02 June 2005

Prospective search support in wordprocessors

Idea

It would be nice if there was a right-mouse-command that allowed users to take strings of words and automatically convert that list into a URI that would be automatically added to the aggregator.

This approach would combine word-formatting "search and replace command" with the prospective search tool.

This goes through the steps currently needed to convert a long list to a list of items that include quotations and OR-commands for a prospective search tool.

We then conclude with a self-evident request that this be streamlined into a simple process: A one step click to convert a list to an aggregator-search-URI that is then automatically loaded to the aggregator.

Details

If you have a long list of discrete items, it would be nice if there was a quick way to:

A. Include all the items in quotations; and
B. Place standard "OR" terms between the items

Right now, I can go to special command, find the whitespace or paragraph return, and manually click through the list.

Would be nice if there was an option to find "long spaces" and then enter a new term; and then continue with the list.

The problem is if I have simply copied and paste a list, the search tool doesn't see a 'white space' as something to recognize in the "find an replace."

And it also doesn't recognize a list as including many paragraph-breaks. Nor does the special search too recognize a list as including manual line breaks.

Solutions

Use the paragraph-mark [^p] for the search; this will allow you to find the end of each word or item in the list; in the search-change command enter the following:

find what: ^p
replace with: OR ^p

This will allow you to find the line break; insert an OR sign; and then maintain the line break.

Adding quotations to each item

Now you have a list of items with the "OR" command after each of them. The trick is to now add quotations to this list.

Find what: OR ^P
Replace with: " [insert space] OR ^p

Problem: the quotes end up being backwards at the end.

How to add an opening quote at the start of the word; and a closed quote at the end of the word.

Look for a line break

Manual line break command doesn't work: ^l

Here's what to do:

You have a list of words. Your goal is to put quotations around each item.

Find this: ^p
Replace with "^p"

What this does is inserts quotes just before the return [at the end of the first item]; and then adds quotes after the return [at the beginning of the next item].

Small problem: When you use this command the quotes don't face the right way.

Also, this includes a space before the quote.

To fix that, simply add a space before the first ^p

Find this: ^p [include a space before the ^]
Replace with "^p" [do not include a space before the first item.

There you go! Now all the quotation marks are the right way.

Doing it all at the same time

Here's how to enter both the quotations and the OR command to a single list:

Find this: ^p [include a space before the ^p]
Replace with: "^p OR "

This will put the OR at the beginning of each term.

Integration with PubSub

Here's the trick. PubSub has a problem with ordered lists and the OR command. It gets confused if you have a list of words in a vertical column.

The trick is now to remove all the paragraph breaks, and simply run the list through PubSub as a single line of data, not a list.

To do this, you have to then reverse the above process:

Find this: "^p
Replace with: " [remove ^p, but in * insert a space; this takes out the ^p-command but will leave some separation between each element in the new list.]

The next step is to simply reduce your list-length until PubSub supports that consolidated blog. In other words, if you have a list of 500 items that you're looking for, you have to break that list into separate chucks of something on the order of magnitude of 50-75. [I'm still not sure what the boundary is yet, but it's not as high as I had hoped.]

Cleanup

After you auto-replaced the format and have your search commands added, take some time to review the final result.

Your original list may have had some formatting problems; or some funky codes that got in the eh way of the manual additions.

Be sure to review your final list and see if there are some quotations or line breaks that have not worked out. There may be missing quotes.

Summary

This will solve the problem. But it would be nice if there was a faster way to do this; and so that the "find and replace commands" in the search tools were updated so that URI-prospective searches could be quickly converted from simply lists into something that can be quickly loaded to a prospective search tool.

The next trick will be for the prospective search tools to be able to handle very long lists. I've already maxed out the lists.

Also, it would be nice in the search simulator, if we could get an idea of 'where the list we just entered" actually got cutoff. Right now, I can only guess which terms have actually been accepted into PubSub.

In other words, even though I have a long list [that's been smashed together into a single chunk by removing line breaks], I now have to un-smash that list, so I can track 'where I stopped adding content.

Not all lists are alike. Some lists have more or less commands. I'm not sure if PubSub limits the input based on commands, content, line number, or the number of total characters. This is kind of hit and miss for each different list entered into a prospective search.

Translation: It would be nice if this was more of a "one step" process -- simply highlight a list of terms in a list, and right-mouse-click on "Create URI list" and it's all entered with a single URI, preloaded to the aggregator printing out content. None of this formatting and manual-adjustments needed.

