Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One "New Search" "Quirk" is fixed

I posted last Thursday about the "quirk" I discovered while trying to put my 101 presentation together, and then posted Tony Macklin's comments on Friday about how the "quirk", er, mistake, happened in the Search development process.

Anne Mitchell, who is in charge of the Search team at, posted a comment on my first post today saying that the fix has been implemented and I can find all of the search results in "New Search" that I had found in "Old Search." I'm happy to report that "New Search" found the same six matches as "Old Search" did for my test case of Isa* Sea* born in 1823 +/- 2 years in Massachusetts. Good. Thank you, Anne.

Anne posted a note "Latest on Lifespan Filtering" on the Blog yesterday about this feature. Read it for more information. In comment #47 to that post, Anne said:

"I’d say in order, the requests have been fix dates, places, and names. We’ve just launched the date filtering which should help there a lot. We are now working on places…also not a trivial thing to implement and this one will require UI changes as well. And then we will work on names."

So there are more changes to the "New Search" user interface coming in the near future. I can hardly wait! And will test them to see if "New Search" matches "Old Search." [What do you want to bet that a comparison with "Old Search" is now one of the QA tests?]

My attitude toward the search features are that they are the best, generally speaking, in the genealogy industry. I don't think any other site has as many options, or works so hard at developing them, as They make mistakes when implementing them occasionally, as they did in this case. But, in general, they are top notch. is, rightly or wrongly, the company that more people love to hate because of past experiences, the cost, or the fact that they are a for-profit company. By being communicative, by being responsive and by being user-friendly they will gradually overcome some of the built-up ill-will brought on by previous management teams.

I find that almost all of my problems with finding people in the databases lies with the Indexing of the databases, not with the Search engine. That's why I was perplexed last week when this problem raised its head.

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