Improved Search

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The new “comments search” feature is only a few hours old, and we’ve already made substantial improvements.

For one thing, you now have instant access to the search with the comments entry box, so the button will always be there, beckoning you to explore the literally millions of comments have have been entered over the years.

We’ve also improved pagination. When you get a result list, now you are told what the very last page number is. This does two good things: (1) it lets you jump to the very end of the result list, if you like (2) it gives you an instant sense as to how many results there are, since there are ten comments per page, thus the result below would say there are about 120 comments. (I have seen pages as high as 500, so you can see some search terms yield a lot of results).

The biggest improvement of all, however, is how we handle search strings. Back in the old days (in other words, a few hours ago), a search term would be very explicitly sought, and if those exact words were not side by side in that exact order, you wouldn’t see any results. For instance, let’s say I typed in the phrase “odds of presidential 2020 election”; with the old search system, I would get absolutely nothing:

Whereas now, the search algorithm is far more inclusive, and it provides to you the comments which seem related to whatever it is you are seeking, without being so exact. Pretty nice, eh?

We have seriously struck oil with this new tool, because there is a wealth of information that Slopers have been building for all these years. More improvements are on the way, of course. This is Slope, so you should expect nothing less. Go bang on it!

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