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Dispatch searching

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Merni
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Dispatch searching

Postby Merni » Fri Dec 24, 2021 11:11 am

Communications (gameside) tech development thread.

Pretty simple idea -- adding the ability for us to search for a particular dispatch. Searching by author is already possible (by visiting the author's nation page). The ability to search by title, or even better, by full text, would be quite useful.

Even a dump file of just dispatch IDs and titles and maybe authors (like the trading card dumps) would be useful if it is easier to add than a search system in the site itself, as then players could make third party tools to search it.

Apologies if this has been asked for before; I didn't see any admin responses on the topic in a quick search.
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Panagouge
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Postby Panagouge » Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:15 am

I second this idea. It's literally impossible to find a dispatch again without asking someone over and over or just knowing where to look.
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Arpasia
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Postby Arpasia » Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:18 am

Is this like a search query thing, like: you go to the dispatches page, and there's a search bare somewhere at the top?
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Panagouge
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Postby Panagouge » Sat Dec 25, 2021 11:57 am

Arpasia wrote:Is this like a search query thing, like: you go to the dispatches page, and there's a search bare somewhere at the top?

I would assume so. It seems simple.
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Refuge Isle
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Postby Refuge Isle » Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:24 pm

Strong support.

There is currently no ability to look for past dispatches except by remembering what nations they are on or hoping they're linked or pinned somewhere you'll remember. And yet, so often they are the muscle and bones of a region, contain volumes of this game's history and culture. Using a player-generated solution would take nearly three weeks of api calls and be completely blind to any updates made to those dispatches, so an admin-generated solution seems the only feasible option.

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Postby The Church of Satan » Tue Dec 28, 2021 8:30 am

This is a really good idea.
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The Balearic Union
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Postby The Balearic Union » Tue Dec 28, 2021 8:33 am

Brilliant

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Novo Reslas
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Postby Novo Reslas » Tue Dec 28, 2021 8:34 am

Yes! It's barely possible to find dispatches. A search-by-name feature would really sort things out. I've never understood why it doesn't exist.
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Giovanniland
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Postby Giovanniland » Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51 am

Full support, the below post sums up my thoughts:

Refuge Isle wrote:There is currently no ability to look for past dispatches except by remembering what nations they are on or hoping they're linked or pinned somewhere you'll remember. And yet, so often they are the muscle and bones of a region, contain volumes of this game's history and culture. Using a player-generated solution would take nearly three weeks of api calls and be completely blind to any updates made to those dispatches, so an admin-generated solution seems the only feasible option.
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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:25 pm

Okay! Time to prod this thread for some input because I'd like to flesh out an idea here.

How would you envision such an interface? Perhaps similar to the existing RMB search where you can search keywords, and then filter by author/region/if it's pinned in a region or not? Do we want search operators like the RMB?

Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches? Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?
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Barbaria
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Postby Barbaria » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:30 pm

Merni wrote:Dispatch searching


As United Calanworie previously said, just use site:nationstates.net inurl:dispatch (put what you're searching for here) and you should be fine. :)
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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:37 pm

Barbaria wrote:
Merni wrote:Dispatch searching


As United Calanworie previously said, just use site:nationstates.net inurl:dispatch (put what you're searching for here) and you should be fine. :)

You might stand to read my post directly above yours, as this thread is very clearly and evidently a part of the gameside communications technical development discussions.
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Barbaria
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Postby Barbaria » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:47 pm

United Calanworie wrote:
Barbaria wrote:
As United Calanworie previously said, just use site:nationstates.net inurl:dispatch (put what you're searching for here) and you should be fine. :)

You might stand to read my post directly above yours, as this thread is very clearly and evidently a part of the gameside communications technical development discussions.


The point is, there's no need for a dispatch search bar with this hidden trick. It first searches for the dispatch titles and then the text contents. Just know it and we'll be fine.
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Ioudaia
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Postby Ioudaia » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:48 pm

United Calanworie wrote:How would you envision such an interface? Perhaps similar to the existing RMB search where you can search keywords, and then filter by author/region/if it's pinned in a region or not? Do we want search operators like the RMB?

Both of those sound good.

United Calanworie wrote:Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches?

I expect that I'd want a search function both on a nation's main page (defaults to searching that nation's dispatches) or on an any dispatch/factbook. The first is because I'm likely to look for a search function if I'm pretty sure that nation had a dispatch on a topic/mentioned a topic, but I can't find it ("I'm sure Maxtopia talked about fully-automatic ice cream dispensers in one of these dispatches!") and the second is because I think somebody wrote about it, but I'm not sure who.

United Calanworie wrote:Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?

Eh, just one of the semi-standard twisting triangles to reveal advanced options if desired.

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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:07 pm

Barbaria wrote:
United Calanworie wrote:You might stand to read my post directly above yours, as this thread is very clearly and evidently a part of the gameside communications technical development discussions.


The point is, there's no need for a dispatch search bar with this hidden trick. It first searches for the dispatch titles and then the text contents. Just know it and we'll be fine.

Your opinion has been noted. However, if you do not have anything to contribute to the discussion beyond "I think we don't need this feature because you can google-dork," please do not continue posting. We're here to improve the site, not to refuse improvements simply because Google exists.

Ioudaia wrote:
United Calanworie wrote:
I expect that I'd want a search function both on a nation's main page (defaults to searching that nation's dispatches) or on an any dispatch/factbook. The first is because I'm likely to look for a search function if I'm pretty sure that nation had a dispatch on a topic/mentioned a topic, but I can't find it ("I'm sure Maxtopia talked about fully-automatic ice cream dispensers in one of these dispatches!") and the second is because I think somebody wrote about it, but I'm not sure who.

