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php.net search improvements
The search capabilities of php.net require improvement.
How it works today
Most of the work search performs is done offsite via yahoo.com although many features are internal too.
- There are many different types of search (function list, online documentation, entire mirror, etc.)
- The url search (php.net/foo) performs alternative actions (see errors.inc) including optional use of the sqlite database
- Several file_exists() checks are performed, but using errors.inc and/or sqlite decreases the chances of this
- Typically a Yahoo search is performed for the php.net domain index
Some files of interest (todo: explain each files purpose):
How it may work tomorrow
A few possible changes:
- Add a mashup search result option (default?) that both suggests functions and does a mirror search
- Integrate errors.inc magic into the search
- Track when we choose the page for them (ex: search for strlen goes to its functions page) and offer a “Did you mean foo() or bar()?” snippet
- Write an sqlite wrapper so we won't require ref.sqlite (thus allowing more mirrors to utilize the sqlite based search)
- Take into account language when doing a search (do not show fr/ results when language en/ is chosen)
- Consider alternative my.php options including preferred default search method
- Use SearchMonkey results to present meaningful information about search hits
- On May 5, 2009 the default search type changed from 'function list' to 'online documentation' but after feedback was changed back within 3 days
- This topic should also be discussed while the site is redesigned (2009)
- Roughly 17% of mirrors have pdo_sqlite but not ext/sqlite (we only use ext/sqlite currently)