Options

Archive Search Function--inadequate?

Sheaman3773Sheaman3773 Registered User regular
Hello, I'd like to start off by stating that though I'm new to these forums (hence explaining why I won't know if this has already been covered >.>) I have been following the web-comics themselves for a few years now, so please bear with me :)

I don't know how many of you have shared your frustration with this already, or whether or not anyone else has even noticed it, but I looked throughout the forums w/ their own search engine, and though I found a thread that seems to be talking about the same thing, it's actually not. That one has to do with not being able to search words that are under four letters long, and seems to be talking about the forums' search engine. Mine is not.

My issue is that the search function for the Archives of the comics is--in my opinion--woefully inadequate. I realize how rude it is to just pop in and insult you like this, but I have found this to be true.

Now, I follow a great many web-comics. Any time something comes up in a conversation that I'm having with someone that reminds me of a point in one of the web-comics I've read, I go look it up and link it to them. I'm fairly certain that this is not a phenomenon unique to me. Lately, I've found that more and more of them are, indeed, from Penny Arcade. Which is by no means a bad thing, but leads to the problem that drove me to making this account; the search function just does not work.

Now, there are doubtlessly those out there who would point out the many ways in which, indeed, the search function does work. And you would be right, it's not broken, but then, that's not my point.

To illustrate what I'm talking about, allow me to bring up the comic A Grave Issue ( http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/7/29/a-grave-issue/ ). The point that I wanted to make by using this particular issue is irrelevant and would make this already verbose OP even longer.

Now, initially, I could not remember which game it was talking about, I just remembered that they were discussing an import of a game that would take a month to reach the US. Accordingly, I searched for every possible word even slightly associated with this comic, including 'Month,' 'Import,' and 'Japan.' There really isn't anything else that this comic has to do with, besides the game itself, which I could not remember.

So, being the anal-retentive, obsessive compulsive person that I am. I sat down and looked through every single bloody comic in the history of the web-comic. Of course, I was going too quickly, and pasted it the first time. Of course.

Then, thinking on it further, I remembered that it was, indeed, about Super Mario Sunshine. So, I go to the Search function, thinking that this has solved all my issues, and I search for 'Mario Sunshine.' Not there. Rather perplexed, I proceeded to try 'Super Mario Sunshine,' 'Super Mario,' 'Super,' 'Mario,' and 'Sunshine.' It did not show up once. Once I realized that the search function was just not going to cooperate, I merely looked up when Super Mario Sunshine was released in Japan, went back to that time in the archives, and branched forward and backward, slowly. I found it. Hooray. I'm honestly not sure how much later this was--well over an hour, at least.

Now, you might be able to shrug this off as too much stubbornness on my part, and you'd most likely be right. However, this does not change the underlying fact that all of this could have been avoided if a) I'd remembered the game earlier. Or b) the search function actually, you know, functioned comprehensively.

This is by no means an isolated incident. I ran into the same problem with La Twittre ( http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/4/23/ ) and Literature ( http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/6/2/ ).

A friend brought up Twitter, I remembered this comic, the search function yielded no results when searching 'Twitter.' Honestly, I remembered the name, and I searched for 'Twittre,' and even 'La.' La! I got 141 results from searching 'La,' but not one of them was La Twittre, even though 'La' is in the name itself.

I was explaining to the same friend the joke of A Valid Line Of Inquiry ( http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/10/20/ ) (which doesn't show up in the search under 'Beast Rider,' 'Beast,' 'Rider,' or 'MO,' by the way) and I wanted to show him Literature, and nothing again showed up in the search function. Not under 'sadomasochism,' 'lycanthropic,' 'series,' 'book,' 'bookstore,' even 'Anita,' 'Blake,' and 'Anita Blake.' Nothing showed up at all. I had to Google 'lycanthropic'--the word that is bolded in the comic--with Penny Arcade in order to find it.

Basically, I just want to know if anyone has also had this problem, and whether something could be done about it? Or would be? Or was already in the works? Or something. I honestly can't fathom what each comic is tagged with, I don't see any rhyme or reason to it.

If this is the wrong forum, please let me know, and I will repost there. Thank you.

TL;DR I want to know if anything is being done about the insufficient Archive search function, as it currently isn't working very well. Examples as to why I think so are above. Plz and thanx.

If that was still too long for you:
|0| 7h3 (0m1(z 534r(h dUn \/\/0rk g00d3r. \/\/hyz?

Sheaman3773 on

Posts

  • Options
    ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    http://phasetwo.org/pennypacker is good, when it works.

    The archive search has been neglected for going on years now. We also have a thread dedicated to fixing issues with the archives, like the fact several comics are missing.

    At this point, I'm starting to think that the people in charge don't really care. Short of asking a bunch of volunteers to head over to Oh No Robot, the easiest solution would probably be to throw a bunch of money at PennyPacker so that dude can buy some servers.

    So, in summary, yes it is wholly inadequate for a comic of PA's stature but unless there's something in the works we don't know about yet it probably won't get fixed.

    ASimPerson on
  • Options
    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2008
    There's nothing that we, on the forums, can do about it.

