Strange search page behavior October 26, 2007 12:12 AM   Subscribe

Out of curiosity, why is the main Metafilter search page different when logged out and logged in?

The logged-in page has the "Search Posts" and "Search Tags" buttons, along with explanatory text, while the logged-out page has "Yahoo Search" and "Google Search" buttons and nothing else.
posted by Upton O'Good to Bugs at 12:12 AM (8 comments total)

The $5 membership fee covers the fees involved with the tag search function and the writing and upkeep of the explanatory text.

(or maybe admins don't log out so they don't know it's a problem. Good eye.)
posted by ALongDecember at 12:33 AM on October 26, 2007

The main MeFi search page performs the same search that's used to check for double posts when you're posting a new link. Searching via that page doesn't hit comments, I think, only post text, URLs in posts, and post titles. I'm pretty sure it's a direct db query that has been off & on available throughout the site's history as the balance between user numbers and server load teeters back and forth. It would make sense that non-members wouldn't have those direct query privileges. Members can use the Google search non-members get by typing keywords into the search box on the header.
posted by carsonb at 1:11 AM on October 26, 2007

load capacity
posted by carsonb at 1:16 AM on October 26, 2007

Related question: whenever I'm logged in, I find that I can post comments on contentious topics, and people respond by calling me a turd-twirling toad-toucher.

Yet when I'm logged out, I twirl turds and touch toads with relative impunity, and no-one gives me "face".

My question here is: why the double standard, you jizz-juggling faeces-fondlers? Maybe someone could search on the answer to THAT for me.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:16 AM on October 26, 2007

inattention to detail.
posted by quonsar at 5:47 AM on October 26, 2007

The logged in search hits the database directly, the logged out one does not and relies on outside services.

When I was having capacity issues on the server, turning off unnecessary db hits wherever possible resulted in an improvement. Things have been good and steady for the past 3-4 months and we have a lot more server capacity now so I might be inclined to turn it back on for non-logged in people but stuff like tag searching is the kind of thing active members seem interested in doing.

If you read Metatalk, you can probably figure out the search page and how the search is really precise (it looks for only exact matches in just posts), but for the general public, a looser Google search probably works better for finding posts about a general subject.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:03 AM on October 26, 2007

posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:12 AM on October 26, 2007 [4 favorites]

Ah, I see. Thanks.
posted by Upton O'Good at 7:27 AM on October 26, 2007

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