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Server resource conservation programme?

Server resource conservation programme?

Posted: 19 May 2012 8:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
Are you limiting search-engine breadth?

Two limitations noticed yesterday:

1) Searching newspapers from a tree, the "search only this county and adjacent counties" setting did not work. I could separately locate items in each of two particular adjacent counties, in separate searches using 'this county only', but the adjacency setting did not work to retrieve the same items from the 'adjacent' county (using identical search parameters as to name and date exactness).

2a) Searching in NewSearch from a tree individual for a Civil War item I knew existed did not retrieve it. I went to the Civil War search page in NewSearch and searched for a name I knew was indexed in that particular item, and it was not retrieved in search results. Matter of fact, only a result from one out of 5 known existing database entries showed up.

2b) Users ~!still!~ cannot readily locate specific databases in NewSearch (when will the database lists be created for NewSearch????--the "featured collections" short-list is still deceptive and non-helpful, and on the Civil War page there is no link to create a list of these databases from the Card Catalog). So I switched to OldSearch, went to the Military database listing, found the item to search in, did my known-indexed-name search and instantly found what I was looking for. This particular item is one of those for which no overall SQL index-list is shown, so entries can not be saved to a tree unless found in a search. Thus browsing directly to the known page entry is no help for saving to tree.

If these limitations (whether resource-call variable or not) are part of a conservation programme, could y'all please fess up?

All help appreciated,
Jade

Re: Server resource conservation programme?

Posted: 22 May 2012 10:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Jade,

We aren't doing any limitations for conservation purposes. Let me discuss each of your questions. Hopefully I understand them correctly. If I misunderstood anything example queries (via URL) would help me to see the issue, too.

1) Which event type did you use? I'd suggest switching event type to be "Any event". Newspapers don't necessarily reflect a residency location so using "lived in" for searching newspapers is less effective than "any event".

2) Was this database a Muster Roll database? I've seen some Civil War databases where old search indexed muster location as a residency place. New search is more specific, it does not consider a muster location as a residency place. If you use "Any event" or "Military" I bet you will find the results more readily.

3) I would like to bolster functionality of the Card Catalog. The new version added some useful features, but omitted some from the old version in the process. I can't promise a releae date, but can say that it is an area we want to address.

Hope the above clarifies what you are seeing.

John

Re: Server resource conservation programme?

Posted: 23 May 2012 12:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 23 May 2012 1:08PM GMT
Hi John,

Thanks for a look at my query and your responses.

Your 1): When searching newspapers I used the publication location and date fields only. I never use 'event' or 'event date', which I have found by experience are quite unreliable (masses of irrelevant items as to time and place) and tend to search major newspapers classed by event-type (say, births-marriages-deaths from Chicago and NY newspapers) rather than newspapers published where/when my people lived -- some of which are in the NewspaperArchive database and keyword-indexed.

Most people up to 1930 did not live in the major cities from which those event-type collections are compiled. The newspapers in which my people appear (with I think 6 exceptions out of around 10,000) are not in any 'event' category of publications that NewSearch searches. NY newspapers had marriage of a daughter of an Ohio governor, and Chicago newspapers had deaths of some distant cousins who lived there. That's it. My research is mainly oriented to 18th and 19th centuries, so the database emphasis on 20th century is better for other people.

[The recent additions of some 18th-century PA tax lists and the PA Church records images are just wonderful :D There were two ancestral marriage records and a father-son proof available nowhere else :D]

Your 2) "2) Was this database a Muster Roll database? I've seen some Civil War databases where old search indexed muster location as a residency place. New search is more specific, it does not consider a muster location as a residency place. If you use "Any event" or "Military" I bet you will find the results more readily."
--I have no idea whether _Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of West Virginia for the Year Ending December 31, 1864_ (partially erroneously titled in your database listing) is classed within a supposed "Muster Roll database." How would one find a list of what Civil War databases are in this group, and separately searchable?
--Beginning from a tree individual I clicked on Military as the database-group to search and commenced the search. I did not click to limit the search to any sub-group since these are rather oddly defined and there is no way to discover exactly which databases are searched -- or not, as the case may be. This is one element of buried information that makes NewSearch user-unfriendly.
--The individual searched for was Hynson C. Poynter, who appears as "Hyson C. Poynter" on p. 156 of the aforesaid publication, and in OldSearch-only can be found indexed by searching only for the surname. This is one of the OCR-indexed volumes, and at least 1/3 of the entries in the book are not indexed at all. Still, there is no good reason that Old search found this entry and NewSearch did not. In NewSearch, when I limited "Military" to location "West Virginia," from the Card Catalog "Military" group, the search engine found just one out of 6 entries in this category that exist for this person.

If you do such a search now in NewSearch, you might find it since I have attached the citation to this person in a private tree. But on the other hand, NewSearch did not find the other Civil War databases whose citations also were already attached to this person before I performed the search from card-catalog/military/WV.

Your 3) Improvement of the Card Catalog version in NewSearch is really long overdue, and improvements would be very welcome. Even better would be to establish **single page** scrollable lists of database groups for NewSearch such as exist for OldSearch. The landing pages with a few names of databases are very deceptive (since the databases listed are not necessarily searched from the landing-page search form) and not helpful. I do not know why the just-started process of improving these came to a halt. The barely-navigable and non-searchable series of 25-item pages retrieved for a category in NewSearch from the Card Catalog is (forgive me) still an infuriating waste of time.

All help appreciated,
Jade

Re: Server resource conservation programme?

Posted: 25 May 2012 2:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi John,

You did not respond to the question, why was "this county or adjacent counties only" not working for newspaper searching?

Thanks,
Jade

Re: Server resource conservation programme?

Posted: 25 May 2012 4:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
Also why have the search-engine results for Drouin Collection searches been changed, so the save-to-tree does not work?

a) Is there some new codifier who did not RTFM?

b) Is there no prominent section of TFM stating, "if it ain't broke, don't break it"?

Have a great weekend,
Jade
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