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

Mark,
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern. Thanks.
--
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

Duane

On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 11:20 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern.
I believe the default is descending lower case, followed by descending upper case, according to group name.  For example:
water
balloon
Water
Balloon

Duane

Duane,

No comprendo. What’s the search term in that? And is that display top to bottom? Are you saying that if the search term is “balloon,” then groups with balloon capitalized in their name are displayed below, not above, groups with that word in all lowercase? If so I don’t understand the rationale. And this says nothing about other criteria - activity, number of members, various dates (creation, etc). I’m sure these exist.???

On Nov 18, 2020, at 5:39 AM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

﻿On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 11:20 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
In "Find or Create a Group," if you enter a search term, what is the algorithm for the display order? I can't discern any pattern.
I believe the default is descending lower case, followed by descending upper case, according to group name.  For example:
water
balloon
Water
Balloon

Duane

--
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

Duane

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 07:53 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
No comprendo. What’s the search term in that?
It was a hypothetical example.  If all of the group descriptions contained the word FUN, and those were the only groups that did, that's the order they'd show up, top to bottom.  It would include the other information normally found with a group listing.  The results page shows as Publicly Listed Groups (by Name).  For an actual example, use the word GIFT (upper or lower case is fine.)  The sort order is probably a function of the way Elasticsearch finds things.

Duane

Thanks but I still don't understand the example. Hopefully Mark will explain. It seems that my group is appearing lower and lower in the ordering (and is now on page 2) for groups containing the word "feline," despite having more activity than some others appearing closer to the top, more members, etc. It seemed to me for awhile that maybe the newer groups are displaying first despite less activity (etc) but that does not seem to be the case, either. It seemed that maybe groups with the word "feline" appearing in the title, rather than in just the description, are displaying first, but that also does not seem to be the case. I cannot discern any criterion and that's why I'm asking Mark.
--
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

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 06:14 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
and that's why I'm asking Mark
...what the algorithm is. If it's just Elastisearch, then that implies there's nothing about group population, creation date, last activity date, etc. And that seems wrong.

--
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

For example, a group without the word "feline" in the title (upper or lower case), with these stats
"32 Members, 6 Topics, Private Archive, Restricted, Last Post: Sep 10"

now displays third. Whereas my group, with an order of magnitude more members and thousand more topics, and with last post yesterday, does not show up until you scroll to page 2. The smaller group *was* created later than my group (10/30/19) but that does not explain its high order, either, because a group showing up above it was created five years ago.

I can't see any rhyme or reason to the display order and am concerned that my group is showing up lower and lower down for some unknown reason, and despite a lot of activity, more members than some others, created before some others (and simultaneously those others have less activity and fewer members), and lower than others that don't even have the word in their titles but rather just in their descriptions.

--
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

Tracy <tracy@...>

Speaking of ordering, no one ever did take under consideration the other week my suggestion about "Manage my Subscriptions" to be at the top of the "Your Groups" pull down did they?

