Feature Proposal: Templating search result summaries

Another proposal, ListFormatViewAndEditTemplate, describes the mechanism to view lists of topics.

The current proposal describes what elements the default list items ought to have. Custom templates then can override this default.


In a large wiki, search is an important tool to retrieve information. Problem is that search results either are too generic, or application specific.

This is the result of the 2 basic ways we have show search results:
  1. Using default search - in Foswiki 1.1 this resembles Google's search results. The result is eaqual for each topic.
  2. Using a custom format with SEARCH and parameter format defined. This is often used for data driven applications where the topic type is known.

Adding elements to recognize items in a list

Search results (and lists in general) would be easier to interpret if they would show information relevant for the type of topic.


For example:
  • People topics: show a user picture and phone number
  • Presentation topics: show a preview or the document type, plus author or event name
  • Extension topics: an icon with the extension description
  • Picture topics: show first picture, or even a set of pictures
  • Video topics: show video thumbnail
  • Blog topics: show author picture and blog post summary

Four base elements

We won't get improvements if each topic type has very different summary displays. By using these four elements we will have sufficient variation possibilities:
  1. Link title
  2. Summary
  3. Meta data (such as the modification date)
  4. Image

The base elements can all be defined, or only some:
base elements.png


  1. Restructure %TMPL:DEF{SEARCH:format}% to make it the default summary template
    • it should have 4 base elements:
      1. Link title
      2. Summary
      3. Meta data
      4. Image
    • it should have appropriate CSS classes

The result:

-- Contributors: ArthurClemens - 21 Jan 2011


I have updated this proposal to avoid duplication of ListFormatViewAndEditTemplate (and removed Sven's comment that pointed me to this, thanks).

-- ArthurClemens - 21 Jan 2011

Work partially completed in master, and then abandoned. Needs a developer., changing to Parked.

-- GeorgeClark - 19 Nov 2015
Topic revision: r8 - 19 Nov 2015, GeorgeClark
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