Author Topic: Better search ranges  (Read 2585 times)

Offline bontchev

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Better search ranges
« on: 09 January 2011, 06:52:14 »
Currently, when performing a database search for some criteria, the user can specify the search range for the coordinates only as Galaxy:FromSystem-ToSystem, where the three parts of the range (Galaxy, FromSystem and ToSystem) are entered as single numbers in separate input fields. My idea is to allow the user to use more flexible search ranges.

Ideally, it should be implemented as GalaxyRanges:SystemsRanges, where each range is entered in a separate input field and its format is not a single number but a comma-separated list of ranges, where each range is a dash-separated pair of numbers. For instance, one could use 1-5:100-150,200-250 to mean "all coordinates that are in Galaxies 1 to 5 and encompass there the systems between 100 and 150, as well as those between 200 and 250, inclusive".

The need for such searches becomes particularly clear in the old universes, where in order to find inactives and large debris fields one often needs to scan not just the nearby systems but a whole range of galaxies. It would be also useful in very crowded universes (like 35.org) when one is looking for a position to colonize in a desirable spot.

Although the same task can be performed now by doing a large number of separate searches, it would be more convenient if it was possible to do it "in one go".

If you think that novice users will find such a search format too intimidating, at least consider adding the capability to add a range of Galaxies to search (e.g., FromGalaxy-ToGalaxy:FromSystem-ToSystem), where each part of the range is a simple number entered in a separated input field.

Offline eX0du5

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #1 on: 04 February 2011, 21:18:26 »
I faced the same problem already and would like to go with your second proposal because I am afraid that most user will not be able to handle the search parameter ;-)
Another idea would be to add this as additional search feature next to that 4 input fields - maybe using some kind of "advanced search range" to open the usually hidden free text field.

Offline bontchev

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2011, 06:36:52 »
Actually, the first proposal should feel pretty "standard" to most people - this is, for instance, how you specify which pages of a document to print in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF Reader. ;)

The users don't really have to see it. It could be explained somewhere (e.g., in the Wiki), but normally it would be just an input field where the user usually enters a simple number. It's just the parsing of this input that has to be more sophisticated and be able to handle ranges.

Or, if you go the "hidden advanced search" that opens when you click on a button, it could have just a single input field, where one enters the precise range to be searched (e.g., "1:100-150, 1:170-175, 2-3:1-499").

Offline eX0du5

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #3 on: 28 April 2011, 00:23:25 »
Hi bontchev,

please check out the combat reports page at our beta installation. This page contains the new coordinates search feature with one single field to search for coordinates. Additionally it provides a small popup window where you can define search ranges for galaxy, system and planets and they are added with the correct syntax to that single field.
This enables the power user to define the data right away in the text field. And the novice can learn the syntax by using the helper popup.

Offline bontchev

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #4 on: 28 April 2011, 05:47:29 »
The syntax is perfect but the pop-up itself needs a little bit more work.

First of all, a "close" control ("x" or at least a "Cancel" button) for it would be nice. It took me quite some time to figure out that the way to close it was to click outside it.

Second, after the first time it is opened, the "from" field for the Galaxy has a red exclamation mark and an annoying tooltip, explaining that this field is mandatory. Can't this be made to appear only if the "Apply" button is clicked with this field empty and not as soon as the pop-up has been opened for a second time?

Offline eX0du5

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #5 on: 28 April 2011, 10:06:21 »
Now that you noticed the same thing as I did last night, I changed the way the control behaves. The field is no longer marked as mandatory but only checked once you hit the apply button.
I don't want to add an additional close button as this does not really fit to the layout nor is this intended that way in the dojo control I am using for this. Currently it is quite nice and small and I assume everybody will notice that it closes onces they try to enter data in different fields are hit the search button.

What do you think about the attacker and defender fields including suggestions  8)

Offline bontchev

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #6 on: 28 April 2011, 17:49:17 »
Now that you noticed the same thing as I did last night, I changed the way the control behaves. The field is no longer marked as mandatory but only checked once you hit the apply button.

I am sorry, but I see no change in behavior. Just like before, there is no exclamation mark there the first time I open the control - but after that, every time I open it, the exclamation mark is there.

Quote
I don't want to add an additional close button as this does not really fit to the layout nor is this intended that way in the dojo control I am using for this. Currently it is quite nice and small and I assume everybody will notice that it closes onces they try to enter data in different fields are hit the search button.

I am not sure I understand why - it seems to me that it would be pretty natural to have a "Cancel" button to the right of the "Apply" button.

Quote
What do you think about the attacker and defender fields including suggestions  8)

Yes, they are nice. Are they a new addition? You've had something like that on the "Historical overview" page for a long time.

Offline eX0du5

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Re: Better search ranges
« Reply #7 on: 28 April 2011, 21:54:30 »
Okay, a cancel button next to apply is ok for me. I thought you want to have an icon in the top right corner to close it.

The suggestion fields are working with dojo controls now and work nearly the same way as my implementation for the historical overview. But this control can be used with arrow keys too and work more intuitive. I don't want to concentrate too much on the UI stuff with own implementations (my own tab implementation; own suggestion list etc) but concentrate on the Galaxytool functions :-)