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Are you a stupid programmer?
No, problem RealNetworks might hire you to make their search.
fischermx




msg:3136386
 3:43 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sometimes, I just don't know where to rant and this is a perfect place.
I'm a suscriber of Rhapsody, by RealNetworks, and I'm somehow pleased with the content, a lot of classical music and most pop artists are there.

Sadly, their search engine is totally screwed.
See:
1.- No advanced search. How on earth? The most idiotic piece of web application has a sort of advanced search where you can specify more details. Go and search Bach.

2.- Stupid assumptions. This is the one who make me start this comment. They almost got my head exploded. I wanted to search a particular piece of Bach, having the exact catalog number "BWV1001", I thought it would be a piece of cake, but guess what? In their infinit wisdom, their super-ingenious-smart search engine discarded the numbers on my search! Not even with quotes, it kept discarding my numbers. So, it returns the whole Bach catalogue multiplied by the number of performers so it was arround 8,000 results! :(

I can envision it. The programmer and the analyst in a room, then suddenly one of them, I don't want to blame one specifically says, "guess what to make things faster what about adding to the search a function to discard the numbers, anyway, what kind of idiot is going to put numbers in a song name?"
Then the other idiot says, "what a great idea!, let's do it".

 

percentages




msg:3136443
 5:03 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

LOL fischermx,

I don't visit the site you mentioned, but, I often visit the sites owned by the major "Home Improvement" stores in the US!

I guess the same programmers/analysts developed "search" for them all! It also drives me crazy!

I know exactly the part number of the router bit I want....search at their site(s) reveals nothing.....then I search by category....nothing.....then by brand....nothing. Then I look for something hardly related for another reason.....you guessed it....there is the dang router bit I knew they stocked all the time in the search results.

Happens with just about everything I search for at those "DIY" sites!

What is worse is that if you search for the "part #" in Google/Yahoo/MSN....etc., they often find the right page.....but when you click you get Java/PHP/ASP redirected to the "Home Page".......Go Figure!

rocknbil




msg:3137395
 7:14 pm on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you dig around some of these other forums, a lot of this is "by design."

Beginning with no advanced search: as soon as you allow the end user to take control of anything other than a link, you open the door for user error. User error will almost always be interpreted as web site error which equals "lost sale."

There was a recent post where someone mentioned a big part of their problem is their search engine did not do "smart" searching and they were losing a lot of leads this way. I don't remember the exact example, but something to the effect that a search for "webmaster" would not find "web master" or vice versa.

Secondly with an advanced search, this allows the end user to ELIMINATE some of the results. Marketers don't want this. They want to drag you past every single item before finding the one you want.

One of my wife's wholesaler sites makes her just livid. Thousands of products with no search. In any given category you have to click through 50 - 100 static pages to find what you are looking for. No sitemap, no search. This is by design. I don't care what anyone says, a drill-down only scheme is a pain in the a** for the end user.

This concept relates to the number removal thing. The abberation you experienced was no probably fault of the programmer, it was very likely a directive by his boss or by the marketing department. :-)

The question is, did it work, did you bear the frustration and buy anyway? And did you pick up an extra item or two on the way?

Honesty now! :-)

fischermx




msg:3137823
 6:45 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Totally agreed about all your points.
But this case is not about an eCommerce site, but a songs catalog!
I'm already a suscriber paying $10 a month to listen online and I can't get my searches done correctly :(

jchance




msg:3139727
 2:15 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just to be fair - programmers typically make no decisions on how things work on large ecommerce websites.

They are simply handed a set of use cases and told to make it work like this...

If you want to place blame, blame the marketing folks who write the use cases.

rj87uk




msg:3139745
 2:21 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

fischermx, have you left some "feedback" for them?

willybfriendly




msg:3139754
 2:29 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

what kind of idiot is going to put numbers in a song name?

867-5309

WBF

fischermx




msg:3139822
 3:16 pm on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just to be fair - programmers typically make no decisions on how things work on large ecommerce websites.

Yes, I know, but it was to you get the idea.

fischermx, have you left some "feedback" for them?

Yes, of course, they have not replied yet.


what kind of idiot is going to put numbers in a song name?
867-5309
WBF

I know about that song. I DO KNOW there are song with numbers, specially in classical music where they include a catalog number. I was parodying a talk in the analysis room.

rocknbil




msg:3140443
 12:41 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

867-5309

90210

OU812

:-)

httpwebwitch




msg:3140710
 6:59 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

that would drive be insane.
numbers in classical music titles are essential - maybe you could find Beethoven's "fifth" if it was indexed that way, as text, but Chopin's Prelude no.8 is just "8"

Leosghost




msg:3140835
 10:27 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

90125

fischermx




msg:3141024
 3:17 pm on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

that would drive be insane.
numbers in classical music titles are essential - maybe you could find Beethoven's "fifth" if it was indexed that way, as text, but Chopin's Prelude no.8 is just "8"

Good idea, I tested it and still no good results.
Looking for
BWV1001
"BWV1001"
BWV 1001
"BWV 1001"
Get me all the 8,289 tracks with BWV,

1001
"1001"
Searching for numbers alone fetch 0 records.

aleksl




msg:3144181
 9:32 pm on Nov 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I bet they use SQL Server as DB....because in SQL Server there's this wonderful feature called Full Text Search (FTS). And when that feature is used, you can't have numbers as tokens in search because FTS will crash.

At least it was in SQL Server 2000.

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