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Subject: advanced search for ancient games rss

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Rahul Chandra
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When searching for games from before 1700, for example, games from BCE do not show. Presumably the form treats the blank as 0. Note that searching for games from -9999 (leaving the maximum year blank) will not treat the blank as 0.

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rchandra wrote:
When searching for games from before 1700, for example, games from BCE do not show. Presumably the form treats the blank as 0. Note that searching for games from -9999 (leaving the maximum year blank) will not treat the blank as 0.

I'm not seeing the problem. I just did a search for games from 0 to 1700 and got a list starting with Chess (1475). Changing the parameters to -4000 to 1700, I got a list starting with Go (-2200).
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Russ Williams
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Sphere wrote:
rchandra wrote:
When searching for games from before 1700, for example, games from BCE do not show. Presumably the form treats the blank as 0. Note that searching for games from -9999 (leaving the maximum year blank) will not treat the blank as 0.

I'm not seeing the problem. I just did a search for games from 0 to 1700 and got a list starting with Chess (1475).

You explicitly entered a number as the first field in Year Published Range.

Leave it blank as OP describes and try the search, and the first field is apparently defaulting to 0, so no games from BC are returned, when one would expect to see all games published before the explicitly entered second year to be returned.
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But why consider that a bug? It clearly wants two entries, and easy enough to assign -4000 or some such as I did if you want to go back indefinitely. I think this is the site design equivalent of rules lawyering; perhaps it would be a hair more friendly if it worked with one input, but it works fine as is and anyone who can't divine how to get the result really isn't trying. With all the major work going on, I can't imagine diverting a programmer to deal with this.
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Adrian Schmidt
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Sphere wrote:
But why consider that a bug? It clearly wants two entries, and easy enough to assign -4000 or some such as I did if you want to go back indefinitely. I think this is the site design equivalent of rules lawyering; perhaps it would be a hair more friendly if it worked with one input, but it works fine as is and anyone who can't divine how to get the result really isn't trying. With all the major work going on, I can't imagine diverting a programmer to deal with this.


Being a software developer myself, this is clearly a bug. It might not be a very critical bug, but it's a bug non-the-less, and users should be applauded for submitting bug reports. It's the job of the developer and/or product owner to decide whether resources should be assigned to fixing the bug.
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Russ Williams
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Sphere wrote:
But why consider that a bug? It clearly wants two entries,

That's not clear at all. A query like "every game published before 1900" seems pretty reasonable and natural to me.

Especially since the queries like "every game published after 2000" actually work as expected, instead of inappropriately setting an empty upper value field to 0!

Quote:
easy enough to assign -4000 or some such as I did if you want to go back indefinitely.

And it should be equally easy enough for a programmer to change the code once so that it assigns -4000 instead of assigning 0 for an empty lower value field, thus saving a lot of time (and confusion) for many users many times through the rest of BGG's lifetime.
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SpecularRain wrote:
Being a software developer myself, this is clearly a bug. It might not be a very critical bug, but it's a bug non-the-less, and users should be applauded for submitting bug reports. It's the job of the developer and/or product owner to decide whether resources should be assigned to fixing the bug.

Not that it means anything, but I spent a couple of decades wearing the lead software designer / developer hat for high tech companies in the semiconductor industry. We sold high end equipment with 7 figure price tags, and consequently had a small number of very important customers. That meant we had to be responsive to even small requests on the face of which didn't make a lot of sense.

BGG is a very different situation, with a very large and diverse customer base and a programming staff that I imagine is buried in trying to keep pace with thousands of demands and requests. I imagine it's hard enough keeping up with ones that aren't easily solvable by the user. Bombarding them with minutiae is counter-productive, and to me at least this thread falls in that category.
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russ wrote:
Sphere wrote:
But why consider that a bug? It clearly wants two entries,

That's not clear at all. A query like "every game published before 1900" seems pretty reasonable and natural to me.

Two input boxes presented side by side makes it clear to me, but the clarity is subjective.

russ wrote:
Especially since the queries like "every game published after 2000" actually work as expected, instead of inappropriately setting an empty upper value field to 0!

That's serendipity, not design. The code was written by someone who assumed two inputs without validating them, and obviously that could have been done better. But I'd bet a large sum that everyone involved in this conversation was able to divine the problem and resolve it by filling in the other date in next to no time.

Whatever; responding to bug reports is no longer a part of my life, and for that I am thankful.


[edit] One final thought: I'm not saying the search functionality on BGG is good. My view is that the search code here is so deficient that it's a waste of energy and resources to tweak this bit and that bit. I could name another half dozen small problems without pausing for breath. Cobble in fixes for all of them and you'd still have a second rate search engine.

The smart move for the developers would be to build a new, modern search capability from the ground up. I've seen this phenomenon in the past, where people are too busy patching bad code to step back and create a good foundation from which bugs could be fixed globally. Patching nooks and crannies is a waste of time.
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Rahul Chandra
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If they don't think it's worth fixing, they won't fix it. But telling people not to report bugs because they are trivial leads to people not caring about the site with the patchwork of workarounds. It's like clearing graffiti/litter - or reporting typos and "clear" misunderstandings in rulebooks.
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You can post what you please. I can too of course - if I didn't care about the site I wouldn't bother - but I have no illusions about controlling anything. I wouldn't have posted this bug report myself, and I've tried to explain why. That's simply offered as an opinion, nothing more.

Nobody would dream of putting me in charge of clearing graffiti/litter anyway (even if there were a snowball's chance I'd accept, and there isn't). It would be like Judge Dredd enforcing Sturgeon's Law - 90% of what you see here would go up in smoke. devil
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Russ Williams
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FWIW I too used to work in the software business, and this bug seems an obvious classic example of a "low-hanging fruit" (extremely easy and fast to fix and test, and giving immediate visible benefit). I believe that at every company I worked at, it would have been fixed very quickly once it was reported.

And in any case, it is indeed better for bugs to be reported than for them not to be reported.
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Derek H
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russ wrote:
FWIW I too used to work in the software business, and this bug seems an obvious classic example of a "low-hanging fruit"...

As a still-active software developer, I have come to really, really hate that phrase. yuk
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Selamat pagi,
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The preferred term is "edible plant matter in the vertical convenience zone"
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Derek H
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Kaffedrake wrote:
The preferred term is "edible plant matter in the vertical convenience zone"

Yeah; I just love bull**** management phrases.
 
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