On 11/18/20 9:14 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Thanks but I still don't understand the example. Hopefully Mark will explain. It seems that my group is appearing lower and lower in the ordering (and is now on page 2) for groups containing the word "feline," despite having more activity than some others appearing closer to the top, more members, etc. It seemed to me for awhile that maybe the newer groups are displaying first despite less activity (etc) but that does not seem to be the case, either. It seemed that maybe groups with the word "feline" appearing in the title, rather than in just the description, are displaying first, but that also does not seem to be the case. I cannot discern any criterion and that's why I'm asking Mark.
--
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

```--
Tracy Johnson
BT

NNNN```

Another incompehensible example: this group
1 Member, 1 Topic, Public Archive, Last Post: Mar 14
displays nearly at the top of the list. Whereas my group, with hundreds of members, thousands of topics, and last post yesterday (rather than 7 months ago) is pages below it.

--
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

Duane is right. When I search for "feline", the groups are sorted like:

winn
tanyackd
petdiabetes
nierenkranke-katze
nhff
. . .
bengalcatrescue
WholeCatHealthIO
SpaceFrontiers
. . .

(They all have "feline" in the description.)

That's reverse alphabetical order by lowercase, followed by reverse alphabetical order by uppercase, without regard to group size or history or activity.

Someone could create a group "zzzzzzzzzzz" with a bunch of terms in the description and appear at the top of the search results for each of those terms.

I'm not sure of the limitations of Elasticsearch, but there should be a better way to sort the list, probably by reverse message volume (higher number of messages means higher in the results). Possibly premium groups before basic groups, which would be another perk of premium.

JohnF

I'm still not making this clear. What is the search algorithm and why does it not take into account the categories "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" available on the left? If you enter a name, those go out the window and the search reverts to "By Name." And even in "By Name" I don't understand the criterion. When you say "Alpha order by lowercase,..." etc., are you saying that the group title is not included in that, and that the description takes precedence? Because that's seemingly what happens in some cases (but again, not all, and seems completely random). I'm waiting for Mark to explain the algorithm. I don't care about Premium vs. Basic (although my group is premium and could benefit from the boost, that's not a criterion I would want to see as a user/non-mod - I'd just want to see ALL the groups irrespective of whether or not they're paying money to be in the list).

My immediate suggestion would be that when someone enters a word for the search, rather than reverting to "By Name" you could still select one of "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" (rather than those being disabled). And even if we get that, I still don't have any conception of how the by-name ordering is calculated.
--
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

I think I see what you're saying. You're both saying the search returns all the possible results, and then sorts them according to the actual group name with no consideration of (a) where the search term appears in the group (in the name? only in the description? early or late in the description?) or (b) any other criteria relating to the group (dates and other stats). So a group "Bananas for Monkeys" with description "Bananas for monkeys is the only allowable topic in this group," 2,000 members, 10,000 topics, and last post one hour ago, that will display BELOW the group "jungle fun" with description "Anything about jungles can be discussed here, including wild animals, rain forests, ecology, and bananas" with 1 member, last post 1 year ago, and 2 topics simply because its name is lowercase. Is that what you're saying?
--
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

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 07:05 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
So a group "Bananas for Monkeys"
assuming the search term is "bananas"

--
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

Ok, I want to turn this thread into a #suggestion.

1. In Find or Create a group, when someone enters a search term, don't eliminate the other criteria. Let the user still select between "Newest," "Most Popular," and "Most Active" if there are ties within the names.

2. Within the categories above, if entered:
• prioritize groups that have the search term within the actual group name as opposed to just within the description
• prioritize upper case (not lowercase) names, or if possible don't use that criterion at all (preferable IMO)
• prioritize alpha, rather than reverse alpha, names as currently (or possibly don't use that criterion at all, preferable IMO - the group name is irrelevant except as it relates to the actual search term)
• If possible: If the term is in the group description only, rather than in the group name, prioritize groups where the term occurs earlier on in the description (e.g. "This group is for bananas" takes priority over "This group is about anything having to do with jungles, wild animals, ecology, and bananas" if the search term is "bananas")
--
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

Duane

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 09:05 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Is that what you're saying?
