Weblog Enhanced Search Completed

My weekend programming project to improve the search capabilities of the weblog software I’m using is basically done, after a spate of typical computer-based monomania. The search function works nicely, and I’ll be ready to package it for public release in a few days: it’s mainly the usual matter of documentation and disclaimers. The one feature that I want that isn’t quite working yet is the wildcard search. But that’ll be taken care of in the next day or so, since I know what I want to do with it. There might be some refactoring involved, but that should be no big deal.

The project wasn’t taken on purely out of altruism. This was done for a few reasons:

  • I wanted a better search facility. The old one basically did a full table scan with a LIKE clause. It made me shudder from an old DBA’s point of view.
  • This was simultaneously metaphorical leg stretching and feeling one’s oats after the VBscript project for work. PHP is just nicer than VBscript, and I feel like could do a better job than the writer of the platform used for the VBscript project; if I can say so myself, the search function was better written than the VBscript platform (though, admittedly, it was a much smaller project; but then, the “move page” function from the platform didn’t work, and was horrendously written; though I blame part of the “horrendous” part on the obvious fact that the author used MS Access as his development DB).
  • I wanted to do something where I was forced to do something at least a little beyond the old-school SQL that I had been writing. I learned my SQL on FoxPro 2.6 (!!!), which just had a SQL veneer slapped on the xbase engine. Now, I know a little more about JOINs, and will no longer be surprised when MySQL performs poorly when I do the old school WHERE a.foo = b.foo statements. “Old school” in the computer industry tends not be a good thing. Especially considering that the JOIN constructs apparently come from SQL92. I’m now 10 years out of date. Similar stuff about learning a bit about CSS, though that was a bit more inadvertent, when I realized that the search results page I built looked a bit crappy and wasn’t very flexible.
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