RequestEdit

{{editprotected}} Please add the following paragraph before the existing one:

For information on all available search options, see [[Wikipedia:Searching]].

(It has been confirmed in discussion with the developer that this - and MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new, where a similar request has been made - are the messages to which this link needs to be added: see WP:VPT#Search page.)--Kotniski (talk) 12:24, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

I think this needs discussing at VPT. This page is not widely seen. Rd232 talk 12:31, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
How do you mean? We've just been discussing it at VPT. This and the other one are the two messages that come up on search results, so they are widely seen.--Kotniski (talk) 13:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The proposed change hasn't been properly discussed. One person mentioned it as a possibility, and you agreed. Given the degree to which people want to keep this simple, it needs a bit more discussion, as an actual proposal to do something. Rd232 talk 13:31, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Are you opposed to putting a link to the search help page? Do you know anyone else who is? Why make a problem where there isn't one? Just make the change, then everyone will start seeing it, and any problems will quickly become apparent.--Kotniski (talk) 13:46, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
[1] Rd232 talk 14:13, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I still don't know where you're coming from. You're linking to something quite unconnected. Are you actually opposed to the change, or are you just in a bad mood today and trying to make things more difficult?--Kotniski (talk) 14:18, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The edit summary indicates that changes of this type may be opposed. And I'm not going to make the change without more evidence of support. And yes, in addition to that, I have doubts about how helpful the link is, and I'd like to see it discussed. Rd232 talk 14:22, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
You have doubts about how helpful a link to help on searching is on the page you get to by clicking search? Seriously? I think you must be in a bad mood; but all right, let's waste more time; WP:VPT#Add link to search help. --Kotniski (talk) 14:30, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The doubts are based on that page being way too unfriendly to the average user. It's a shopping basket of everything related to searching, not highlighting key things and hiding details, too technical, etc. Rd232 talk 14:41, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
  Not done for now: pending outcome of Wikipedia:VPT#Add link to search help. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 15:06, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Renewed requestEdit

{{editprotected}} Per the outcome of discussion at WP:VPT#Add link to search help, please add the following paragraph before the existing one:

For information on all available search options, see [[Help:Searching]].

Thanks, --Kotniski (talk) 12:10, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

  Not done: I'm sorry but I'm not seeing quite enough support for this proposal yet at the link you provided. There are still several editors expressing opposition to it. Please keep discussing it there for now. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:44, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I just stumbled on this. I was involved in the help messages we used together with the previous version of the search system. And the Village pump discussions on this are now in the archives, so I'll add my comments here. Here's the archived discussions: Search page help, Search page, Add link to search help.

1: Having a help text with links on the search page is a long established practice both here and on other projects. So this is not adding anything new, but instead adding back what was damaged when the new search interface was installed.

2: The help text we have in MediaWiki:Searchresulttext was established over some time and based on consensus and the needs that we discovered that people had. Since that message might change, here is the content of it at this time:

To view this page without search results but with all Wikipedia search options, use Special:Search.
For more information about searching Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Searching.
For additional image search options, see the Wikimedia Commons search page.

3: I suggest we implement this technically by transcluding MediaWiki:Searchresulttext into the beginning of MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new and MediaWiki:Searchmenu-exists. That means that whatever text we choose to have in MediaWiki:Searchresulttext gets visible almost always. The exception being when people go directly to Special:Search, but currently we can not do much about that and people that know how to access that special page directly without using the search box are mostly experts anyway. I have just tested this on the Test Wiki, so I know this works fine.

4: We have two main options what to put in MediaWiki:Searchresulttext:

4a: Either we keep the established text.

4b: Or we can make it a small Help:Searching link in the upper right corner, like we have at Special:Contributions and some other pages. That link is currently a redirect to Wikipedia:Searching. I think we should not use the link name Wikipedia:Searching directly, since it doesn't tell it is a help link.

5: The concerns that were brought forward at the Village pump discussion have been fixed: The upper right corner position (used for coordinates display in articles) has been fixed in the Vector skin, and it looks okay in all my browsers including my ridiculously old IE 5.5. (Well, the donation banner when at full size causes some problems in one of my browsers, but those banners are well known to be a buggy hack.) And the Wikipedia:Searching page has been reworked and improved. The only "concern" remaining is that the user Rainman thinks "it is unnecessary", but he made the new search interface so he probably don't want us to do any changes what so ever. And from what I can see he is not even an active user here on the English Wikipedia. (From time to time users from other Wikimedia projects come here and tell us to not fix things since it makes the English Wikipedia different from the others...)

