[RFC] Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

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keith10456
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[RFC] Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by keith10456 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:08 pm

I'm a bit ignorant to the coding aspect of phpBB so please extend your patience...

Any way possible to make it so the Search function of phpBB (v3.1 or above) to index (search) the content that's in extensions and/or custom phpBB pages?

For example: Lets say I had a Photo Gallery extension installed. Could the current Search be coded so that it will also include information from the Gallery in the search results? Of course the developer of the respective extension would have to include that ability in their extension to plugin to the Search function...

I ask because this would make the Search function a true global search and definitely more of an asset to the website visitor, members and admins.

I'll be remiss if I didn't mention that since "Search" is in the header, most website visitors automatically assume that using it will search all content that's on the website (and not just the Forum).
Last edited by keith10456 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:59 am

I'm guessing that the default search plug-ins just index stuff in the database (and maybe only certain parts of the database), so finding text on custom pages (or even text in the "chrome" on the page) wouldn't be possible. You could always use Google's search tool on your site, of course, but how effective it would be finding posts depends on how often Google crawls your site.

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by keith10456 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:16 pm

Pony99CA wrote:I'm guessing that the default search plug-ins just index stuff in the database (and maybe only certain parts of the database), so finding text on custom pages (or even text in the "chrome" on the page) wouldn't be possible. You could always use Google's search tool on your site, of course, but how effective it would be finding posts depends on how often Google crawls your site.

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I currently use Google search on my site. It does a great good job of finding all content including content that's in the Forum due to the Site Map Mod :D

So it is possible to have the Search search certain mod database content (if the Search and the mod was setup that way)? It appears so...

In reference to Custom Pages, from what I'm getting from you is it's not possible for the Search to index Custom Page content because the text on the pages isn't in the database - correct? If so, then the only way it's possible is if the Custom Pages were crawled, and indexed (into the database) - correct?
Last edited by keith10456 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by Nicofuma » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:38 pm

Currently the search system does not allow this kind of search without a major rework, so it can't be done for the 3.1.0. And for the 3.2.0... i can not say anything, i have no idea about what will be done.
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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by keith10456 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:07 pm

Nicofuma wrote:Currently the search system does not allow this kind of search without a major rework, so it can't be done for the 3.1.0. And for the 3.2.0... i can not say anything, i have no idea about what will be done.
Agreed (about 3.1)...

My overall point is this:

Search is in the header... Most people when they go to a website and see and use search, they're expecting it to return content from all over the website. They don't think, I have to use the Search in this section of the site for this, or I have to go to that section of the site and then use the search for that. Unfortunately, currently, that's how phpBB is setup. I think for future versions this needs to be addressed.

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by DavidIQ » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:30 pm

Unless phpBB is powering the entire site or there is some other form of strong integration with the site's overall look and the forum, the search box will not show everywhere though.
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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by keith10456 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:04 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Unless phpBB is powering the entire site or there is some other form of strong integration with the site's overall look and the forum, the search box will not show everywhere though.
I haven't done an exhaustive study of this but for most of the phpBB installations that I've seen phpBB is powering the entire site. As a result, the Search does show everywhere.

I know phpBB wasn't originally designed to power the entire website of admins but because you guys (devs & mod/ext creators) are so good at what you do that's how it ended-up. It even powers phpBB.com :-)

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by EXreaction » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:55 pm

This change would require significant API changes. TBH, I'd rather throw out our entire search system and use another library--our search system doesn't really work that great and is a very large and complex chunk of code.

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Re: RFC: Ability For Search To Index/Search Exts & Custom Pages

Post by keith10456 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:57 pm

EXreaction wrote:This change would require significant API changes. TBH, I'd rather throw out our entire search system and use another library--our search system doesn't really work that great and is a very large and complex chunk of code.
That being said, I take it that something like this (the request) would be more suited for 3.2 or 4.0. Keeping my fingers cross for 3.2 :)

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