Correct.  By playing with various parameters that can be included with in the URL, I found that https://groups.io/search?p=SubsCount,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 will sort them by popularity, most topics first.  Likewise, https://groups.io/search?p=ThreadsCount,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 sorts them by activity, most first, and https://groups.io/search?p=Created,,%22feline%22,20,2,0,0 sorts by newest first.  By changing the parameter that has a 2 to a 1, the sorts can be reversed.  Changing the 20 to another number will show that many results per page.  Changing the first 0 will begin displaying the results at that number +1.

Maybe some day there will be an Advanced Search function (popup, button ?) that makes these all easier to include so that you can specify what's important in your search.

I do like JohnF's suggestion to list Premium first, if that's one of the parameters available (or easily added.)

Duane

Duane,

I don't know how you accomplished that, but it seems convoluated and hard to figure out. I think those categories - Most Popular, Most Active, Newest - along the left should be clickable even after entering a search term. Instead, the minute you enter a search term they go away and the search defaults to "By Name," when the actual ordering of the display by name has absolutely nothing to do with the search term. I think that is very wrong.

It doesn't seem like any sort of advanced option to, by default, (a)  prioritize groups by whatever left-side category the user has entered, *even* if they enter a search term; and (b) within that, order by if and where the search term appears in the name (actual group name priority over description). I don't see any use at all for alpha ordering (let alone reverse alpha ordering, as now) or upper vs. lower case names, but that could be the last criterion if deemed needed.

I don't think any of that is "advanced." The display order as it acts currently is completly unintuitive and does not serve users well who are looking for groups that actually deal with the subject they entered.
--
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

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 08:11 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I don't know how you accomplished that,
I do see your URLs. Very clever. :)

--
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

Marv Waschke

I give Mark credit for providing functionality here without a lot of work on his part. I'm sure it's all priorities.

That being said, J_Catlady has a point. Ease in finding groups to join is important to both group owners and potential group members. A lot could be done to improve this interface. Very few people are capable of sussing out url search syntax like Duane. Perhaps we can do Mark a service by figuring out what could be done to make the interface more useful.

The simplest value add that I can see is to use the choice of sort orders on the left (Most Popular, Most Active, Newest, By Name) to sort the results of a search, not just the unfiltered list. I would also change the collation sequence of the By Name sort to be case insensitive. Much more sophisticated Google-search-like approaches are possible, I suppose, but this sounds relatively simple to implement.

Let me repeat: I would give this some priority because it would make gio groups more accessible.
Best, Marv

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>

I just searched for an Apple-Mac group on my iPad. There we 72 results listed on one page. What I found useful was the full description of the groups. So even those with somewhat "weird" group names were included. It wasn't hard for me to scroll down the list and determine those that were of interest to me.

I then search for feline and got 47 hits on "one page".
Many people use mobile devices and being able to scroll down the entire list is very helpful instead of having to click a new page of results.

It would have been nice to see which of groups were closed or charged a member fee so I didnt spend time considering if those groups were a good fit. A few of the pages that I visited didn't put that information into their description. I wasn't interested in paying to join a group.

I do like that the search captured terms used in their description and not just their group name. I have experience in Boolean searches so having some sort of advanced feature search would be welcome.
--
Sandi Dickenson
ASG Volunteers Group.

Drew

It may be helpful to group owners to consider all of the possible keywords that pertain to their group's particular interest and include those words in a separate section of your group description. There are very few, if any, group categories that can't be narrowed to one page or less of results with just a two- or three-word search.

I suspect that most people who type in terms for a group search are probably inputting multiple word searches rather than just "cats", "dogs", "cars", etc. For exampel "cats illness", or "american cars", etc narrows multiple page results to just one page. At that point it's not particularly useful to order the results by creation date or number of subscribers, etc. since it's so easy to scan by eye.

Drew

On 11/19/20 14:35, Marv Waschke wrote:
I give Mark credit for providing functionality here without a lot of work on his part. I'm sure it's all priorities.
That being said, J_Catlady has a point. Ease in finding groups to join is important to both group owners and potential group members. A lot could be done to improve this interface. Very few people are capable of sussing out url search syntax like Duane. Perhaps we can do Mark a service by figuring out what could be done to make the interface more useful.
