Index vs. Search? (take III)

Subject: Index vs. Search? (take III)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Jay Maechtlen <techwriter -at- covad -dot- net>
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 18:34:17 -0400

Jay Maechtlen noted: <<ideally, of course, the search engine would
look at synonyms and offer alternative search terms...>>

Definitely, but creating such a compendium of synonyms would be an
awfully thorny challenge in artificial language -- one that isn't
even close to having been solved yet. As your example (below)
indicates, it's not trivial to embody all the implicit knowledge we
accumulate over decades of linguistic weirdness. And the resulting
database of synonyms would be huge, even if you constrain it heavily
towards a specific domain (e.g., word processing).

<<And speaking of strange terms, how about "spike"?>>

Case in point! The physical artefact still exists here and there, but
mostly in diners and greasy-spoon restaurants nowadays. Very few word
processor users have ever seen one or used one, so it's an interface
metaphor that isn't immediately clear until it's explained.

<<I know the name is taken from the office implement, but how many of
us nave actually used the physical item?>>

I have, but that was 30 years ago.

<<How many actually use the "spike" in MS Word?>>

I do, and it's quite useful. It even gets a couple mentions in my
book (see below) specifically because it's so darned useful.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Re: Index vs. Search: From: Fred Ridder
Re: Index vs. Search: From: jmccrooks
RE: Index vs. Search: From: Al Geist
Index vs. Search?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Index vs. Search?: From: Jay Maechtlen

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