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Developer Area/Specifications in Development/Search 2.0

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Revision as of 12:33, 25 January 2012 by Francois (talk | contribs) (clean up formatting)

This is a proposal for improving the search experience in Mahara. It covers searching for users, groups and pages (views).

There are a few elements in here which aren't directly related to search but that are designed to provide more metadata and therefore improve the quality of searches.

Revive search/solr/ plugin

Not sure about the state of this one but we're told it no longer works (see bug #680710)

Add user tags

These tags will be defined by each user in their profile area. They will be displayed as part of the Profile Info block.

Furthermore, these tags will be searchable in the "Find friends" and "Copy page" searches.

Add group tags

These tags will be defined by group owners in the group settings. They will be displayed as part of the Group Info block on the group homepage.

The tags will be searchable in the "Find groups" searches.

Add institution categories

These new categories will be defined at the system level by the site administrator and the UI will be similar to the one for defining group categories.

When creating a new institution, a new drop down of categories (including a "no category" category) will be shown if categories have been defined by the site admin.

5 Create a new "Page Tags" block

Users are already able to assign tags to the pages they create but these tags aren't displayed anywhere on these pages.

Landing pages for tags

When tags are displayed anywhere, it will be in the form of links that will lead to index/landing pages which will display other similar items.

There will therefore be three different landing pages displaying items:

  • one for all users tagged with a particular tag (can be optionally restricted to one of the institution you belong to)
  • one for publicly visible groups tagged with a particular tag
  • one for pages (views) accessible to the current user and tagged with a particular tag

Make the user search "AND" terms together

Currently, a user search for "John Doe" (without quotes) returns all users that match either "John" or "Doe". A much more useful results would be to return the users that match both terms.

This includes the "Find friends" search page as well as the owner portion of the "Copy page" search functionality.

Facetted search pages

(This may require the Solr search plugin and not have a fallback for the internal search plugin.)

Each of the following existing searches will include a few facets.

  • user search ("Find friends"): insitution, institution category, user tags, role (e.g. staff, admin, other)
  • group search ("Find groups"): group category, group type, group tags
  • page search ("Shared pages"): institution, institution category, page tags, user tags (user pages), user role (user pages only), group tags (group pages only), group category (group pages only)

Full-text search for "Shared pages"

(This may require the Solr search plugin and not have a fallback for the internal search plugin.)

This will allow users to search in the contents of pages that are visible to them:

  • artefact content (where it makes sense)
  • artefact description and tags
  • filenames
  • file contents (e.g. PDF, ODF, Word documents, text files)