The simplest value add that I can see is to use the choice of sort orders on the left (Most Popular, Most Active, Newest, By Name) to sort the results of a search, not just the unfiltered list. I would also change the collation sequence of the By Name sort to be case insensitive. Much more sophisticated Google-search-like approaches are possible, I suppose, but this sounds relatively simple to implement.
Let me repeat: I would give this some priority because it would make gio groups more accessible.
Best, Marv

Duane

On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 02:00 PM, Drew wrote:
I suspect that most people who type in terms for a group search are probably inputting multiple word searches
I usually start with one word.  If I get a big bunch of results, I'll try to think of another one that could narrow it more.  (I'm mostly successful, but sometimes it's interesting just to scroll through a big list.)  Using J's "feline" example, it currently finds 47 groups.  By using "feline lymphoma" (without quotes), it narrows it down to 4.  With quotes, there are only 2.

Duane

On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 01:28 PM, Duane wrote:
By using "feline lymphoma" (without quotes), it narrows it down to 4.  With quotes, there are only 2.
And of the two, one of them (the feline cancer group) deals with feline lymphoma only very tangentially if at all. It happens to include those words deep in the description. My group, on the other hand, specifically and *only* deals with feline lymphoma, and is not included in the "feline lymphoma" search because the title is "Feline Small Cell Lymphoma," a specific kind. So the results for "feline lymphoma" are very, very misleading to people looking for a group on feline lymphoma.

It would be most helpful if the display order

(1) prioritized groups with the search term in the name rather than just the description (whether in quotes or not - I'd now like to change the title of my group based on these extremely misleading results, but too late for that);'

(2) did away with the whole uppercase, lowercase criterion;

(3) allowed a second filter chosed by user according to the criteria available for non-name searches (Duane has showed how simple this would be to implement);

(4) IMO did away with the alpha order, or at minimum used alpha order instead of reverse alpha order;

How can I change the name of my group to have it display in a "feline lymphoma" search? Or how can the search be changed to include it, since we ONLY deal with feline lymphoma and are (misleadingly) not included in these 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

Based on Duane's results I just changed my group description to include the term "feline lymphoma" without "small cell" in the middle of it.
--
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

Donald Hellen

I also find the search groups feature doesn't prioritize groups where
the search words are in the group's name.

I find it difficult to search for relevant groups and often just give
up.

Donald

On Fri, 20 Nov 2020 12:59:05 -0800, "J_Catlady"

It would be most helpful if the display order

(1) prioritized groups with the search term in the name rather than just the description (whether in quotes or not - I'd now like to change the title of my group based on these extremely misleading results, but too late for that);'

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

On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 06:37 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
I find it difficult to search for relevant groups and often just give
up.
Is that because the list of groups returned is too large and hard to sort through because it is displayed in a non-helpful way (I would agree there), or because many of the groups returned are irrelevant because of the lack of any sort order other than alphabetical (I would agree there also), or because the list of groups returned simply doesn't contain groups you're looking for (which we've seen can happen by Duane's example)? Or a combination of all three? Would adding the ability to sort by Most Popular, Most Recent, or Most Active help?

--
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

txercoupemuseum.org

How about adding an option to “Search key words” somewhere, with such words selected by the group owner and presumably identifying the primary interest or function of said group?

Best!

WRB

—

On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 06:37 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
I find it difficult to search for relevant groups and often just give
up.
Is that because the list of groups returned is too large and hard to sort through because it is displayed in a non-helpful way (I would agree there), or because many of the groups returned are irrelevant because of the lack of any sort order other than alphabetical (I would agree there also), or because the list of groups returned simply doesn't contain groups you're looking for (which we've seen can happen by Duane's example)? Or a combination of all three? Would adding the ability to sort by Most Popular, Most Recent, or Most Active help?

--
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

Some groups have already added text to their descriptions along the lines of “Keywords: apples, bananas, grapes.” I think the real problem in that regard, or one of them, is that the order does not prioritize terms in the name vs in the description. Worse is assigning no priorities to more active or popular groups. The alpha sort will put a group with 10 members and no activity for the past 3 years above an active group simply because its name is not capitalized or comes later in the alphabet. The active group might come pages later and many people won’t bother to scroll through.