--David Göthberg (talk) 13:33, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

All credit to Rainman for his good work on the search interface, of course, but in spite of his views on the help link I think it's blindingly obvious that there ought to be one. I like David's idea of transcluding the Searchresulttext (as long as that page isn't going to disappear at some point due to being deprecated in the software); personally I would prefer the old text (or at least one or two lines of it) rather than a smaller help link in the corner that people are quite likely to miss.--Kotniski (talk) 13:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I would certainly lose the "Special:Search" line from the old text - following that link doesn't give you any more options than are already present on the page you're on (and would remove access to the help link).--Kotniski (talk) 13:53, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I want to reuse the old page MediaWiki:Searchresulttext since it is linked to from a number of places, and its talkpage holds the discussions for how the help text should look. If the system ever auto-deletes that message (as it seems to do on some other MediaWiki systems but not here) then we can recreate the page and move it to a new name to prevent it from being deleted again.
Agreed, the first line of the old help text has no function anymore. So that just leaves two very useful lines. Nice. :)
And for those that think the help text will interfere with the text that tells if there is a page with that name or not: Well, when there is a page that text currently is bold so it is very visible. When there is no page then the text currently is in italics, so also differs from the help text. But if there isn't a page with that name, then mostly we don't want people to just create a new page, since mostly we do have other pages that covers the subject, so it doesn't matter much if that part is not that visible.
--David Göthberg (talk) 14:21, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
To make my position clear here. I think the help link is not essential there, but I do think it should be incorporated in a non-obtrusive way. The old page MediaWiki:Searchresulttext was very obtrusive because it put 3 lines of text that take time to read and understand and which most people won't want to click anyway. The search page should be organized so that users can quickly scan through it and locate what they want, and not organized like an essay. So keeping that in mind, I would support adding Help link somewhere, possibly in the the upper right corner, or next to the "Search" button (where I originally intended it). --rainman (talk) 11:37, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Other special pages such as the login page, the watchlist and the user contributions page has a number of MediaWiki messages that allows us to put text above, below and inside the boxes on those pages. And we use that to good effect in a number of ways.
The search page also used to have such MediaWiki messages, and we used one of them to neatly insert the help we had discovered that people needed. But your current version of the search page doesn't have any such MediaWiki messages, thus we can't insert any text anywhere in the search page itself. So currently you leave us with no other option than to abuse the text that is displayed below the search box after a search has been done, or to use javascript to insert items on the search page (which is not nice since then users without javascript won't see it).
It should not be up to one person to single handedly decide what gets displayed on the search page. Such things should be decided by consensus. And different Wikimedia projects have different needs. By deploying your version of the search page you removed text that had consensus. I suggest you add back such MediaWiki messages to the search page so the different Wikimedia projects can decide for themselves what text they want to display on the search page. The usual set of messages is one for text above the whole area, one for below the whole area, and one or more for different positions inside the box on the page. And as you yourself seem to suggest, in this case it could be nice with one message for the position after the "Search" button.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:16, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
 Y Done - I have now re-added the help links and the link to Commons. As described above I did so by updating MediaWiki:Searchresulttext and then transcluding it into MediaWiki:Searchmenu-exists and MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new. While I was at it I also added a link to Help:Searching in the upper right corner, just as we have on other special pages.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:31, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

How ironicEdit

The two message below was moved here from my talkpage. --David Göthberg (talk) 16:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Let me quote you "It should not be up to one person to single handedly decide what gets displayed on the search page". --rainman (talk) 16:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

For reference, I disagree with this re-addition of information that no one reads. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

End, messages moved here from David's talkpage.