I hadn't thought about this, but this makes a lot of sense. The search box on a nation's page would *probably* best be put into their specific nation's dispatch collection (e.g. https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispa ... calanworie) though to minimize clutter on the main nation page.
Last edited by United Calanworie on Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: e: autocorrect x_x
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Ioudaia
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Postby Ioudaia » Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:24 pm

United Calanworie wrote:
Ioudaia wrote:

I hadn't thought about this, but this makes a lot of sense. The search box on a nation's page would *probably* best be put into their specific nation's dispatch collection (e.g. https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispa ... calanworie) though to minimize clutter on the main nation page.

That would be fine, though I was thinking that we could just add another button to the row at the bottom of the nation page (the row with "endorse", "view posts", and "TG" buttons) that would bring up the search interface.

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Cataleenia
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Postby Cataleenia » Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:48 pm

I’d presume that you would be able to search via category
Image


Also maybe a mode where you can search for BBCode e.g. looking at Meta : Reference for the [img] code. Also might be helpful for dispatches that use the [data:census-score-number] tags
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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Mon Nov 28, 2022 3:20 pm

Cataleenia wrote:I’d presume that you would be able to search via category

That would probably be helpful, yes.
Also maybe a mode where you can search for BBCode e.g. looking at Meta : Reference for the [img] code. Also might be helpful for dispatches that use the [data:census-score-number] tags

Hm, I'm not sure of the utility of this one. Care to expand?
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Panagouge
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Postby Panagouge » Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:24 pm

Could factbook searching be a possibility alongside this? It'd make sense to, imo.
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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Mon Nov 28, 2022 5:08 pm

Panagouge wrote:Could factbook searching be a possibility alongside this? It'd make sense to, imo.

Factbook == dispatch. They're the same thing, just in different categories.
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Grea Kriopia
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Postby Grea Kriopia » Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:46 pm

Yes, please, this would be helpful! I can imagine the dispatch research deep dives now.

United Calanworie wrote:How would you envision such an interface? Perhaps similar to the existing RMB search where you can search keywords, and then filter by author/region/if it's pinned in a region or not? Do we want search operators like the RMB??

Ngl, I think the RMB search is relatively straightforward so it would work well with this feature. Definitely filter by author/region/type of dispatch/pinned or not.

I had no idea we had RMB search operators (the things you learn) but they'd certainly seem handy in this case for broad topic dispatch searching.

United Calanworie wrote:Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches? Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?

Page=dispatches seems most intuitive to me but agreed with Ioudaia that the additional option to search only a player's dispatches on their nation page would be handy. A page=search is ideal imo because then you can bookmark or share topics you were looking for as needed.
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Esfalsa
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Postby Esfalsa » Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:50 pm

United Calanworie wrote:Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches? Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?


I think this would be neat and would be nicely analogous to the existing region search. That is, a little search box on page=dispatches like the one on page=world, and a more extensive page=search like the existing page=list_entities (though probably with more options for advanced searches).
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The Voice of ARB
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Postby The Voice of ARB » Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:31 am

I'm thrilled by the thought of being able to easily find dispatches without someone giving me the URL. But I would like to suggest an additional wrinkle. Provide an option to search the dispatches for nations in the Boneyard. Most often, when I'm looking for a dispatch, it's one I wrote under the name of a deceased puppet quite a long time ago. If I can remember which puppet, I can, of course, restore it, or just go to the Boneyard myself. If I can't recall which one (I had so many), it would be really good to be able to rummage through the refuse of the deceased to find the treasure that was buried with them.

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United Calanworie
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Postby United Calanworie » Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:44 am

Grea Kriopia wrote:
United Calanworie wrote:Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches? Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?

Page=dispatches seems most intuitive to me but agreed with Ioudaia that the additional option to search only a player's dispatches on their nation page would be handy. A page=search is ideal imo because then you can bookmark or share topics you were looking for as needed.

Bookmarking/sharing search results isn't something I had considered -- page=search does make sense for that.
Esfalsa wrote:
United Calanworie wrote:Where should this interface be accessible from? page=dispatches? Do we want a page=search that comes with "advanced" search options while page=dispatches just has a little keyword-search box?


I think this would be neat and would be nicely analogous to the existing region search. That is, a little search box on page=dispatches like the one on page=world, and a more extensive page=search like the existing page=list_entities (though probably with more options for advanced searches).

Okay, I see a second agreement on page=search -- I'll make sure it goes onto the final plan.
The Voice of ARB wrote:I'm thrilled by the thought of being able to easily find dispatches without someone giving me the URL. But I would like to suggest an additional wrinkle. Provide an option to search the dispatches for nations in the Boneyard. Most often, when I'm looking for a dispatch, it's one I wrote under the name of a deceased puppet quite a long time ago. If I can remember which puppet, I can, of course, restore it, or just go to the Boneyard myself. If I can't recall which one (I had so many), it would be really good to be able to rummage through the refuse of the deceased to find the treasure that was buried with them.

I hadn't even thought of removing CTEd nation's dispatches from search results -- perhaps a checkbox that is ticked by default to search CTE results and then if for some reason you really don't want them, you can un-tick it? Or would we prefer to not even bother with that and instead always search *everything* (obviously in line with the rest of your filters ofc)
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:36 pm

United Calanworie wrote:would we prefer to not even bother with that and instead always search *everything*

Maybe dispatches are stored differently, but there are around 8 million dead nations. Searching all of them (as opposed to the 300K active nations) would almost certainly slow the game every time someone searched. Not only should it not be the default, it shouldn't even be an option.

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