A working search for aTbRef pages


(Mark Anderson) #1

Those who’ve used aTbref for a while have noticed the embedded Google search feature stopped working a while back. Despite spending a lot of time researching this (poorly documented) feature it’s still broken and there’s no fix as yet.

Kudos to @PaulWalters, I’ve now got a working DuckDuckGo solution under test on this page (only!, for now). I want to do some tweaking of the integration before doing new templates and full re-build/export of the site. I’ll leave the code in the test page working, so folk who need that feature now can always bookmark it as the site’s ‘search’ page for now.

So, to questions…

The tb_clarify folder is very new. It’s where I’m beginning to revive the demos I wrote in Clarify and which were on that app’s server. As that service is dead and the app is no longer supported (and probably dead, come macOS 10.14, as it’s 32-bit), I’m reviewing, updating, and republishing the HTML of those demos to that folder on my own server. I suspect it’s little spidered as yet.

So, Yes, the search targets two folders on acrobatfaq.com - the current aTbRef and the clarify demos.

The DuckDuckGo offering is probably less sophisticated than Google’s. DDG adds it’s content as an <iframe> in the page. If anyone spots that, I’m sorry but that’s DDG’s implementation and I can’t change it. Nor, seemingly can I make DDG search show results in a new window, so using the search will take you to DDG’s site. Given the upside of getting results, I can live with that.

I’ll leave the Google search code in place too, for now, as I’d like to resolve that issue. I think it’s because acrobatfaq.com and atbref.com are domains hosted via my shoantel.com virtual server and the internet plumbing of that (beyond my expertise!) is confusing Google’s spiders. Anyone who’s an SEO expert is welcome to chip in and point out how i might fix that. The whole point of of the search is to help all of YOU!

I’ll probably change the DDG search box’s hint text so the scope of the search is clear. I do wonder whether to add the tbdemos folder as that might also be helpful in some contexts. I can’t just search acrobatfaq.com as the site still hosts 5 previous baseline versions of aTbRef (v2…4, v4.5, v4.6, v5, v6) mainly so lots of inbound links don’t break

Anyway, please do ask is there are more questions. I’m not sure I can customise the DDG search much more but i’m open to suggestions.


Atbref documentation in pdf format?
(Paul Walters) #2

Thank you very much for this, Mark!!!

I understand the conjunction of searching by default the base and Clarify sites. I’d point out that just using

site:www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref7

as the site modifier in DDG is an option if you want to search in your own DDG window and get only the hits in the main aTbRef site. So:

DuckDuckGo claims to be more respectful of your privacy. Suppose so, but of course no one (except perhaps NSA :smile:) has the ability to know for sure.


(Mark Anderson) #3

Good point. Seeing that we’re not trying to do analytics, I’ll try another test on a page with a ‘manual’ search box.


(Mark Anderson) #4

And of course Cmd+Return or Cmd+clicking the current DDG test search will give a new window/tab.


(Mark Anderson) #5

A local <form> returning site from another domain doesn’t seem to work. So long since I did this by hand I’m probably missing something. Anyway, I think the DDG script plus improved prompts is probably the way to go…?


(Mark Anderson) #6

Formatting page test updated. Any better?


(Paul Walters) #7

Looks nice. And when DDG finds results on both sites (main and Clarify) you can remove results from one or the other by clicking the “x” next to the site URL under “Showing results from:”