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New Site Search and CMS

Handheld PC News

Posted 2 years ago | Announcement | Chris Tilley 3 comments

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HPC:Factor has lacked it since it's inception - in fact both S|HPC and c e 3 2 0 before it both also lacked it: Robust search.

A project was attempted back in 2005 to try and implement full site search. Unfortunately as any desktop Windows user will be able to tell you. Microsoft's Indexing Service (the engine behind Windows Search) is as useful as a Newton at a Windows Mobile convention. Quite simply it just proved impossible to get Microsoft's indexer to read and parse static Microsoft ASP code (who would have thought).

There have been a lot of changes going on behind the scenes to the site over the last few months and some users may have spotted that page URL's started to change in December. This was due to the migration of page content into a new Content Management System aka 'Mimas'. Once completely written in house on and off over the last year.
Virtually every section of the site that does not have so called 'business logic' (an algorithm) to load it has been ported into the new CMS.

For the most part, it will be impossible to tell that anything had changed at all. The CESD has been the obvious give-away as it was necessary to change all of the knowledge base ID's to a linear numbering system instead of a category based alphanumeric system.
Other content areas have been re-rationalised, moved or reorganised as part of the migration - however very little of the sites content going back to 2000/11/09 has been deleted. The sites SEO has also improved drastically, with proper meta data capture and SEO friendly URLs now being used in all areas of the site except for the forums (as of writing).

In addition, the main sites source code has gone from nearly 248,000 lines down to 163,846 lines (as of writing). For those who are not developers, the site is a big project however it means that there is considerably less to maintain and safeguard - something that has been an increasing time sink in a world where hacking is a professional sport.

The completion of the data migration programme has also meant that is has finally become possible to implement universal search. To that end you will now find a search option on the main toolbar. This allows you to search through the entirety of the sites main page and download content from a single interface. The new universal search has replaced the temporary new CESD search that appeared after Christmas as well as the old download centre search. It is also possible to search the News section for the first time as well as the Forums and CMS tagging system all through the same interface.

The community may find the new search engine more powerful than existing ones, including the forum's native search as it supports phrase searching and negation. Allowing you to specify that you want to see "a phrase" (plus) xyz (but to not include) -this.

As you might expect, the changes have been pretty intensive and there is very little code wise that has not been touched. This increases the chance of issues being inadvertently created that have hitherto been missed. So please, if you do spot any errors. Drop us a line and let us know. Please don't leave them there for someone else to report (because honestly, after 22 years of running the site, I can tell you that they do not).

I hope that the community find the changes useful.
Posted on 18 February 2022 at 14:48By Chris Tilley (C:Amie)

Comments on this article

archival36's Avatar archival36 18 February 2022 11:22:39 PM
The search works! This is indeed useful, especially for people like me who needs to learn the past about old handheld PCs back in the day or a refresher. Time to donate!
C:Amie's Avatar C:Amie 23 February 2022 8:40:18 AM
I must admit, I've used it a bunch of times for odd things that I never considered over the last few weeks. I lament that it didn't happen sooner; alas it's been a non trivial amount of work so there wasn't much liklihood that it could have.

I am glad that people like it.
joval's Avatar joval 08 April 2022 5:22:26 PM
ok, wow... yes I noticed things were looking and working better!

We don't always know about all the good improvements going on in the background... pleased you are informing us and ever so grateful for the effort... keeping the wheels greased, etc. :)

joval via a J720+LED upgrade/Devuan/WPA/SSH/RasPi4/Firefox
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