On Nov 20, 2020, at 8:23 PM, txercoupemuseum.org <ercoguru@...> wrote:

﻿How about adding an option to “Search key words” somewhere, with such words selected by the group owner and presumably identifying the primary interest or function of said group?

Best!

WRB

—

On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 06:37 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
I find it difficult to search for relevant groups and often just give
up.
Is that because the list of groups returned is too large and hard to sort through because it is displayed in a non-helpful way (I would agree there), or because many of the groups returned are irrelevant because of the lack of any sort order other than alphabetical (I would agree there also), or because the list of groups returned simply doesn't contain groups you're looking for (which we've seen can happen by Duane's example)? Or a combination of all three? Would adding the ability to sort by Most Popular, Most Recent, or Most Active help?

--
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

--
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

Sandi D <sandi.asgtechie@...>

I had not considered this viewpoint and appreciate your efforts to point it out. I suppose it's because I hark back to the research days when wading through "hits" was expected. Oh the time it took to do catalogue searches, hunt down the journal, find the article and only then realize it wasn't dealing with the particular slant on the topic that I needed for my paper!

I am not one to pick and choose a group because it's at the top of a hit list. I don't own the type of groups that aim to have large numbers of people join or have a lot of activity for days on end.

In internet searches, I prefer DuckDuckGo but if I do find myself searching in Google, I rarely am content with page one results. I tend to go down to where the results start repeating the same webpage information.

I tend to search GIO groups and contact the owner to evaluate the fit of the group before I request to join. Unless the description makes it very clear from the get-go. It's partly because GIO is not familiar to the new group owners so they aren't yet aware of all they could have done to bring their group to the forefront. I have quite a few gems- small intimate groups with very knowledgeable group owners and members.

I would not expect my search term to be part of the GIO group name. It makes sense that I would more often find my search term in the description or tags. Multiple groups could be described in the same terms or have similar names even though they are very different. One may have a tone that better agrees with me or might be addressing a particular subset of people instead of the general public. Those aren't things I find to be captured easily in a name.

Groups displaying the highest message numbers often are ones I tend bypass. At least initially. I prefer not to spend time wading through numerous daily emails. I do like seeing the list of hashtag descriptions on their homepage that are the most active. That offers to me a better indication of what the activity is about.

I tend not to rely on popular results either. My tastes don't seem to mesh with most of today's online population.

I do think having a way to know if the group requires a membership fee and if it is a Premium tier group would be useful sorting criteria. That would help narrow the results or help me fill them.

What ever happens in the way of searches criteris changing will be interesting to see.

--
Sandi Dickenson
ASG Volunteers Group.

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 05:39 AM, Sandi D wrote:
I would not expect my search term to be part of the GIO group name.
That's well and good. However, group owners with the search term in their group's name would expect the reverse: namely, not to be displayed pages below a group that only mentions the term in their description, in some cases only tangentially.

--
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

And from the user's point of view, suppose you are looking for groups about horses. You put in the search term "horses." Your search is specifically SAID by groups.io to be a search "by name." What comes up are, first, a page of groups that mention "horses" in their descriptions (perhaps along with all other sundry animals and subjects). On page 2, which you may not even bother getting to, is a group called "AllAboutHorses." It is displayed last because it's group name is capitalized and all the other group names begin with a later letter in the alphabet.

Does that really make sense to you?
--
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

Duane

FWIW, there has to be some default results order, so the existing is as good as any.  If Mark decides to include any of the suggestions in this topic, such as an "advanced" search page/box, there will still need to be some default.  Other than boosting Premium groups to the top of the list, I don't think I'd make any other changes for that.  No default behavior will ever meet everyone's expectations though.

Duane

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 07:03 AM, Duane wrote:
FWIW, there has to be some default results order,
Of course! We get that. But this needs a change at some point. At the very minimum, if there is no time to fix the display order, stop calling the search "By Name." That would be a five-second fix. "By Name" leads people to believe they are actually searching on the group name. No one would guess that the name is really treated equally with the description and that the rsults will simply be displayed by name (and in an unintuitive order, at that).

--
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

