Forum:Search changes

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Forums: Yew Grove > Search changes
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This thread was archived on 27 May 2012 by Urbancowgurl777.

As you all are no doubt aware, Wikia has made changes to how searches are handled on the wiki. Instead of going directly to the page you search for, you are now taken to a results page for the keyword you entered. We've sort of gotten around this by adding a script that takes you to to the page of the first result if it matches the keyword, but it still wastes time taking you to the page you searched. You can also go directly to the page by selecting it in the search suggest, but that's still not very good because it takes more time and doesn't take advantage of redirects and other namespaces.

I have created a survey, the results of which can be viewed here. Please don't vote on it, because it's being used to gauge the response of unregistered users, who Wikia claim the changes are catered towards.

I'm wondering if any of you thought the change was warranted, and whether it had any positive effects. I am hoping that this thread will show whoever is making these decisions at Wikia that the search changes don't work for every wiki. ʞooɔ 20:54, May 2, 2012 (UTC)


I don't think anyone, including Wikia, actually believes that their "update" was for the benefit of their community - it's another typical corporate stunt to make more money, however this time many people, myself included, think they've gone too far. I'll just copypaste my post from Dopp's Central blog:

"Not the way to go. Take any gaming wiki's clientele expectations as an example. Browsers visit to get whatever information they need there and then. If they can't (i.e. If they are forced to sift through pages which lead to pages which may or may not lead them to the page they're looking for), then they will without any shadow of a doubt move on to search for another site. Let there be no uncertainty about this; Wikia navigation is indeed in considerably dire need of improvements and developments, but this brings neither. A page on any and every wiki should be simple and quick to find, not some kind of maze. This "update" has all of the pros I dislike and none of the cons I can tolerate."

In short, I do not like. Ronan Talk 21:34, May 2, 2012 (UTC)

^ I agree with this guy. When I'm in Dungeoneering and I want to know the ingredients of a potion, or I want to know the stats of an item, I will want to have the page pop up immediately, not click through pages of meaningless links. At least on the RuneScape Wiki, information must be readily available in now-time. On other wikis, this is not the case.  a proofreader ▸  01:40, May 4, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - If there were no bugs with it, it would be bearable. If there was a go button as well as a search button, it would be bearable. Even if the search was set to default, as long as there was an option in Special:Preferences or even a bit of js to do the same, I would be happy to ignore it. If the autocomplete worked.... I think you get the picture. In summary there are too many bugs, not enough thought gone into how redirects and disambig pages will be affected and very little we can do about it as the system currently stands. cqm talk 00:35, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Support change to "old" style search - I'm sorry Wikia. While I'm sure your intentions were good, and at first look, your logic seems fine too. I'm great with the ability to actually search for the instance of a word, but not by default. On my internet, it takes far too long for autosuggest to appear, and excludes redirects, so you have to know the proper name for the page. I'd be willing to support having two buttons, "go" and "search", provided "go" is the default, but as it stands, this system is not suitable. I don't think having something in the preferences solves anything, as it's the IPs that would still end up being stuck with a system that, according to the poll results to far, do not like either, and be unable to do anything about it. On an unrelated sidenote, to let you know the scope of your change, you also broke Chrome's beautifully adapatable custom search bar, forcing me to change it to try and go directly to a page name instead of the cleaner search function. PS: Your search system sucks anyway. With all due respect, it's probably best to avoid sending many people to it, as it often doesn't include the page I was looking for in the results in the first place. Sorry for the text wall and rant, Hofmic Talk 06:49, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I personally find the change annoying, as people search for pages, hardly ever do they search for words just being in articles. A person came into chat, Phox, asking about the changes, and stating how he doesn't like it, link. If one person comes in to ask, I bet there are hundreds of other who don't, but feel the same way. Also I voted because I saw it before I saw this thread...woops. Hunter cape (t).png Sentra246Blue hallowe'en mask.png 07:32, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Yes, I strongly disagree with the results of Wikia's eternal desire to change everything that works. First they killed Monaco (requiescat in pace), then message walls (thank Zaros we still have talk pages) and now this. It's a good thing that we use these first-page-redirect now, but it still isn't the same. Evidently, the overwhelming majority of our unregistered visitors feels the same. I however doubt that this should bug Wikia the slightest. They haven't responded to our complaints before, have they? Well, they have, saying that they will not undo their latest update/horror (pick). User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 07:39, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Per my comment on the Staff blog. 222 talk 08:10, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Support - Unlikely Wikia will listen but I find the new search horrendous to use. I honestly thought it was a glitch until I read this. It would have been better if wikia had split the search into "Go" and "search" but I doubt they will What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 23:17, May 3, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Hang on. Is it me or has it been fixed? User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 05:43, May 4, 2012 (UTC)

