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moderated Re: "Find or Create a Group" page does not do what it looks like it was designed to do #bug

Duane
 

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 09:35 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
It looks like the intention of this page was to allow *filtering* by a search term and *display* the results by one of the four criteria. But it in fact allows the sort only by name.
I did a little digging.  It looks like everything could be made to almost work as you suggest by including the p=xxxxx parameter for the page that you're on (Popular, Active, Newest, By Name) as part of the Search box script.  The only glitch is that the By Name page still returns things as reverse ASCII sort.  Works fine on the other pages.

Duane


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

 

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 06:42 AM, Duane wrote:
Although the results ARE reverse sorted by name, removing the "(by Name)" designation on the results page may prevent confusion.
See my other thread with the bug report. When you don't enter a search term and click "by name," it's alpha (not reverse alpha) order so that's inconsistent. Probably the search does display the elastisearch results, but that needs to be fixed.

More importantly, I think we've all been misconstruing the way the search page was supposed to work (or looks like it was supposed to work). We've been confusing "by name" with the entering of a search term, possibly because the page jumps to the "by name" sorting criterion the minute you enter a search term. That's part of the bug report.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

 

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 07:59 AM, ro-esp wrote:
Seems to me that we have a consensus that whoever is doing the search should have the options to get the results ordered by biggest, smallest, newest, oldest, busiest or quietest
And all of that (except for "quietest") I'm 99% sure was Mark's intention in creating the search page. Note that the search box stays available when you've clicked on any of those criteria, as if you were meant to be able to do that. It's just that when you actually enter a search term, the sort selection jumps down to "by name." This seems to be either a bug or a part that Mark just forgot to implement. I've now posted this as a bug in a separate topic.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

ro-esp
 

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 01:24 AM, Curt Gowan wrote:

On the one hand, established group owners want the most active groups to
surface.
On the other hand, the owners of groups that are starting out want a chance to
find their audience.
On the third hand, the operators of a service like LinkedIn or GIO don't want
the first-movers to dominate -- and therefore prevent growth, change, and
innovation on the site.
Seems to me that we have a consensus that whoever is doing the search should have the options to get the results ordered by biggest, smallest, newest, oldest, busiest or quietest.


Is there a reason to worry about people trying to cheat the system?

groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo


moderated "Find or Create a Group" page does not do what it looks like it was designed to do #bug

 

After all the discussion in two other threads about the problems with the "by name" search, I have come to conclusion that the intention of the search page was good, and consisted of precisely what I'd been asking for in the other threads, namely: seach on a term and display the results via one of the criteria on the left ("most popular," "most active," "newest," "by name"). However, it simply contains a major bug. The bug is that you can only search on a term if you display by name. If you try to enter a search term and use either of the other three sort orders, your choice jumps back down to "by name."

It looks like the intention of this page was to allow *filtering* by a search term and *display* the results by one of the four criteria. But it in fact allows the sort only by name.

Within the "by name" sort, the smaller bug is that the display is isorted by reverse alpha on the name instead of alpha and distinguishes between lowercase vs. capitalized names. It should sort by alpha (as it does when no search term is entered) and ignore upper vs lowercase.

If these bugs (the big one and the smaller one) are fixed, all the discussion the other two threads about about the search problems
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/topic/what_is_the_algorithm_for_the/78334723?p=,,,100,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,100,2,0,78334723 and
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/topic/how_to_make_your_group/78422972?p=,,,100,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,100,2,0,78422972
goes away except for the suggestion to prioritize groups with the search term in the actual name rather than just the description. That part would be a #suggestion.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

Duane
 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 06:19 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
(1) Simplest quick fix for now: Remove the text "By Name" as a possible search criterion (because the results are not "By Name" relative to the search term anyway) and simply let users enter a term. The search is currently *not* "by name." Only the results are "by name" in the display order.
Although the results ARE reverse sorted by name, removing the "(by Name)" designation on the results page may prevent confusion.

(2) At least change the reverse alpha order display to alpha order and drop the criterion about upper or lowercase because it's meaningless.
It's quite possible that the order shown is the default for Elasticsearch on the database being used, so it's not a matter of dropping it, but adding a new parameter.

(4) Best solution: once a user enters a search term, let them ask for a sort by "most popular," "most active," etc., just as appears on the left now. Essentially, they could click on one of those criteria only, or a search term only, or both.
Then the problem once again becomes "What is the default results order?"  I can only speak for myself, but I seldom go beyond the initial search and usually wouldn't bother clicking on additional options.  There's no way to know which result might be the one I'm looking for, so going through the default list is fine with me.  This is where an Advanced Search button (bringing up a box or page) next to the Search box might lead some folks to dig a little deeper.