    Tube on
  • Options
    Sheaman3773Sheaman3773 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Well, this is the Bug Report and User Issues forums, so I thought that here would be a good place to go w/ this thread. Should I repost it on the Help/Advice forum instead? Or is there basically never going to be a response? (besides other fine gentlemen such as yourselves, of course)

    Sheaman3773 on
  • Options
    colawarscolawars Pittsburgh, PARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I really hope this issue gets resolved. It's embarrassing how impossible it is to view comics here on a whim. All anyone's been asking for is a simple way to do it, yet the best response is a firefox addon. How many other sites require an addon to a browser to get results? xbox+bear+couch+hug shouldn't be that hard to find...

    colawars on
    3DS: 1049-1266-2726
  • Options
    SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Well, this is the Bug Report and User Issues forums, so I thought that here would be a good place to go w/ this thread. Should I repost it on the Help/Advice forum instead? Or is there basically never going to be a response? (besides other fine gentlemen such as yourselves, of course)

    Nah, questions/issues about the forums themselves don't go in H/A. Also, if you didn't notice Cardboard Tube is one of the admins of the forum, so you've gotten an official answer on the topic.

    Smasher on
  • Options
    Sheaman3773Sheaman3773 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Smasher wrote: »
    Well, this is the Bug Report and User Issues forums, so I thought that here would be a good place to go w/ this thread. Should I repost it on the Help/Advice forum instead? Or is there basically never going to be a response? (besides other fine gentlemen such as yourselves, of course)

    Nah, questions/issues about the forums themselves don't go in H/A. Also, if you didn't notice Cardboard Tube is one of the admins of the forum, so you've gotten an official answer on the topic.

    Blast! That picture completely distracted me from noticing that >.> I only wish that I was joking.

    Well then, I guess that I'll let this die. Unless there is somewhere else that I could mention this? I mean, if you, on the forums, cannot do anything about it...is there somewhere else I could go where something could be done?

    Sheaman3773 on
  • Options
    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Smasher wrote: »
    Well, this is the Bug Report and User Issues forums, so I thought that here would be a good place to go w/ this thread. Should I repost it on the Help/Advice forum instead? Or is there basically never going to be a response? (besides other fine gentlemen such as yourselves, of course)

    Nah, questions/issues about the forums themselves don't go in H/A. Also, if you didn't notice Cardboard Tube is one of the admins of the forum, so you've gotten an official answer on the topic.

    Blast! That picture completely distracted me from noticing that >.> I only wish that I was joking.

    Well then, I guess that I'll let this die. Unless there is somewhere else that I could mention this? I mean, if you, on the forums, cannot do anything about it...is there somewhere else I could go where something could be done?
    You can e-mail Gabe & Tycho.

    Thanatos on
  • Options
    RamiusRamius Joined: July 19, 2000 Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited November 2008
    The forums are a Penny-Arcade community, and are hosted by Penny-Arcade, but don't really have an administrative relationship with what we call "the mainsite". The mainsite is managed independantly of the forums and nobody here has much sway in what does or doesn't get done there.

    I do know, from conversations I've had with "the server guy", that implementing more tagging and searching features on the comics is a goal. I have no idea how far away they are from reaching that goal, however.

    Ramius on
    1zxt8dhasaon.png
  • Options
    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    In the meantime, if you don't feel like bothering with the Firefox plug-in, I have had absolutely no problem finding comics I want based on a rough idea of the title and google. Start the search with Penny-Arcade and then what you think the comic is and you should get it every time.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • Options
    RamiusRamius Joined: July 19, 2000 Administrator, ClubPA admin
    edited November 2008
    Don't need a firefox plugin. The Pennypacker site has a tag cluster and tag search box right there.

    Ramius on
    1zxt8dhasaon.png
  • Options
    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    In fact, the plugin only links to that page. You can't search from it directly. All the plugin does is provide comments for each comic and the ability to add/delete tags.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • Options
    Sheaman3773Sheaman3773 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Scrublet wrote: »
    In the meantime, if you don't feel like bothering with the Firefox plug-in, I have had absolutely no problem finding comics I want based on a rough idea of the title and google. Start the search with Penny-Arcade and then what you think the comic is and you should get it every time.

    The only problem with that is that I am much better at retaining the content of things, rather than their names :( And googling the content does not yield the same results, much of the time. Thank you for the advice though :)

    Sheaman3773 on
  • Options
    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yeah it sounds like Pennypacker is exactly what you want. Seeing as it's user-tagged you'll be able to find stuff based on the loosest of memories. I'd recommend you not search for 'bald', though.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • Options
    CyvrosCyvros Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Scrublet wrote: »
    In the meantime, if you don't feel like bothering with the Firefox plug-in, I have had absolutely no problem finding comics I want based on a rough idea of the title and google. Start the search with Penny-Arcade and then what you think the comic is and you should get it every time.

    The only problem with that is that I am much better at retaining the content of things, rather than their names :( And googling the content does not yield the same results, much of the time. Thank you for the advice though :)

    Sometimes, I've managed to find comics by searching the Penny Arcade wiki, which has text-only 'scripts' of most of the comics from the beginning until February this year.

