient, other times the forum search ability. I imagine though that a Google search is affected by search analytics, which can be helpful but also in the way, and also depends on history known to Google.

     

    However, from what I experienced, the forum search is not 100 % functioning. To restrict a search to a specific person works for some, but not for all names, for instance names like Avi Miller or TommyReynolds are not recognized. Also the option to restrict to a group or space seems flawed and sometimes producing strange results. Maybe there is still some work in progress.

     

    For interface transparency and saving OTN server resources, it might be a good idea if there was an option to go right into the advanced search, rather than having to perform the search first and then filter the result.

     

    Btw, perhaps it would have been better to put your oberservation as a question rather than a conclusion. Some people are sensitive and you may have put them in defense mode.

  • 5. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    jgarry Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Google groups search function is totally borked since they shut down their old software.  So if you want to search here and there... well, I guess usenet is dead, so that's ok.  

     

    Not what I expected from a $300B company that specializes in search.

  • 6. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    PPlatt Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for the posting BluShadow,

    I've now learnt more about how to efficiently use the forum.  I think Oracle should recurit you to re-write the FAQs and possibly a user-guide as I can see through your verbose response that you are OTN advocate and very passionate about dispelling any "myths" about the forum. Go for it and gives us more tips!  They're like hen's teeth around here.

    Here's one

    What is the difference between the search field in the red area(top right) and the long search field in the grey area on the content tab after a search has returned links?

    PaulP

  • 7. Re: Google is better for searching OTN forums
    jgarry Guru
    Currently Being Moderated

    Many excellent FAQs come from people just documenting what they've done to solve problems.  Some not-so-excellent ones too, but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying.  This is all a group endeavor.

     

    So figure it out, document it, and call it a feature.

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