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Subject: Why is the search function this bad? rss

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Rodney Clowsewitz
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For years I've laughed at how bad BGG's search function is but tonight I rage quit when I tried to type in "Game of Thrones". I tried many different combinations of words and capitalizations and recieved not one result. How is the internet's biggest boardgame database this unsearchable?
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It looks like the search is down (even Agricola is not working).
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Rodney Clowsewitz
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Yup, after searching some more I can't find anything so you're right. I take back my original post. No complaints on the speed of the admins though.
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Yup it ain't working.
 
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Herb
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This has been reported as a bug.

Game Search Function Not Working
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John James
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In the meantime just use your favorite everyday search engine.
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Jason Monroe
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Looks to be working now
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Eric Burden
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You know you can delete your post if you find it to be in error.
 
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Russ Williams
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turks1966 wrote:
You know you can delete your post if you find it to be in error.

That would be a Bad Idea since there are various comments after it which would remain, leaving it a thread with no original post.

It would then join the large number of goofy sometimes incomprehensible threads with discussion about a deleted original post:
https://boardgamegeek.com/tag/op_deleted
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Chris Johnson
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turks1966 wrote:
You know you can delete your post if you find it to be in error.


But it's not in error. In general.

He's mistaken about this event, but in general, for a site that purports to be a database, BGG's search is really, really poor. And has actually gotten less functional over the years. :/
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Russ Williams
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fnord23 wrote:
BGG's search is really, really poor.

My only serious personal complaint with it is that if I search for something with an exact match of the title, I really think that the exact matches should be returned first in the list, instead of sometimes buried far down after dozens of more popular ranked games which happen to have the exact search term somewhere in their longer title. Especially if it's a game I own, have rated and logged plays for.

E.g. search for the abstract strategy game SEVEN by typing the exact title "SEVEN". I have to scroll down four screens of false hits, including mostly obscure old stuff like Seven Keys, before I reach it.
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russ wrote:
fnord23 wrote:
BGG's search is really, really poor.

My only serious personal complaint with it is that if I search for something with an exact match of the title, I really think that the exact matches should be returned first in the list, instead of sometimes buried far down after dozens of more popular ranked games which happen to have the exact search term somewhere in their longer title. Especially if it's a game I own, have rated and logged plays for.

E.g. search for the abstract strategy game SEVEN by typing the exact title "SEVEN". I have to scroll down four screens of false hits, including mostly obscure old stuff like Seven Keys, before I reach it.


It might be faster to bookmark your collection and search within that, if it's something you know you own/have rated/have logged plays for.
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Russ Williams
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indigopotter wrote:
It might be faster to bookmark your collection and search within that, if it's something you know you own/have rated/have logged plays for.

Yep, I use various such workarounds. E.g. some games are in my quickbar. A handful of games I've halfway memorized their ID number in the BGG database. Etc... :/

(The easiest to remember ID number of these games I care about is Go's (only 3 digits) and now ironically for whatever reason it's now always returned first in the search results for "Go", yay, but the games with 6-digit ID numbers like SEVEN show up later...)
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I think the programmers can manually set top results for things like Go, but others they may not be aware of.
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Russ Williams
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indigopotter wrote:
I think the programmers can manually set top results for things like Go, but others they may not be aware of.

Interesting! I'd not heard about that; in the past I'd been told it was that games with enough ratings to be ranked would appear higher (and Go happens to be sufficiently highly ranked, compared to many games which coincidentally have "go" in their titles). But that doesn't explain why e.g. RED appears so low in the list of search results for "RED", even after many lower rated games which have "red" somewhere in their titles.

But of course I do not know, since the sorting policy for search results doesn't seem to be clearly explained anywhere.

Either way, instead of continually manually setting individual games to appear as higher results, it would surely be easier for the programmers to just one time change the code to return exact matches for the search term first in the list.
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Joakim Schön
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Hatepig wrote:
For years I've laughed at how bad BGG's search function is but tonight I rage quit when I tried to type in "Game of Thrones". I tried many different combinations of words and capitalizations and recieved not one result. How is the internet's biggest boardgame database this unsearchable?


