Ever since we switched over to having paginated video archives (300+ items, each with a thumbnail image was getting very large) I have been trying to figure out a good way to make the videos just as accessible as before. When they were all on one page, you could just use the search function of your browser to find any video you wanted, so I figured adding our own search function would solve the problem.
It was a great search function too: You could use boolean operators (like +, -, AND, OR), you could search for a specific phrase “using quotation marks”, and you could even you wildcard characters to find parts of words (like cheese*). To top it all off, it was backed up by a super fast fulltext index that was all set to scale up to hundreds of thousands of records without any slow down. The problem is that it wasn’t very useful. Turns out when you only have 500 records, no one cares about boolean operators, full phrase matching and wildcards and that specially optimised index that can scale up to 500,000 records, does so by excluding any words smaller then four characters. Back to the drawing board.
LoadingReadyRun’s new search function is the simplest possible system. Type in your search term and it will find every video that has that word anywhere in the title or description. No AND, no OR, no quotation marks. Type in the and you are going to get a whole hell of a lot of results. It will even find partial words. Doing it this way is not only less flexible, it is also way less efficient, but with the number of videos we have, it seems more useful. In 10 years, when we have a couple of thousand videos in the database, we may need to revisit the problem but at the moment it seems to run just as fast as the old system.
The LRRcasts use the same system, BTW.
As always let me know if you experience any problems or wierdness.