Chris Jones

On Fri, Nov 20, 2020 at 08:59 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
How can I change the name of my group to have it display in a "feline lymphoma" search?
Actually it is quite easy, without changing the group name. Starting with the fact that the search results are based on what a group owner puts in the description, then simply ensure that "feline lymphona" is in the description. I suspect that your immediate response might be that that could leave the description looking messy, but in fact the words don't need to be visible, simply present.

Eh? Sadly I cannot demonstrate this in beta because the tool bar above the composition window does not let me change font colour, but that for a Group Description does. Somewhere at the bottom of the description on your Home Page add a few additional search terms (e.g. "feline lymphoma") and the change the font colour to white. It can also be useful to set the font size to be (very) small so that numerous helpful words can be accommodated without taking up too much space; that space will simply appear as white (empty) space to anyone looking at your description.

Although the words are invisible to the human viewer they are not invisible to the search engine, so anyone using any of your "hidden words" will find your group quite easily, or at least they should do.

If you want a demonstration of this please let me know and I'll post a couple of search terms for the group I co - own so that you can search for it, find it in one go and then "find the search terms" in the description!

Chris

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 08:53 AM, Chris Jones wrote:
the search results are based on what a group owner puts in the description,
Thanks, I intentionally inserted "feline lymphoma" into the description somewhere right after seeing Duane's 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

Still doesn't solve these issues.
--
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

FWIW, words or phrases in the description of our parent group started coming up in searches immediately after I changed
Settings > Privacy > Visibility
from "Group not listed in directory, private messages"
to      "Group listed in directory, private messages"

Words or phrases in the description of a subgroup are not findable, which is makes sense.
To work around that, I added one line about each subgroup to the description of the parent group. Now findable.

--cg

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 10:04 AM, Curt Gowan wrote:
from "Group not listed in directory, private messages"
to      "Group listed in directory, private messages"
Of course, because if your group was not listed in the directory, it is not findable and would not display to the public. Now it's subject to whatever search/display criteria are being used, with all the attendant problems being mentioned here.

--
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

Donald Hellen

The list is indeed too large and it doesn't sort on relevant terms in
the groupname. If I wanted to look through hundreds of groups that
have the words in their description and not the groupname, I would
expect those to show up further down the list. Yahoo Groups seemed to
have a more relevant search results order if I remember correctly.

Donald

On Fri, 20 Nov 2020 19:41:54 -0800, "J_Catlady"

Is that because the list of groups returned is too large and hard to sort through because it is displayed in a non-helpful way (I would agree there), or because many of the groups returned are irrelevant because of the lack of any sort order other than alphabetical (I would agree there also), or because the list of groups returned simply doesn't contain groups you're looking for (which we've seen can happen by Duane's example)? Or a combination of all three? Would adding the ability to sort by Most Popular, Most Recent, or Most Active help?

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

Donald Hellen

Yes, to me this is important and it doesn't work intuitively like
that.

Donald

On Sat, 21 Nov 2020 06:50:13 -0800, "J_Catlady"

That's well and good. However, group owners with the search term in their group's name would expect the reverse: namely, not to be displayed pages below a group that only mentions the term in their description, in some cases only tangentially.

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

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 12:26 PM, Donald Hellen wrote:
Yahoo Groups seemed to
have a more relevant search results order
Would be hard not to. There is currently NO relationship between the search results order and the actual search term.

--
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

The bad examples are more frequent than the good ones. In a search on "IBD," three groups that just mention the term tangentially in their descriptions display first. (One of them uses the term simply to say that the group does NOT deal with IBD.) The only group that is *specifically* about IBD (and has "IBD" in its title) comes up last. In this case, there are only four groups total. But in other cases there can be a page or more before the actual relevant group even shows up.
https://groups.io/search?q=ibd

--
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

Duane

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 02:41 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
There is currently NO relationship between the search results order and the actual search term.
I believe there is.  It's the order that Elasticsearch found them in the (listed) group-name/description database.

Duane

Glenn Glazer

On Sat, 11/21 13:43, Duane wrote:
On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 02:41 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
