[openskills-dev] New OpenSkills Home Page

Patrick Lesslie patricklesslie at iinet.net.au
Fri Oct 1 11:43:27 BST 2004

On Fri, Oct 01, 2004 at 07:22:48PM +1000, Bruce Badger wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-10-01 at 14:43, Patrick Lesslie wrote: 
> > > The search is rather crude.  It simply selects the first skill with a
> > > name that includes the given string, and does a search on that.
> > 
> > It's very nice all the same, and invites clicking on.  My suggestion
> > would be to also put the search panel on the search results page,
> > just to make it easier to keep searching for things as they spring
> > to mind.
> Where on the page would you put the string based search panel?
Well I had thought in the left hand sidebar where it currently
says search.  I don't know if it's all that practical.  I just
have a penchant for pages that have an omnipresent search text
input box.  For example  when you do a google search, and then
realise you wanted to search something else, you don't have to back.

It's the string based search that I really like.  While the tickbox
search is good, it doesn't have string search functionality.  It is
more of a "show me all the records in these particular categories",
and is non-trivial to do since it means reading through a growing
list of choices.  It is a more thorough way to find what you're
looking for, but it's more cumbersome.

> I have thought about having a <Refine Search> button which would go from
> the search results page back to the search page with the same skills
> selected.  This would help if someone hit the maximum results limit and
> they wanted to narrow the search.
> What do you think?

A refine search button would neatly bring the list-search page into
a search process initiated with the string search; e.g. I search for
admin, find heaps (especially if it took all matches and not just the
first) and then hit "Refine search" and then happily browse through
the full list, ticking and unticking with full control.

There's a bit of a namespace clash already between the two types of
search.  For example, I would have thought of refine search as meaning
"type in a string that will be searched for within the results already
found with a previous string search".

Perhaps a choice along these lines would be useful -
 Search now
   [       ],

 Search within results
   [        ],

 [Go to skills index (button)]
where the index could have relevant boxes already ticked as you

Also it might become useful to be able to view just top-level
categories, and then zoom in from there, like by starting with
a collapsed tree view.

There are other structures that might work well too, apart from the
tree structure.  For example, when a skill is added, it could be
linked with other skills to form a web, and then any node could be
used as a starting point from which to search.  This might also
help with problems of the "who is the real parent of this skill"
variety.  I don't know how it would work with the XML spec though ;-)

Patrick Lesslie

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