I use to search with google. Google finds things in BGG much better then BGG itself.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Hatepig wrote:
For years I've laughed at how bad BGG's search function is but tonight I rage quit when I tried to type in "Game of Thrones". I tried many different combinations of words and capitalizations and recieved not one result. How is the internet's biggest boardgame database this unsearchable?

Apart from being a bug which I gather is the root cause of this little issue... search is software-wise a difficult job, and we've been spoilt rotten by the efforts of Google. This search engine has dedicated staff to optimise its algorithms to provide us with meaningful results nearly every time. Plug & play search libraries are nowhere near as smart and versatile as what Google offers. (At least when I looked at 'em several years ago.)

The best bet is always to run Google on BGG with a 'site:boardgamegeek.com' addition to whatever it is you want to search for.
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Moshe Callen
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Honestly though the search function is not good generally.
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Russ Williams
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cymric wrote:
search is software-wise a difficult job


But the specific useful technique of returning an exact match for your search term earlier in the list than inexact matches is not a difficult job software-wise.

russ (continues to beat his drum with vague optimism that one day this might happen at BGG)
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Maarten D. de Jong
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You think so? We need to qsort() lists according to vague specifications contained in even more nebulous callbacks. Then there's memory management to consider, constructor and destructor vagaries, exceptions must be properly contained and diverted... You're asking a lot here. But who knows, I've been reading up on thread-safe Rust because it seems to be the Hottest Thing Since Sliced Bread these days, so perhaps if Dan and Aldie switch over they can properly retire the headache of the race conditions inherent to people asking for sorted lists at the same time.
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Russ Williams
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cymric wrote:
You think so?

Yes, I do.

Quote:
We need to qsort() lists according to vague specifications contained in even more nebulous callbacks.

And I'd be very surprised if it was truly difficult to modify whatever the current comparison function being called by qsort() to compare 2 items to make it first do:

if exactly one of the 2 items is an exact match of the search term, then return a result that the exactly matching item is less than the non-exactly matching item.

And if not, carry on with the rest of the comparison function as usual (using average rating, geek rating, rank, number of voters, number of non-shill voters, alphabetical ordering of the title, Aldie's personal rating of the game, phase of the moon, and whatever the heck other data it currently uses to sort the results).
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Maarten D. de Jong
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(You do realise my reply was in jest, don't you...)
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russ wrote:
But of course I do not know, since the sorting policy for search results doesn't seem to be clearly explained anywhere.

Search results by default are sorted on number of page views for the game. You can check the stats pages for the found games to verify this.

Taking RED as an example, it has 10,711 page views. The result right above it, The Red Storm, has 10,947. The top result, First Martians, has 569,779.

It's not a bad choice for sorting in general, as it mostly gets more popular - and more likely to be searched for - results near the top, but of course it has this rather annoying failure scenario for game names that also appear as (common) words in the names of much more popular games. Probably the most expedient way to solve that particular problem is to introduce an "exact match" title search option.
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russ wrote:
fnord23 wrote:
BGG's search is really, really poor.

My only serious personal complaint with it is that if I search for something with an exact match of the title, I really think that the exact matches should be returned first in the list, instead of sometimes buried far down after dozens of more popular ranked games which happen to have the exact search term somewhere in their longer title. Especially if it's a game I own, have rated and logged plays for.

E.g. search for the abstract strategy game SEVEN by typing the exact title "SEVEN". I have to scroll down four screens of false hits, including mostly obscure old stuff like Seven Keys, before I reach it.


Agree.

My favorite problem searches are those for Star and *Star. Try inserting these links by the drop down menu for "Insert Geek Link" - you cannot do it. I have to manually type the id numbers.
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Hatepig wrote:
For years I've laughed at how bad BGG's search function is but tonight I rage quit when I tried to type in "Game of Thrones". I tried many different combinations of words and capitalizations and recieved not one result. How is the internet's biggest boardgame database this unsearchable?


For years I've never had a problem whatsoever with searching games on BGG. Type in what you're looking for, hit enter. Sometimes you need to be smarter than the "enter" button. Try searching "Magic" without being more specific.
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