Duane


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

 

I think there's actually a fundamental mistake or mismatch in the search groups page and I'm calling this a bug, or even bugs, plural. You can search by most popular, most active, newest, or by name, all without entering a search term. But (1) If you select "by name" and don't enter a search term, you get all groups in alphabetical order. Yet if you select "by name" and enter a search term, you get groups containing the term (in their name or description) in *reverse* alpha order. And (2) if you select either of the other three sort criteria, and try to enter a search term, the page jumps back to "by name" and you get the behavior we've been discussing here and in the other thread. Aside from the issues described previously, I think the page is wrongly designed in these two senses, or is buggy. I'm not sure which.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

 

There are certainly ways to make more people happy, both group owners and group hungers. Simply allow the left-side display criteria to include filtering by a search term. Everyone can choose their own criterion: most active, most popular, whatever. I'd even argue, on the other side of this, that providing those criteria on their own, *without* the ability to include filtering by a search term, which is the case now, is relatively useless - just as allowing search on a term (called "by name" but not really "by name") without those left-side sort orders is useless. The two need each other.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

Glenn Glazer
 

I have two generic thoughts on the subject:

1) What one searches on and what one orders by do not have to be the same thing. One could full imagine searching for "dogs" and ordering by number of members or some such. This leads to letting the user specify the sort order. Many UIs do this by displaying the data in columns with a little triangle at the top to specify sorting ascending or descending by that column.

2) A refinement of 1) is that it is sometimes useful to sort by multiple columns.  E.g., sort by number of members numerically descending and then by name in alpha order ascending. The search window in Thunderbird is an example of this.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

Duane
 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 06:24 PM, Curt Gowan wrote:
On the one hand, established group owners want the most active groups to surface. 
On the other hand, the owners of groups that are starting out want a chance to find their audience. 
On the third hand, the operators of a service like LinkedIn or GIO don't want the first-movers to dominate -- and therefore prevent growth, change, and innovation on the site.
I think that pretty much sums it up.  Each group owner has their own preference as to how the results will be sorted and there's no way to make everyone happy.  Work on the search mechanism would only give users more options on how to sort the results.

Duane


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 04:27 PM, Duane wrote:
Taken as a whole it makes perfect sense if you understand how databases and searches work.
LOL I spent about 10 years doing query optimazation for a database company. Thanks for the great info.

 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: How to make your group findable. #misc

 

You still have all the issues. A group called Sports whose description states "This group deals with all sports except golf" will display above your Goling for Cats group.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

Duane
 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 04:37 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
How Duane can argue first that the order is strictly alphabetical, and later that it has something to do with the search term, is a mystery to me.
That's not conflicting information.  Taken as a whole it makes perfect sense if you understand how databases and searches work. I stand by both statements.

Duane


moderated How to make your group findable. #misc

 

Made some quick tests with my "crash test dummy" group.
The bad news: Groups that have every one of the requested list of search words in the group name or description are displayed in reverse alpha order by the group email address
The good news: GIO prevents the old-school search engine optimization tricks, such as repeating the search term or playing with fonts and images.

This is not a simple issue.
Back when LinkedIn Groups was active, we group owners had extensive discussions with product management about this.
On the one hand, established group owners want the most active groups to surface. 
On the other hand, the owners of groups that are starting out want a chance to find their audience. 
On the third hand, the operators of a service like LinkedIn or GIO don't want the first-movers to dominate -- and therefore prevent growth, change, and innovation on the site.

Anyhow, workaround for group owners: 
Include all synonyms and related terms and phrases in the Group Description. 

For example to get my "Golfing for Cats" test group to show up in the list of golf groups, I had to add "golf" to the description. 
Now, that group is the only one that comes up both ways -- searching for either "golf" or "golfing." 

Added the less-common term "golf links" -- only one other group comes up when searching for "golf links."

--cg


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 03:31 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
Could someone word this well enough to make this a suggestion? I'll
chime in with my support.
Sure. But I'm not sure we should start a new topic for that. Here's what I would say to sum it all up.

Currently, results of a "By Name" group search are displayed in an order that does not relate to the search term, namely: reverse alpha order according to the group name, with lowercase names first. There is no prioritization of (a) groups whose names contain the search term over groups whose descriptions  only (rather than the name) contain the search term; (b) any criterion relating to the search term vis-a-vis the group name (e.g., the search term appears earlier in the group name or description than in others); or (c) any other criterion such as activity level, recency, popularity, etc. Once the user selects "By Name," those other criteria go away.