It's sadly you :( --HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 06:08, May 4, 2012 (UTC)
It is not you. For monobook it is fixed again. I'll try changing the current not-so-efficient script to a more efficient script now, which I was already planning as soon as they'd fix monobook. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 13:12, May 4, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - The new, much improved, script is frankly superb. the only downside is there have been reports of it not affecting anons. Is this a caching issue, or a flaw in the code? cqm talk 01:10, May 6, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - (I can't say support or oppose, since nothing is actually proposed.) I use Monobook and I would not say it's fixed. The "Go" button works, but that's it (and it's a local patch to this wiki, I believe, not a bug-fix by Wikia). The match list generated by AJAX still runs "Search" instead of "Go." I suspect that a fix requires a change to Wikia's AJAX and cannot be fixed with global.js, but I'm hardly a master of AJAX and how it's implemented in MediaWiki. Although Wikia has admited (in the aforementioned blog) that the new behavior in Monobook is a bug, what they should do is back out the new code, take it back to test, fix it, then deploy it, at the very least. Deploy-first, fix-later is seriously deficient methodology. Also BTW, the new behavior is annoying. The whole point of the match list is that it's a match list, a list of matches to exact pages. When I pick the exact page match from a list, I shouldn't get a search page result and have to do it again. --Saftzie (talk) 12:10, May 6, 2012 (UTC)

Oh, yeah, then there was the inability to search and match on the Special: namespace. That appears to be fixed now. But again, that it didn't work was an indication that the design was incomplete in addition to the implementation being broken upon deployment. Wikia is seeking credibility as a solution developer and proving that it's not credible. --Saftzie (talk) 12:23, May 6, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - The search seems to be fixed by the script in [[MWI:C.JS]], except for anonymous users in IE (IE is always a problem). I've checked it when logged in, and that does work. This may affect the poll's results. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 10:48, May 7, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Strongly oppose these changes. Support a full reversion to previous functionality. This new change slows down my experience considerably when trying to find detailed info about a page I know exists. The only other way to access the info faster is to remember and type in each and every specific URL, which really defeats the purpose of a search engine. When I first noticed this, within an hour or two of the change, I went on IRC and was ridiculed for being too lazy to type in the full URL and make a bookmark for every URL, and the staff was acting suspicious of if Wikia even had a search engine. This is all very user UN-friendly, when you're doing hundreds of lookups a day, and now your amount of typing and clicking and waiting and reading has increased several orders of magnitude. It is also idiotic to place this burden on the server, or on the corporate bandwidth. Now instead of serving just the intended page, as before, the server spits up a results page with a lot of unrelated and extremely confusing results in most cases. Then you have to read each result, and click one, and maybe it's not the right one, and you have to go back and try another, and so on, and so forth. The only thing this change has achieved is utter stupidity in the eyes of the majority of users. This new change wastes my time, is ergonomically unfriendly, wastes my bandwidth, and basically makes me seriously consider ditching Wikia in it's entirety, for this and every other site I have used it for in the past. The only other solutions I can think of is to set up a "man in the middle" (like a browser addon) which will take my search term, scrub them in a generic manner for capitalization and underscores, and pull the specific page directly. At this point, nothing less will make this site useable. Very disappointed and frustrated user. Warp9pnt9 00:31, May 14, 2012 (UTC)

