[RFC] ACP Search

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EXreaction
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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by EXreaction » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:09 am

The problem with that is that there are only so many people available to develop such things. An ACP search system would be extremely complex and require a lot of changes to the 3.x branch. There are many other features that would be less work and are more desirable by the majority of users.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by KnocksX » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:18 am

Agreed re there being more desired features than this. However, I feel like the approach of shoving things under 4.0 equates to burying an RFC, since 4.0 development is minimal, if exists at all. If there is a person who can keep an RFC alive even by making minimal contributions, that would make the project overall more lively.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by EXreaction » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:59 am

Hopefully development will get started on 4.0 after 3.1 is released. 3.1 is the priority now and everyone wants it out as soon as possible. A lot has been done lately and hopefully within the next couple of weeks the biggest items needed for 3.1 will be merged into the develop branch. Once those items are merged, all the other final items can be taken care of and we might see a Beta of 3.1.

Because of the way the ACP code is written, there is really no way to add search functionality for it, someone would need to come up with a new design for the entire ACP system and rewrite it all from scratch (it would never be done in time for 3.1). While putting it off until 4.0 is basically like dumping the RFC for now, once things pick up, if this is requested, I'm sure it can be figured out then.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:47 am

EXreaction wrote: Because of the way the ACP code is written, there is really no way to add search functionality for it, someone would need to come up with a new design for the entire ACP system and rewrite it all from scratch (it would never be done in time for 3.1). While putting it off until 4.0 is basically like dumping the RFC for now, once things pick up, if this is requested, I'm sure it can be figured out then.
I'm pretty experienced using phpBB, and I sometimes still forget exactly where a setting is.

Would it be that hard to add a language file that maps "keywords" (basically the same names used by the normal language files prefixed with something like "SRCH_") to ACP breadcrumbs and URLs (including intra-page links, like #section)? When somebody did an ACP search, you'd search the ACP language array(s) for hits, prefix the hit keys with "SRCH_" and try to retrieve the breadcrumbs and URLs. If any of those didn't exist, those results would be dropped from the list and the remaining links would be displayed to the user as follows:

Code: Select all

<a href="ACP_Page_URL#section">breadcrumb text</a>
The ACP might need ID attributes added to the various sections (if they aren't there already), but that shouldn't be hard.

As this uses basically standard language files, ACP MODs/extensions should be able to add their information, too.

This wouldn't be a normal SQL-like search, of course. For the first iteration, you could ignore options (like AND/OR and wildcards) and just match on all words entered by the user. But no new ACP design is needed, and I bet that it could be implemented in weeks (not much longer than it takes to translate the ACP language files).

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EXreaction
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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by EXreaction » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:29 am

It might not be hard, but it'd be quite the job making all those entries, plus that would only work if the user does not modify their ACP modules much.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:08 pm

EXreaction wrote:It might not be hard, but it'd be quite the job making all those entries, plus that would only work if the user does not modify their ACP modules much.
If modules were removed, that shouldn't be too difficult to handle. If modules were moved, that might be more difficult, but do many people really mess with modules that much? If so, you could probably update the mapping array with the new URLs. Or you could always punt and say that moving modules would cause ACP Search to return misleading results. ;)

Anyway, I think that if somebody is advanced enough to be messing with modules (I've never bothered with them), they probably don't need an ACP Search capability anyway. :D

As for the amount of work, there appear to be about 86 modules (basically the number of links you'd need, I think). If the ACP links are created dynamically by module management, you may not even need to gather the URLs yourself; you could have them constructed dynamically and use template-style variables to hold them and just put the variable names in the mapping array.

Once you have those, you'd basically be translating the 19 ACP Language files. If you expect translators to do that much work (and more) to create a new language pack, is it really too much work for this?

I'm not saying that it's trivial, of course, just that it wouldn't involve a complete redesign of the ACP.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by EXreaction » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:47 pm

You'd need more than a single link for every module. A search functionality could be built on a very basic level searching the module names (and maybe the settings in acp_board), which I would think would function about the same as that option. But to have a search where you could actually find most things, you'd have to add key words and other text from each module page.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:51 pm

EXreaction wrote:You'd need more than a single link for every module. A search functionality could be built on a very basic level searching the module names (and maybe the settings in acp_board), which I would think would function about the same as that option. But to have a search where you could actually find most things, you'd have to add key words and other text from each module page.
That's why I proposed searching the ACP language arrays -- those already have the words in them. So the searching would work for whatever language your ACP was displayed in.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by EXreaction » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:45 pm

Yes, the only problem is that there is no way to go from language string to what page it is displayed on.

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Re: [RFC] ACP Search

Post by Pony99CA » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:16 am

EXreaction wrote:Yes, the only problem is that there is no way to go from language string to what page it is displayed on.
That's why my proposal called for a second language file (or files) that parallel the real language files and map to URLs. ;-)

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