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Re: "Canned" search instructions?

From: Lauren Landsburg <lauren(at)not-real.landsburg.net>
Date: Sat Oct 26 2002 - 13:10:13 GMT
Hi, David.

> I'm about to go live with SWISH-E (again, fantastic software), and I'm in
> the process of writing the "search instructions" page.... 
> Does anybody out there have a nice little search instructions page for using
> SWISH-E which I could "borrow" for my site?

Unless I misunderstand your question, you probably have to write this yourself for your users.  I assume you are looking for a user-friendly version of

http://www.swish-e.org/current/docs/SWISH-SEARCH.html

How do your users access swish-e?  

If they do it through a web page with a form you designed, you probably let them select among several options.  But then you need instructions to match.  Swish-e's "fantastic software" (I quite agree!) makes it so that the set of options from which
users can select is highly customizable, with a little post-processing magic.  The cost is that you then do have to explain what you did or no one can use it!  :)

If you used an HTML form someone else provided, that person also probably has an instructions-page to match.  So: Start there.  That's how I got started: I knew Perl, so I picked off a Perl-based user-interface and set of instructions.  I then
customized it for my various sites' purposes.

You are welcome to cop from one of the Instructions pages I've written, but be aware: this page as written is highly dependent on customizations I've written in Perl to post-process the basic index provided by Swish-e.  Also, the page is written with
an eye toward that website's readership, which consist of fairly-well educated graduate students and faculty in economics: they may have little knowledge of computers, but they are very logical in reasoning ability.  Consequently, neither the
language, style, or options may cover what you want for _your_ users!  But maybe it can give you some ideas about what users are looking for in general.  We get pretty good reviews about our Help pages.  So:

http://www.econlib.org/library/searchsite.html

Lauren
Received on Sat Oct 26 13:14:12 2002