Wednesday, December 14, 2011

RE : Old School Search Engines

Posting to Autocat

On 13/12/2011 18:04, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
<snip>
For us poor spellers, or when not certain of a surname spelling, browse can be very handy.
Not all searches are subject searches. Sometimes one is seeking a partially known item or person.
</snip>
Of course, a much more powerful way to search for a word you do not know how to spell is the "fuzzy search" available today. Even the open-source catalog Koha has this option, but anybody sees it in action with every search in Google, e.g. a search for "philsophy" automatically "corrects" your search to "philosophy" but allows you to continue your original search. If you don't know someone's full name, there is the Wikipedia solution, e.g. see the "list of people with surname Smith" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_surname_Smith, which leads to a huge number of disambiguation pages. Of course, none of them are in the order surname, forename.

If you are interested in someone and all you have is the name "Smith", that is really sad for you, but it seems as if the Wikipedia pages, with its possibility for adding a search for a "relator" term, would be at least a little more useful than the library's files.

I still maintain that this would be a great place for cooperation among different communities!

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