Rainman: We used to have those links to help and Commons on the search page, and having them had a well established consensus. Your change in the search interface removed that. It has since been discussed and requested a number of times in a number of places. Up until TheDJ's message the only user I was aware of that doesn't want the help links are you, and you are not even an active English Wikipedia user. So consensus is clearly for the help links. I just hadn't gotten around to re-add them, since I have been busy elsewhere.
TheDJ: You probably don't need those help links, since you are an experienced user. But other users need them. Yesterday when I wanted to do an image search I was reminded of how hard it is to find out that searching for images should be done on Commons, and even if one knows that it is messy to get to the Commons search.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what you're talking about. All images on commons show up on en.wp image search as well. --rainman (talk) 19:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Rainman: Eh? You if anyone is supposed to know this. But anyway: The search at Commons not only searches the File space, it also searches the image galleries and the image categories. So just as the help link says, the Commons search page has "additional image search options".
--David Göthberg (talk) 02:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
People expect to find all images they can use and appear in articles (i.e. including commons) when they click on search images, and this is why we had bug reports on this and why it was solved. They get confused when misleading information is added all over the place. Think how many people actually want to search galleries on commons (and how does the text "additional search options" suggests this) and how many just see this for them irrelevant link at beginning of search results where they expect the first hit. --rainman (talk) 04:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Why don't we have just one big "Help with searching" link right floating the search field (or top right of the namespace bar or something). Much simpler and cleaner. Help for commons should be in the general Help as well. It does little good here. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
TheDJ: As has been mentioned further up on this page: Rainman has removed almost all usage of MediaWiki messages on the search page, so there is no MediaWiki messages for inserting text in the places you suggest.
--David Göthberg (talk) 17:32, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I have reverted the changes, pending further discussion. There is a (minor) rendering problem with the coordinates link, sometimes visible in Special:Contributions too, with IE and sometimes with FF in vector skin: the link sometimes overlaps, jumps above or below the separation line. Also, I think there's no need to mention the commons search, actually it will return less images: only those on commons, while the search on en.wikipedia returns both. At first, I've tried to link only to the help page as a 'coordinate' link and named it 'Search Help' (like Google), as it is imo redundant to mention help both below the search menu and give a link in 'coord' position; but since there's this rendering problem I've noticed, I've just reverted the whole thing. There's still the possibility to mention help below the search menu, as originally proposed, but since the search engine is kind of heavily used, I think we should discuss more... Another note, we should rather not transclude a secondary mediawiki page, because then for a change, you would often have to make two edits at each page, one just after the other to keep in sync, which may cause problems for users searching in-between (which is non-negligible due to the high use of the search). Cenarium (talk) 01:32, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Cenarium: You just threw out the baby with the bathwater. Just because you discovered some rendering problems with the help link in the upper right corner you shouldn't remove the whole help text. The help text was designed in detailed discussions over at MediaWiki talk:Searchresulttext and had been used for quite some time when Rainman disabled it in the software. Having help links is not a new "proposal", instead it is repairing what got damaged when the new search engine was installed.
If you think we should hardcode the help text directly into MediaWiki:Searchmenu-exists and MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new then why didn't you do it, instead of just disabling the help text?
As I just explained above: Commons search does give additional search options. Go there and try a search and you will see.
I see two users that don't want the help text: Rainman who isn't even an editor here at the English Wikipedia, he just comes here to resist any changes to "his" search interface. And the TheDJ that for some strange reason thinks that people shouldn't get help. While having the help links were long established and after they were removed (without discussion mind you) people have been asking for them all over the place.
--David Göthberg (talk) 02:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The only thing I resist is using the Davidgothberg's brute-force approach. As I said before I think the link should be there, but added as discretely as possible. Since we now have a rather long lag of multiple months in software updates, and it might take even a bit longer I am willing to accept the solution for now is to add a link to WP:Searching in existing messages. Either add a single line in non-bold font after the current text in MediaWiki:Searchmenu-exists, MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new, e.g. "For search help please visit Wikipedia:Searching.". Or add it in the "coordinates" position. And then move the commons link into this help page. Again, remember that 99% of users just want to be able to quickly locate an article, and only a very small fraction ever searches for images, let alone for categories or galleris of images on commons. --rainman (talk) 04:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Can we at least do the obvious for now and add a link to WP:Searching somewhere? I don't see why it should be "as discrete as possible" - are we embarrassed about it or something? We want people to know it's there (though obviously it shouldn't be in large flashing pink letters). If we really think that two sentences instead of one is going to be an information overload, I propose dropping (or discretifying) the sentence we already have (the one that says there is/isn't a page called X). But anyway, someone please add this link so that everyone doing searching has the chance to find out what search functionality Wikipedia offers. (An alternative would be to put the link on the search box in the sidebar - for example, instead of "search", it could say "search (help)", but until such a solution can be arrived at, we should do what we can and put the link in this text.) --Kotniski (talk) 11:05, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Ok, I've added it as proposed by Rainman and made some changes to WP:S (like mentioning commons). I don't think there's any need to mention commons in the search, since most users don't know about it anyway so it'll just puzzle them, and even more if they get there with all the obscure namespaces; those options are hardly accessible. For the few users who want to search media, the multimedia section will certainly satisfy them (and as pointed out, is more complete than commons' search). As for commons galleries and such, if we are to advertize them, we should rather do if through Portal:Contents than through our search.
As a note, I've submitted T24325 for the rendering issue. Cenarium (talk) 00:20, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Removing recently added "Sometimes only the first 51 results are listed below. This is temporary and due to lack of server resources."Edit