    Cyvros on
  • Options
    ÄlphämönkëyÄlphämönkëy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    LOTS OF WORDS
    Official answer? Yes, things are being done to fix this.
    Here are the problems:
    • The problem with searching is that it is very database intensive to do correctly, and returns poor results (yet surprisingly quick) when done incorrectly.
    • Forums and newsposts are very easy to search due to the simplicity of directly accessing the text, while comics require some form of human intervention (eg. tagging, transcription). Other sites tried a full user-submitted tagging solution and it quickly degraded into garbage.
    That said, these are all solvable problems. I would ask you to take me at my word, that I'm working on it and that Penny Arcade believes in quality stuff. When we re-release the archives, it won't be crap.

    As an example, think about the quality of the forums and the mainsite over the past two years. How long has it been since someone has seen the "Error 500 - Internal Server Error / Server Busy" message? :wink:

    Älphämönkëy on
  • Options
    Sheaman3773Sheaman3773 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Well, a definite answer that the problem is being worked on. That's about as much as I could hope for, and more than I was expecting when I was writing this thread :) Thank you for coming and posting in this thread, it's much appreciated.

    Sheaman3773 on
  • Options
    MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    LOTS OF WORDS
    Official answer? Yes, things are being done to fix this.
    Here are the problems:
    • The problem with searching is that it is very database intensive to do correctly, and returns poor results (yet surprisingly quick) when done incorrectly.
    • Forums and newsposts are very easy to search due to the simplicity of directly accessing the text, while comics require some form of human intervention (eg. tagging, transcription). Other sites tried a full user-submitted tagging solution and it quickly degraded into garbage.
    That said, these are all solvable problems. I would ask you to take me at my word, that I'm working on it and that Penny Arcade believes in quality stuff. When we re-release the archives, it won't be crap.

    As an example, think about the quality of the forums and the mainsite over the past two years. How long has it been since someone has seen the "Error 500 - Internal Server Error / Server Busy" message? :wink:

    I recall watching the ustream thing they did a while back, and saw text being copied from an e-mail to the comic. Maybe you could ask them if that's a regular thing, and whether or not they would mind letting you index the contents.

    MKR on
  • Options
    ÄlphämönkëyÄlphämönkëy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MKR wrote: »
    LOTS OF WORDS
    Official answer? Yes, things are being done to fix this.
    Here are the problems:
    • The problem with searching is that it is very database intensive to do correctly, and returns poor results (yet surprisingly quick) when done incorrectly.
    • Forums and newsposts are very easy to search due to the simplicity of directly accessing the text, while comics require some form of human intervention (eg. tagging, transcription). Other sites tried a full user-submitted tagging solution and it quickly degraded into garbage.
    That said, these are all solvable problems. I would ask you to take me at my word, that I'm working on it and that Penny Arcade believes in quality stuff. When we re-release the archives, it won't be crap.

    As an example, think about the quality of the forums and the mainsite over the past two years. How long has it been since someone has seen the "Error 500 - Internal Server Error / Server Busy" message? :wink:

    I recall watching the ustream thing they did a while back, and saw text being copied from an e-mail to the comic. Maybe you could ask them if that's a regular thing, and whether or not they would mind letting you index the contents.

    Gabe has a really bad habit of killing hard drives, so we only have photoshop raws for the most recent comics.

    Älphämönkëy on
  • Options
    Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Yes, someone really ought to make sure he stops doing that. *silly grin*

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    ...and when you are done with that; take a folding
    chair to Creation and then suplex the Void.
  • Options
    IvarIvar Oslo, NorwayRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I don't think he can.
    20080903.jpg

    Ivar on
  • Options
    MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MKR wrote: »
    LOTS OF WORDS
    Official answer? Yes, things are being done to fix this.
    Here are the problems:
    • The problem with searching is that it is very database intensive to do correctly, and returns poor results (yet surprisingly quick) when done incorrectly.
    • Forums and newsposts are very easy to search due to the simplicity of directly accessing the text, while comics require some form of human intervention (eg. tagging, transcription). Other sites tried a full user-submitted tagging solution and it quickly degraded into garbage.
    That said, these are all solvable problems. I would ask you to take me at my word, that I'm working on it and that Penny Arcade believes in quality stuff. When we re-release the archives, it won't be crap.

    As an example, think about the quality of the forums and the mainsite over the past two years. How long has it been since someone has seen the "Error 500 - Internal Server Error / Server Busy" message? :wink:

    I recall watching the ustream thing they did a while back, and saw text being copied from an e-mail to the comic. Maybe you could ask them if that's a regular thing, and whether or not they would mind letting you index the contents.

    Gabe has a really bad habit of killing hard drives, so we only have photoshop raws for the most recent comics.

    This can pull text out of PSDs. Might be worth a look.

    MKR on
  • Options
    ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Ivar wrote: »

    See also,
    20050810h.jpg

    ASimPerson on
Sign In or Register to comment.