There is currently NO relationship between the search results order and the actual search term.
I believe there is.  It's the order that Elasticsearch found them in the (listed) group-name/description database.

Duane

But that order is effectively random.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/23919296/how-is-elastic-search-sorting-when-no-sort-option-specified-and-no-search-query

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 01:43 PM, Duane wrote:
I believe there is.  It's the order that Elasticsearch found them
Which, as you yourself have said repeatedly, is nothing more than reverse alpha with lowercase names first. This has zero relationship to the search term. The set of results is related to the search term. The display does not.

--
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

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 01:58 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
The display does not
Should read "the display order does not"

--
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

On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 01:52 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:

But that order is effectively random.
If so, then groups.io apparently does a bit of post-processing to put the results in reverse alpha order with lowercase names first. Either way, the display order totally unrelated to the search term. An extremely simple fix would be simply to prioritize the groups with the search term IN the name (especailly since groups.io itself calls the search "By Name"). If groups.io is already post-processing the results of elastisearch, it may as well do it in a way that makes a nonzero amount of sense.

--
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

Glenn Glazer

On Sat, 11/21 14:02, J_Catlady wrote:
On Sat, Nov 21, 2020 at 01:52 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:

But that order is effectively random.
If so, then groups.io apparently does a bit of post-processing to put the results in reverse alpha order with lowercase names first. Either way, the display order totally unrelated to the search term. An extremely simple fix would be simply to prioritize the groups with the search term IN the name (especailly since groups.io itself calls the search "By Name"). If groups.io is already post-processing the results of elastisearch, it may as well do it in a way that makes a nonzero amount of sense.

I've never seen the code, I can't speak to what it does or doesn't do.

Best,

Glenn

--
PG&E Delenda Est

Duane

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

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

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

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

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

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"

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/CHIRP https://rf-amplifiers.groups.io/g/main

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

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

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

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

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

Marv Waschke

Here's a little background on how searches like this work. Many of the people here are programmers and will find this boring, but if you are not among the cognoscenti, you may find this explanation helpful.

The sort order of the results of a search and the search itself are different beasts.

The search determines which groups make it into the results, the sort order determines which groups show up on top. Sophisticated search engines like Google have complex search algorithms and equally sophisticated sorting algorithms.

As far as I can see, Mark's search method is quite simple: lump together the group name, description, and tags, then look for matches against the search term. When two or more words separated by white space are in the search box, both words must appear for a match, but they can be separated by other words. If there are quotes around the search term, the term must match exactly. For example, if the search box contains [feline lymphoma] (ignore the square brackets)  a description like "lymphoma is a cancer, which sometimes appears in feline pets" will be included in the results. If the box contains ["feline lymphoma"]  , the previous description would not be included because extra words separate feline and lymphoma, and they appear in the wrong order.

The sort order does not affect what appears in the results, only the order the results appear. The gio group search page has four possible sort orders. These only apply when the search box is empty.

The first, and default, is Most Popular. The group with the most members appears first. The group with the next largest membership appear next, and so on.

Next is Most Active. The group with the most topics appears first.

Newest lists the most recently created group first.

By Name is a bit weird. It lists group names in ascii order, which is familiar to programmers, but strange to the uninitiated. Numbers 0-9 come first. Upper case letter A-Z next. Finally lower case letters a-z.

There is another oddity to the By Name sort. At the bottom of the page, you can select a letter. By selecting A, you get all the group names that start with A. Oddly, the names are then sorted case insensitive, i.e. case is ignored and the sort is what most people would expect of an alphabetized list.

Just thought I would lay out what is happening. I apologize for being so pedantic.
Best, Marv

Glenn Glazer

This is what I was getting at with my other post about abstract ideas.

