Kai_Wilke's avatar
Dec 06, 2022

Optimize the search results

Hi DevCentral Team,

the DevCentral search is very hard to use. Whoever or whatever you search, the matching results wont highlight / reference the exact post where the search pattern matches, the reference will be always the entire conversation and the original question would be highlighted...

I would basically need to crawl all conversations to find some of my previous posts.

Cheers, Kai


  • Status changed:
    Needs Info

    Kai_Wilke - while I agree with you, in the general sense, there are improvements to be made to Search.

    I also think your style-mods (you mentioned having a custom style set for things like page width) is doing something to the OOTB behavior.
    When I execute the same search you provided I see the following.
    * Underlined relevant content.
    * in context results
    * Tags highlighted

    Can you confirm?

  • You found 75 and i found 73 results. So yeah we got the same results.

    If you scroll down the list you will only see the questions made by others. But not my answers. Since I barely start a conversation, its basically the norm...

    And regarding my StyleBots. I'm running many browsers, some with and some without. And right now i only adjusted <PRE> formatings. So they should not have any impact on the presentation of the search results...

    Question: The older DevCentral site had an awesome google support. I basically always used google to find old posts. How comes that the new site is barely included in google searches? 

    inurl:devcentral.f5.com "Cheers, Kai"

    Cheers, Kai

  • Let's chat about google separately - in the interest of staying on topic.

    When I scroll through the results I see, for example, this post - where you were the reply-author, containing the word "performance" in your reply. But not anywhere else on the post. That, as a spot check, checks out.

    and yes - the search finds your content in that thread (but not your part of the post) because, I suspect, your View Results is set to Topics - If instead you change it to Specific Posts (under Advanced) you will see the bits where you wrote back.

    if this doesn't get us to "good enough" then post the exact URL of your search so I can look for a systemic problem.


  • Kai_Wilke - if you are looking for your own comments, you can find those by clicking your profile icon in the top right, navigating to your profile, and then clicking to see either all your posts, or all your replies:


  • Dividing my answer in two parts...


    Thanks for pointing out the "Advanced Search" options.

    The "Specific Posts" setting was the missing piece in the puzzle i was looking for. It finally made the user experience of the searches more Google-ish. 

    The search link Search - DevCentral (f5.com) contains for example the result below. You basically can not see whats included in the topic and why its even included in the search...

    If you switch the search link to Search - DevCentral (f5.com) then something magical will happen. You start to see the reason why a specific result was included in the search results and you may spot the right information directly in search result page instead of clicking on each single result link. 

    Question to this:

    Is it possible to change the default experience in personal preferences? I cant find a setting for it...

    On mobile devices the advanced search options and custom filters will not be displayed. Any plans to add it?

    Everytime you re-define your search string in the search box, the selected "search filters" and the "specific Post" selection will become flushed - which makes it annoying to always reselct the filters and settings. Could the search be adjusted so that it would carry over the last settings/filters (like Google does).

    Buttom line: The default settings of the search are rather confising. Dont know what others think of those settings, but for me there is lots of space for improvements. DevCentral was always a daily growing source of information where members could search the content and learn from the past. If the search is not usable or even complicated to use, then DevCentral will end up with lots of duplicated questions and content. Just my 2 cents...

    Leslie_Hubertus : I know that my Profile will display all my questions and replies (but not explicitly your codeshares and articles). Anyway... you cant filter the result in the profile and I somehow dont want to click on +1k replies to find something. So at least for me, the overwhelming listing of those information is adding no benefits. 

    Cheers, Kai

  • Status changed:
    Needs Info

    Kai_Wilke - this thread is pretty huge, with several different ideas and forks possible. We also spoke about several related / unrelated things the other day - but - the bottom line, I see, from this suggestion is: Please Improve Search

    Point taken.

    Generally speaking - this is the subject of a big change I'll be working on into this next quarter (Jan-Mar 2023) - bringing DevCentral back to a federated search posture together with F5.com and myF5 and some other resources - with the intent of putting more consistency and modern features in front of our membership.

    I'll leave this as accepted until the first version of that goes live and then we can revisit and see how it fares / look for more improvements.