This results in some odd, unexpected, and often unhelpful behavior to both users looking for groups dealing with a particular subject, and group owners who see their groups that deal with the subject of the term display below, or even pages after, groups who don't really deal with the subject of the search term.

Examples:

- If the search term is "bananas," a group called "jungle" whose description includes the sentence "This group does not deal with bananas" will display before a group whose name is AllAboutBananas.

- A group with 10 members and no activity for the past three years will display above a highly active group simply because the smaller, inactive group's name comes later in alphabetic order than the active group, or is lowercase instead of capitalized.

My suggestions, in increasing order of complexity and usefulness:

(1) Simplest quick fix for now: Remove the text "By Name" as a possible search criterion (because the results are not "By Name" relative to the search term anyway) and simply let users enter a term. The search is currently *not* "by name." Only the results are "by name" in the display order.

(2) At least change the reverse alpha order display to alpha order and drop the criterion about upper or lowercase because it's meaningless.

(3) Prioritize groups whose names actually contain the search term over groups whose names do not contain the term but whose descriptions do.

(4) Best solution: once a user enters a search term, let them ask for a sort by "most popular," "most active," etc., just as appears on the left now. Essentially, they could click on one of those criteria only, or a search term only, or both.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

Donald Hellen
 

Could someone word this well enough to make this a suggestion? I'll
chime in with my support.

It's not a bug as such as it was set up this crazy way.

Donald

On Sat, 21 Nov 2020 14:37:51 -0800, "J_Catlady"
<j.olivia.catlady@gmail.com> wrote:

It doesn't seem to matter in what order elastisearch returns the results, because as Duane himself and others have said, and as we have seen with our own eyes, the display order is turned into strictly alphabetical order (actually reverse alphabetical) with lower case names coming first.

----------------------------------------------------
Some ham radio groups you may be interested in:
https://groups.io/g/ICOM https://groups.io/g/Ham-Antennas
https://groups.io/g/HamRadioHelp https://groups.io/g/Baofeng
https://groups.io/g/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 02:24 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
the relationship between the search results order and the actual search term are not necessarily due to Elasticsearch, as you asserted.
And it seems that it in fact is not.
Of course, there's one person who could answer this in 2 seconds, and that is the person I addressed in my original message in this thread. :)
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

 

It doesn't seem to matter in what order elastisearch returns the results, because as Duane himself and others have said, and as we have seen with our own eyes, the display order is turned into strictly alphabetical order (actually reverse alphabetical) with lower case names coming first. 

"I believe the default is descending lower case, followed by descending upper case, according to group name.  For example:
water
balloon
Water
Balloon"

https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/26868

It is clear that the display order bears no relationship to the search term and I find that problematic. How Duane can argue first that the order is strictly alphabetical, and later that it has something to do with the search term, is a mystery to me. Unless, Duane, you changed your mind about the alpha order? I have played around with these searches for a couple days now and have seen nothing to the contrary. It seems to me that you were right in your very first response here. I found it unbelievable at first, but it does seem to be the case that groups.io pays no attention to the search term itself when displaying the results.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

Duane
 

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 04:24 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
I'm simply pointing out that the relationship between the search results order and the actual search term are not necessarily due to Elasticsearch, as you asserted.
True, it's totally dependent on what order the database is saved.  Elasticsearch will list them in the order they're retrieved from the search, since all results will have a score of 1, unless some processing is done.

Duane


moderated Re: What is the algorithm for the display order of groups after entering a keyword search? #misc

Glenn Glazer
 

On Sat, 11/21 14:18, Duane wrote:
On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 03:52 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
But that order is effectively random.
Not completely.  It has to be searching the (listed) group-name/description database which is apparently stored in ASCII order.  Since the results page shows By Name, then it's doing a bottom up search.  Anyone with a bit of computer programming experience knows that in ASCII all of the upper case characters come before all of the lower case characters which is the reverse of the order the results are listed - bottom up.

Duane

If the search is specified without a sort order, then elasticsearch does not promise an ordering to the result set as that SO link pointed out. As J_Catlady pointed out, the code could very easily be doing post-processing on the result set. What we see are the final results, none of us have the ability to determine which part of the code is doing what.

I'm not arguing that the end effect is desirable. I definitely agree there is room for improvement. I'm simply pointing out that the relationship between the search results order and the actual search term are not necessarily due to Elasticsearch, as you asserted.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est

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