To be even more ;) pedantic, in SQL and similar query languages, SELECT is not the same as ORDER BY, nor are the things selected or ordered.

Best,

Glenn

On Sun, 11/22 11:52, Marv Waschke wrote:
Here's a little background on how searches like this work. Many of the people here are programmers and will find this boring, but if you are not among the cognoscenti, you may find this explanation helpful.

The sort order of the results of a search and the search itself are different beasts.

The search determines which groups make it into the results, the sort order determines which groups show up on top. Sophisticated search engines like Google have complex search algorithms and equally sophisticated sorting algorithms.

As far as I can see, Mark's search method is quite simple: lump together the group name, description, and tags, then look for matches against the search term. When two or more words separated by white space are in the search box, both words must appear for a match, but they can be separated by other words. If there are quotes around the search term, the term must match exactly. For example, if the search box contains [feline lymphoma] (ignore the square brackets)  a description like "lymphoma is a cancer, which sometimes appears in feline pets" will be included in the results. If the box contains ["feline lymphoma"]  , the previous description would not be included because extra words separate feline and lymphoma, and they appear in the wrong order.

The sort order does not affect what appears in the results, only the order the results appear. The gio group search page has four possible sort orders. These only apply when the search box is empty.

The first, and default, is Most Popular. The group with the most members appears first. The group with the next largest membership appear next, and so on.

Next is Most Active. The group with the most topics appears first.

Newest lists the most recently created group first.

By Name is a bit weird. It lists group names in ascii order, which is familiar to programmers, but strange to the uninitiated. Numbers 0-9 come first. Upper case letter A-Z next. Finally lower case letters a-z.

There is another oddity to the By Name sort. At the bottom of the page, you can select a letter. By selecting A, you get all the group names that start with A. Oddly, the names are then sorted case insensitive, i.e. case is ignored and the sort is what most people would expect of an alphabetized list.

Just thought I would lay out what is happening. I apologize for being so pedantic.
Best, Marv

--
PG&E Delenda Est

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 11:52 AM, Marv Waschke wrote:
The sort order of the results of a search and the search itself are different beasts.
Yes, and hey, have a look at my bug post. That's correct and it looks like the page itself was designed to search (filter) on a term, and then display the results ordered on the user's choice of criterion from among those offered at the left (most active, most popular, newest, name). The bug is that if you select anything besides "by name," and you enter a search term (which the page allows you to do even if you don't select "by name" - it does not gray out the search box), the sort criterion jumps down to "by name" and wipes out your selection. The results are then displayed in reverse alpha (not forward alpha) order by group name. (That's a secondary small bug or inconsistency. If you do select "by name" and do *not* enter a search term, the results, namely all the public groups in existence, are displayed by forward, not reverse, alpha order.)

--
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

Marv Waschke

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 12:01 PM, Glenn Glazer wrote:
To be even more ;) pedantic, in SQL and similar query languages, SELECT is not the same as ORDER BY, nor are the things selected or ordered.
Exactly!
I'll add that this search page was fine when gio had only a few hundred groups, but a lot of the frustration here stems from the length of the lists now that gio has grown to tens of thousands of groups. Without filtering the list before sorting the results, the result list almost unusable if the search criteria are not narrow, but narrowing the search criteria in a way that will produce a useful result set sorted only by group name is difficult. Outfits like Google have invested millions on millions of dollars in developing searches that return what users expect rather than the criteria they enter. We can't anticipate that from gio, but all the suggestions here point to ways the search could be greatly improved without massive investment.

Best, Marv

ro-esp

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 08:52 PM, Marv Waschke wrote:

Here's a little background on how searches like this work.
good call

The first, and default, is Most Popular. The group with the most members
appears first. The group with the next largest membership appear next, and so
on.

Next is Most Active. The group with the most topics appears first.
What do you mean by "topics"? Threads or messages?

groetjes/ĝis, Ronaldo

Marv Waschke

On Sun, Nov 22, 2020 at 04:05 PM, ro-esp wrote:
What do you mean by "topics"? Threads or messages?
The number sorted on is labeled "Topics".  In gio-speak, I think topics usually refers to threads rather than individual messages. But I could be wrong. I didn't verify.

Best, Marv

On Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 10:27 AM, Marv Waschke wrote:
In gio-speak, I think topics usually refers to threads rather than individual messages
Not usually. Always.

--
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

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