This question about Configuration: Asked

Quick and well matching searching

I have quite small wiki (less than 100 topics) which is concurrently used by up to 5 users.

What annoys everyone is way of navigating to appropriate topic.
Since that, I need to configure 'Search' in WebTopBar to meet following criteria:
  • search in both - topic content and any kind of tags related with topics (tags should have priority over topic content). Currently I use TagMePlugin, but I would be eager to use another extension if it is more appropriate (for example: ClassificationPlugin)
  • search in all webs
  • ideally, search should be much faster than now (My server is rather slow, but still I would expect better performance on such low number of users).
Regarding my first criteria - correct me if I am wrong, but the only option (except writing own code) will be to use SolrPlugin? It looks like huge tool which will take a substantial part of server resources - I would really like to avoid that..

Regarding performance - I've tried to install NativeSearchContrib and change searching engine accordingly, but it seems that it doesn't really help.

-- MateuszKDzior - 09 Feb 2015

Let me first address your performance. Given the size of your installation and users, performance really shouldn't be a problem (for loading topics or searches). If loading times for topics or searches is more than a second or two, then I'd suspect there's something up with the installation. Assuming your server is minimally adequate, it really shouldn't take any longer to process basic searches. If you do need a performance boost, I would look first at FastCGIEngineContrib for the biggest bang. I haven't personally seen NativeSearchContrib help much except in much larger installations.

I would agree that SolrPlugin is completely over-kill for your needs and size of installation. It is awesome on big installations and complex data structures but you are right that the back-end installation is substantial and adds significant overhead for the server.

Regarding the design of your searches, I think you've already realized that TagMePlugin has a major drawback (IMHO) in that it can not easily be combined with normal searches. (There are ways to kind of do it but it's a hassle.) I would look for ways to manage tags that stores them in simple DataForm fields and so can be combined with normal searches. You could consider ClassificationPlugin, but even that may be more than you need. It's pretty simple to add a tag field to a DataForm using JQueryTextboxList field type (which is included Foswiki core as part of JQueryPlugin).

I always recommend creating a simple data form to help organize your content. Add it to your default topic template. In addition to a free-form tag field, you could add a general "Category" field for broad groups of content. This allows you to create a simple top-level navigation that can be shown on the front page, sidebar or menu. This provides an alternative path (besides search) for users to navigate to content they are looking for. Using the DataForms also helps in search performance by providing easy ways to reduce the scope of the search. You can fairly easily create a customized search form that allows users to narrow search by category, tag, and content. FlexFormPlugin is a very useful tool in creating this kind of thing.

Hope this helps!

-- LynnwoodBrown - 10 Feb 2015

Thank you very much for detailed response!

  • Regarding performance - I guess that it will be needed to investigate this issue more carefully. I suspect that resolving DNS might take enormous amount of time (since after each click on any link, web browser looks like waiting for the first response). What tools to do you suggest (simply developer tools in web browser will be enough?).

  • Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to implement 'search' field to query both - tags in DataFrom as well as topic content
What if there will be no DataForm in some topics? I would expect to still search their content - will it be possible? Will it be possible to cache some queries (since - as I mentioned - I have so many performance issues)?

Could you provide an example of such search macros (ideally - implemented for search field in WebTopBar)?

-- MateuszKDzior - 11 Feb 2015

QuestionForm edit

Subject Configuration
Version Foswiki 1.1.9
Status Asked
Related Topics
Topic revision: r3 - 11 Feb 2015, MateuszKDzior
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