-- This is the end of the content --
Idea

It would be nice if there was a right-mouse-command that allowed users to take strings of words and automatically convert that list into a URI that would be automatically added to the aggregator.

This approach would combine word-formatting "search and replace command" with the prospective search tool.

This goes through the steps currently needed to convert a long list to a list of items that include quotations and OR-commands for a prospective search tool.

We then conclude with a self-evident request that this be streamlined into a simple process: A one step click to convert a list to an aggregator-search-URI that is then automatically loaded to the aggregator.

Details

If you have a long list of discrete items, it would be nice if there was a quick way to:

A. Include all the items in quotations; and
B. Place standard "OR" terms between the items

Right now, I can go to special command, find the whitespace or paragraph return, and manually click through the list.

Would be nice if there was an option to find "long spaces" and then enter a new term; and then continue with the list.

The problem is if I have simply copied and paste a list, the search tool doesn't see a 'white space' as something to recognize in the "find an replace."

And it also doesn't recognize a list as including many paragraph-breaks. Nor does the special search too recognize a list as including manual line breaks.

Solutions

Use the paragraph-mark [^p] for the search; this will allow you to find the end of each word or item in the list; in the search-change command enter the following:

find what: ^p
replace with: OR ^p

This will allow you to find the line break; insert an OR sign; and then maintain the line break.

Adding quotations to each item

Now you have a list of items with the "OR" command after each of them. The trick is to now add quotations to this list.

Find what: OR ^P
Replace with: " [insert space] OR ^p

Problem: the quotes end up being backwards at the end.

How to add an opening quote at the start of the word; and a closed quote at the end of the word.

Look for a line break

Manual line break command doesn't work: ^l

Here's what to do:

You have a list of words. Your goal is to put quotations around each item.

Find this: ^p
Replace with "^p"

What this does is inserts quotes just before the return [at the end of the first item]; and then adds quotes after the return [at the beginning of the next item].

Small problem: When you use this command the quotes don't face the right way.

Also, this includes a space before the quote.

To fix that, simply add a space before the first ^p

Find this: ^p [include a space before the ^]
Replace with "^p" [do not include a space before the first item.

There you go! Now all the quotation marks are the right way.

Doing it all at the same time

Here's how to enter both the quotations and the OR command to a single list:

Find this: ^p [include a space before the ^p]
Replace with: "^p OR "

This will put the OR at the beginning of each term.

Integration with PubSub

Here's the trick. PubSub has a problem with ordered lists and the OR command. It gets confused if you have a list of words in a vertical column.

The trick is now to remove all the paragraph breaks, and simply run the list through PubSub as a single line of data, not a list.

To do this, you have to then reverse the above process:

Find this: "^p
Replace with: " [remove ^p, but in * insert a space; this takes out the ^p-command but will leave some separation between each element in the new list.]

The next step is to simply reduce your list-length until PubSub supports that consolidated blog. In other words, if you have a list of 500 items that you're looking for, you have to break that list into separate chucks of something on the order of magnitude of 50-75. [I'm still not sure what the boundary is yet, but it's not as high as I had hoped.]

Cleanup

After you auto-replaced the format and have your search commands added, take some time to review the final result.

Your original list may have had some formatting problems; or some funky codes that got in the eh way of the manual additions.

Be sure to review your final list and see if there are some quotations or line breaks that have not worked out. There may be missing quotes.

Summary

This will solve the problem. But it would be nice if there was a faster way to do this; and so that the "find and replace commands" in the search tools were updated so that URI-prospective searches could be quickly converted from simply lists into something that can be quickly loaded to a prospective search tool.

The next trick will be for the prospective search tools to be able to handle very long lists. I've already maxed out the lists.

Also, it would be nice in the search simulator, if we could get an idea of 'where the list we just entered" actually got cutoff. Right now, I can only guess which terms have actually been accepted into PubSub.

In other words, even though I have a long list [that's been smashed together into a single chunk by removing line breaks], I now have to un-smash that list, so I can track 'where I stopped adding content.

Not all lists are alike. Some lists have more or less commands. I'm not sure if PubSub limits the input based on commands, content, line number, or the number of total characters. This is kind of hit and miss for each different list entered into a prospective search.

Translation: It would be nice if this was more of a "one step" process -- simply highlight a list of terms in a list, and right-mouse-click on "Create URI list" and it's all entered with a single URI, preloaded to the aggregator printing out content. None of this formatting and manual-adjustments needed.

-- This is the end of the content --
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