For now, you should switch to Monobook. It has a normally functioning search engine (mostly), is wider and resembles Monaco. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 05:37, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
The search is mostly fixed on this wiki (with a script), with the only ones not seeing it fixed (as fas as I know) being anons in IE. If you're still having problems, please tell me if you were logged in, and what browser you were using. For IE, please mention the version. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 10:42, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
I am logged in, I am using Monobook, the search works ONLY if I use the search box on page, which totally defeats the purpose of searching directly from the browser (all modern browsers have supported this capability for 10 years). However, the search from the browser directly (NOT from address bar, but from the search bar, e.g. in Firefox, left-click search-engine icon, choose 'Add "RuneScape Wiki (en)"'). This was the absolute most efficient way to use search, instead of always having to open main site, and then always having to find the search box, click on it, and then load a second page. You just type CTRL-k, type your query, and page would open. It would be great to get that functionality back. This way, I am only loading 1 page for each query, instead of doubling to bandwidth and wall time and wrist movements and server load and client load and a wasted history page cached in memory. Do people even know that their browsers can do this? Do they even know it is much faster? Warp9pnt9 12:48, May 22, 2012 (UTC)
I can honestly say I had no clue my browser did that.... cqm talk 21:58, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - This appeared on Central a few days ago:

Policy note: We're aware that some wikis have used Javascript to change their search field so that it includes two buttons and/or goes directly to articles (basically, replacing “Go”). Since search is a critical part of the Wikia interface, it's a violation of our Terms of Use to make changes to it that affect other users. We need to ask these wikis to remove those changes. People who use this code only for their own personal experience, however, can leave it as is -- that's the beauty of personal customization at Wikia.
Search Developments: Big Picture

Make of it what you will. cqm talk 11:19, May 14, 2012 (UTC)

That's the beauty of the stupid ToU our corporate overlords at Wikia have fed us. 222 talk 11:25, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
I say we ignore them and keep the javascript >:V Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 11:36, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
^Agreed. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 12:44, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
Can't do that. Ronan Talk 15:25, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
Then we should make a pop-up appear for every user that contains a link to the edit screen of their script and exactly what to put in there. This code should: 1) Make the search engine normal, so what is there now and we are asked to remove and 2) Make the pop-up stop appearing. Annoying? Yes. But it's either that, or we have to force this "update" onto our visitors. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 15:42, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
Pop-ups are nearly always a bad idea. A link somewhere in the sidebar to what you're suggesting may be reasonable, but we should wait and see how the next search update Wikia is planning (adding a "Go" and "Search" function to the search bar) turns out - that may solve most issues. Ronan Talk 16:03, May 14, 2012 (UTC)

(reset) It's worth noting anons have no access to Preferences. Not everyone has an account. cqm talk 18:33, May 14, 2012 (UTC)

A Go function through preferences will solve no issues. I seriously doubt all of the people who voted here have accounts. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 19:38, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
You're right, I'd completely forgotten about anons not having preferences. Scratch that. I do think we're being a bit too keen to put ourselves at risk though. Ronan Talk 20:02, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
I think we should display the poll results on community central for everyone (not necessarily staff) to see. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 23:08, May 14, 2012 (UTC)
Seconded. Going by the comments in the survey, people seem to think it is an update introduced by us. But hey, we can't go making notices that Wikia is the big bad wolf on a wiki now, can we? User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 07:58, May 20, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - For those who aren't yet aware, Dopp removed the script because it violates TOU. --LiquidTalk 03:39, May 15, 2012 (UTC)

Well revert it! We shouldn't have to put up with their crap any longer. When i search for Varrock, the Varrock article ISN'T EVEN ON THE FIRST PAGE OF SEARCH RESULTS! How is that good!? We may be able to change it but Anon users can't. I think we should seriously consider moving again. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 09:32, May 15, 2012 (UTC)
Revert wars can get out of hand and could very easily result in a number of sysops blocked depending how many times it was reverted back. Moving wikis requires another thread, although we discussed it extensively in s:c last night. The major con we came up with is that we'd be competing with ourselves so would need a legal way to blank this that would stop Wikia just reverting said blanking. But like I said, such discussion belongs on another thread if we're seriously considering a move. There are no loopholes with this search 'update'. Your wikia.js is the best friend you have right now. Sucks to be an anon Frown cqm talk 10:41, May 15, 2012 (UTC)
There's no need to consider moving hosts at this stage. I'm starting to think we're treating this update a little too dramatically. Whatever about Wikia's faults, they won't let their wikis lose browsers solely through their own (easily remedied) errors, as it means less profit for them. Ronan Talk 15:10, May 15, 2012 (UTC)
You must also take into account their short-sightedness, personal pride and general ignorance of the opinions of the community. They honestly believe that this change will increase advertising revenue, and will not revert it until it is evident that the change has had a detrimental effect on their bottom line. This could take months, and by then the damage will be irreparable. 222 talk 09:09, May 16, 2012 (UTC)