Could someone please remove this line from the message? This warning is not likely to be relevant to more than 99.99% of users who read it (since most users view 20 results), and as such should not be there. Bombarding users with information irrelevant to them makes the interface messy and unnecessarily cluttered. --rainman (talk) 20:54, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't know, I think it's quite important for this message to be there, since users who click the 100 results option are going to be confused if they only see 51. If you don't like the message, perhaps you could temporarily remove the options for 100 and more results (which apparently don't work anyway) so there would be no need to explain to people why they aren't working.--Kotniski (talk) 11:57, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
This is not easy to do because these values are hardcoded in the software, and it would require extensive modifications. Also as you might know we didnt have a software update in around 3 months due to Brion leaving and metavid merging. --rainman (talk) 13:58, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Rainman: This is Wikipedia, here we prefer to inform more, not less. For users that do the small searches it is just a little extra information, but for users that are doing the larger searches it can be very confusing if it doesn't work, so they need this information.
Everyone: I am not a native English speaker, so that message might need some adjusting. I'd appreciate suggestions. Especially I would like if we could make it shorter but still clear.
And a funny thought: When I wrote that message it felt like: Hey, should we link "lack of server resources" to the donation page? But nah, that would be evil... :)
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:06, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Rather, I would say this is Wikipedia, where a single admin can reverse what the usability team has been working for months... But oh well, if you're really think your call is better than someone's who's been working on this for years and who actually did usability research.. why should I care... --rainman (talk) 15:16, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Rainman, I don't think this is a net benefit. Power users will go to VPT where they can be enlightened. Innocent users don't need to know about this. It would be NiceTM if we could display the message only when 50 or more results are supposed to be being displayed, but in the absence of that, err on the side of less here.
David, I used to follow the exact same "more is more" philosophy. But that mentality produced "help" pages like meta:Help:Templates and meta:Help:Advanced templates. In some cases, especially documentation aimed at newbies, less really is more. Happymelon 15:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Generally I agree with not overloading people with information. But we're not doing that here - we're just giving one sentenceto explain to people why they clicked on 100 results and got 51. You don't need to be a power user to want to know what's going on in that sort of situation.--Kotniski (talk) 16:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm quite conflicted on this one. On the one hand, I agree with usability team, but this is an annoying bug that has already surprised me more than once (and I KNOW about it). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:59, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
An idea would be to hide the warning by using CSS, then for (autoconfirmed) editors, we make it visible by using Javascript. Less then ideal of course, but might be a semi-solution. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
TheDJ: Why should IP-users not be informed about this?
If you are anyway thinking of adding something to the global script files, then a better solution is to use javascript to hide the "100 | 250 | 500" links so people won't see the 51 results limitation. And if we hide those links then we can also hide the message about the limitation with javascript. Thus only the small number of users that have javascript disabled will have a problem, and those users will also get informed about it.
--David Göthberg (talk) 14:22, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

In any case, I've switched back the limit to 500, so this no longer holds. --rainman (talk) 18:09, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the message. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 18:49, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, also from here MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new. --rainman (talk) 21:23, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

search message - search help tidy upEdit

Currently we have MediaWiki:Searchmenu-exists

There is a page named "$1" on Wikipedia 
For search help, please visit Help:Searching.

MediaWiki:Search-nonefound

There were no results matching the query.

which is then followed on-screen by MediaWiki:Searchmenu-new

You may create the page "$1", but consider checking the search results below to see whether it is already covered. 
For search help, please visit Help:Searching.

I have a couple of reasons to change this:

  • If a user has found a page named - they will not really need help on search
  • If no results have beeen found - there are no results below
  • The phrase 'for search help' doesn't sound fluid

so propose the following format, which should cover these issues

There is a page named "$1" on Wikipedia 
For search help, please visit Help:Searching.
There were no results matching the query. (help with searching)
You may create the page "$1", but consider a more thorough search to check that the topic is not already covered under an alternative name, or as part of an existing article. 
For search help, please visit Help:Searching.

OK I ad-libbed on that last line just to try to clear it up, so open to invites on that one (niggling suspicion it can be worded better)- but the help with searching link is now far more concise and appears when its needed...Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 00:01, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Why do you think that if someone's found a page called something, they won't need help on searching? If they don't know fully how to use search, then the search they did might not be the one they really wanted to do, so the page named $1 might not be exactly what they wanted.--Kotniski (talk) 07:59, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
You're right ... we could add the (help with searching) to the end of the line, or extend with something like 'if this wasn't what you were looking for, the help page on searching has further tips.' Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 12:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Return to "Searchmenu-exists" page.