Should the 'search function' be restricted?

In this thread, Arnold W explained how “searches” can really slow down the workings of the entire Board, even to the point of locking it.

I, for one, would be willing to forfeit my chance to conduct searches, and certainly willing to have my searches restricted, if it meant that access to the Board would be facilitated.

This seems like a pretty obvious idea and, if it’s been asked before, please close this thread and just point me to the relevant link.


Yes KarlGauss, it’s been asked before and I said we were going to take a look at it. We’ll try to get to it soon.

Of course, that would mean searching for the links…

I too think that it should be restricted. Perhaps one could search GQ and the reports only. Anything that needs to be addressed in ATMB could be put in the FAQs (or put a “sticky” on them), and the other forums don’t really lend themselves well to searches anyway, as the threads often go wildly OT.

I agree - I’ve rarely used the search function. Obviously it’s great for digging up old threads when people start re-hashing old themes, but if it slows everything down this much, no-one can hash, let alone re-hash, anything.

Seems to me, it’s a particular problem around late morning Hong Kong time. So an alternative would be for Stateside dopers to go to bed earlier. :slight_smile:

Maybe it could be restricted to paying members, if and when paid membership comes in.

But isn’t the “view posts since last visit” also a search function? I’m not sure I’m willing to give that up.

I’ve seen a lot of references by some people about “vanity searches”. All I can say is that their vanity is killing the board.

rsa’s just bitter because you can’t do a vanity search when you have a three-letter name.

Do you mean the “view new posts link?” The board already shows icons for that w/o using that function anyway, and half the time IE shows an “X” icon because the graphic isn’t available when the page loads. I would hardly think such a function would be necessary, even if you were watching threads. Isn’t that what the “subcribe to thread” function is for (I really don’t know, as nothing posted on this board is important enough for me to worry if I miss a new post, but if I cannot read it at all will make me go away for good, and I am sure others feel the same way).

Ok, you got me. Plus the fact that I wouldn’t find anything anyway. :smiley:

I ain’t never going away…:rolleyes:

Fine…but note that I turned all graphics off on my browser, left IE, and logged off my ISP. I then redialed into my ISP, started up IE, and logged onto the Straightdope Frontpage. The time was @midnight CST.

I then get a stopwatch. I press the MB link and start the watch. 1minute 30 seconds to change windows. I then press the ATMB link and the stopwatch. 3 minutes to change windows. I then press the link to this thread. 45 seconds. I then page down, read your message, see an unknown icon that I have to right-click on to see it as a rolly-eyes smiley. I did not time this operation. I then click “reply.” 30 seconds to open a new window. Who knows how long it will take to preview this and submit it…

This is not an extreme for this board…it is getting more and more typical all the time. If I would have done this at noon rather than midnight you can double those times. Something must be done to prevent the “locks.”

Two things:

  1. There is a hack to vBulletin to automatically turn off Search temporarily when the Board gets bogged down, and to turn it on when the server load lightens. It is a “semi-official” hack IIRC, that is being seriously discussed as being added to the core software. Or maybe it is; I don’t have 2.2.4 yet…

  2. I know you guys don’t see the http logs, but they sure are interesting to read through to see what people are actually doing. I found out that typically, an enormous number of people start the day with “view new posts”, a very large number of people Search on their username every single day. Perhaps looking to see what people are searching on will speed things up.

I also sent a link to Jerry through Jenny on how to speed up the Searches by adding some keywords to “badwords.php” - if you haven’t done that yet, I urge you to try it. I removed these words from Search last weekend:


and re-built the index entirely. That reduced the size of the Search index by nearly 20%. It sounds incredible, and I’m sure some of the reduction was a result of cleaning up dead links to deleted posts, but wow…20% reduction. It seems to have resulted in an apparant doubling of speed of Searches, but we did not do any official timing.

There is a tradeoff to adding words to “badwords.php”, because the words in that list need to be parsed through with every post and every edit. However, given that there are so many to begin with, adding even 10 or 20 words that are pretty silly to index would certainly yield an overall increase in speed.

However, if you guys are also considering modifying “badwords.php” as a hack, then that option is out as well.

Thanks Anthracite. It sounds like jdavis already knows of these suggestions, but we can mention it again.

What about turning off the “search all open forums” option like we used to have? That might reduce some of the lag.

I’m with Why a Duck on that one. I no longer ever search All Open Forums, since I got trained out of that habit when we lost the option on the old board. But I suspect a lot of posters still use it, with obvious consequences. I’d also be happy to see forums other than ATMB/CCC/CSR/GQ have their searchable hours limited to non-peak times (GQ is probably the only forum that would get significant usage, but the others are crucial to the Board’s primary purpose). However, these observations are just customer comments, since I know Jerry is limited in what he can do without hacking the software. Whatever can reasonably be done will be done, I am sure. Thanks for the constant tweaking, guys!