CodePlex Search Features (RANT)

Nov 25, 2007 at 5:01 PM
I hate to rant, but rant I must. And to put it simply, the search features at CodePlex SUCK...that S, U, C, K....SUCK. No matter what I search for, or how I search, I always get 100% completely USELESS results. Searching projects, searching discussions, searching anything that has more than a page worth of results returns such random results that have absolutely no bearing on my keywords that, yes, they are USELESS. With all the advanced technology available all wrapped up, prepackaged, and ready to go (Lucene anyone? SQL Server Full Text Indexing and natural searches?), this is a completely unacceptable situation, especially for a site like CodePlex that hasa lot of content. Search is THE primary means by which we, that is users of the web, find and reduce the massive quantities of information to smaller, better quantified, and more useful packets of information we can actually consume.

SOMETHING needs to be done about search here at CodePlex. Something needs to be done SOON, because my willingness to keep comming here and waste hours trying to find something usefull is rapidly coming to a permanent end. PLEASE...were all programmers here...take some pride in your work, put some thought into it, and build a search engine that actually works.
Nov 25, 2007 at 5:25 PM
We use SQL Server Full Text indexing for all of our searches. Can you give an example of what you're searching for?
Nov 25, 2007 at 7:46 PM
Edited Nov 25, 2007 at 7:49 PM
Pretty much anything. Whatever I search for, I get huge numbers of results, in seemingly no particular order, none of which seem to have any specific relevance to my query. A simple example which I tried recently would be searching for "DocProject"...the results that come up are either not related at all to DocProject, or mildly related...a post in a discussion for some other project. Searching for DocProject should return DocProject's home page as the first result, then probably other DocProject pages and discussion threads. Anything else related to DocProject, say discussions in other projects, should come up last. Its not sufficient to just randomly dump the results of a search on a results need to be ranked so that the most relevant topics appear first, decreasing in relevance as you page through.

An example of the first page of results I get when I search for "DocProject":

AJAX Control Toolkit
Microsoft SQL Server Product Samples: Database
Microsoft SQL Server Samples & Community Projects
patterns & practices - Web Client Software Factory
My Web Pags Starter Kit
C4E Developer Kit
SharpMap - Open Source Mapping Engine for the 2.0 Common Language Runtime
Community Kit for SharePoint
patterns & practices - Enterprise Library

1-10 of 2845 Projects <-- WTF?
Nov 25, 2007 at 9:07 PM
I'm confused, I just tried doing a search for "DocProject" using the Search Projects box on the CodePlex home page and I got only one result and it was the DocProject project.

2845 projects is all of the projects on the site. It sounds like you are getting the normal project directory without any search criteria applied. Maybe you found a bug that's causing no search filter to be used? Can you describe the exact steps you are taking and what page URL you are searching on?
Nov 26, 2007 at 2:05 PM

I know this has nothing to do with DocProject in particular, but since it's the subject I thought I'd try to search for the term "DocProject" as well, just out of curiosity. It appears that jwanagel is correct: only one result, and that's DocProject. I tested it using the search box on CodePlex's home page. Even entering, DocSite, which does not appear in the project's title, does result in DocProject being the only match. So it does appear to work correctly :)

- Dave