My well reasoned opinion - kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 03:23, May 17, 2012 (UTC)

It is a better argument than the arguments Wikia made. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 11:27, May 17, 2012 (UTC)
#sixseasonsandamovie Suppa chuppa Talk 19:51, May 18, 2012 (UTC)
Britta'd it!ʞooɔ 20:05, May 18, 2012 (UTC)
What..? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 20:09, May 18, 2012 (UTC)
"Naturally, the team and I are saddened that some users are upset about the search update, however the reality is 90% of registered users are enjoying the search feature on a daily basis and over 70% of anonymous users utilise the search feature daily too - making it some of the most widely appreciated upgrades released to date." -Wikia Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 14:44, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
wtf Ronan Talk 14:51, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
Also in reality, 78.52% of people believe the moon is made of cheese, 85.24% of anonymous users think the background should be replaced with that April Fools Andrew Gower image year-round, and 81.15% of registered users believe that Oscar Wilde is actually a cyborg. I'm sure Wikia got their statistics from the same place I found all mine. Hofmic Talk 20:31, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
Source, Ben? sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 20:33, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
He altered what Jagex said about the SoF. Suppa chuppa Talk 20:44, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
... sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 20:48, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that's more of our time wasted. Wikia have made it increasingly clear that they aren't going to revert this change, despite the [tens of] thousands of complaints. Is there anything else that can be done with this thread? Ronan Talk 20:54, May 19, 2012 (UTC)
I was just lightening the mood :P. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 08:52, May 20, 2012 (UTC)

I've almost always supported Wikia's updates in the past, often being in a great minority, but this is just plain stupid. White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 16:18, May 20, 2012 (UTC)

Support old search - ugh. the new way of searching is way worse. searches are just way slower, unnessary to be taken to search results page, and some pages I want dont even come up on the first page of results. When i'm in the middle of doing something on rs I like to just be able to type in the quick abbreviation, get back to what im doing, then the next time I go back on that tab, the page I wished for is there, no extra hassle. I doubt they will.. but wikia please change it back, it was fine before D: Star Talk ayy lmao ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 22:14, May 21, 2012 (UTC)

Workaround - In Firefox, a user can create a bookmark that takes him/her to any desired page on the RuneScape Wiki straight away...

  1. Go to the RuneScape Wiki main page.
  2. Click the star icon in the URL bar.
  3. Put the bookmark somewhere (optional), otherwise the bookmark appears in Unsorted Bookmarks.
  4. Go to where the bookmark was put in the previous step, right-click it and select Properties.
  5. Add 'rsw' in the Keyword field.
  6. Retype the URL so that RuneScape_Wiki becomes %s.
  7. Now you can type "rsw Forum:Search changes" or "rsw RS:CC" etc. to go to the page.

Perhaps a mention of this workaround could be added somewhere high-profile?

 a proofreader ▸ 

00:17, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

You could just use the InstantFox addon for that too (also allows such functionality as "w" for Wikipedia, etc). Chrome can also do this by default, from its options menu (under "search engines" or something). Hofmic Talk 23:27, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

Support revert - I can't see any reason why the new search method is actually helping viewers and users. On the other hand, it means users have to go through multiple pages to reach what they want, meaning multiple ad-views... Even as I opened the site just now to have a quick check of what's going on, ads slid out of every corner and I was even harassed by popup ads. I'm really getting sick of this crap; it's out of control. Chicken7 >talk 08:04, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - Pretty sure Wikia is aware of what they are doing now. Since the discussion has died down, I'll close this. sssSp7p.pngIjLCqFF.png 22:05, May 27, 2012 (UTC)