SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] integrated catalogues?
Re: [Sigia-l] integrated catalogues?
On Oct-24-2005, at 3:38 PM, Alexander Johannesen wrote:
> On 10/25/05, Skot Nelson <skot_at_penguinstorm.com> wrote:
>> Is this a failing of technology, or of the sub-30 second attention
>> span young kids (and I can't believe I just used that phrase, btw)
>> have today?
> Google has shown that with low hardware requirements and high
> smartness you can acomplish amazing results in a fraction of a second.
> They do this because they've thought about the problem in new ways.
I dunno, you know. I never really got the Google Epiphany. I accept
I always had good results from Alta Vista, and it didn't seem to me
that Google was a quantum leap.
> An example is a search
> service I recently created that had a lot of clever ranking algorithms
> and the use of thesaurii for magic lookups and so forth, but the
> actual search was more traditional, with search response times ranging
> from 1 to 10 seconds.
I like the taste of your firewater, mister. Conceptually at least.
I'm going to use the old, somewhat dated term "fuzzy search" as an
umbrella in which to contextualize my comments.
I suppose what I have yet to see is "fuzzy" search that truly works
in cases where extremely high precision is a goal. Google (and
others) provide good fuzzy search where the goal is characterize by
one word: "Huh?" I'd use this to describe a time where I had a
general interest and time to explore a potentially long list of results.
On the other hand, a comment from another mailing list:
>> I was just wondering if you had a link to the Interesting Breeze
>> stuff. I'm not familiar with it and couldn't narrow down a google
>> search enough to find it.
demonstrates that Google still has shortcomings, when trying to
perform tight searches. The searcher, in this case, had substantial
I've been looking for details on how to check the oil level on a 1981
Virago, and have very very little luck with Google. I'm not sure that
the things that you've mentioned above are going to help to achieve
> "If someone has shown you that what used to take a minute could
> take seconds, are you going to ignore that fact and go on your merry
> 1-minute-per-search-is-just-dandy way?"
although I certainly wish it would. My crank case ran dry while I was
searching, so to speak.
> ...are you going to ignore that fact and go on your merry
> 1-minute-per-search-is-just-dandy way? I thought not. :)
True. But it strikes me that to satisfy Academics, you need to do two
a) Actually get all the information in 10 seconds instead of a
b) Convince me that you've gotten all the information, and that I
don't need to comb that obscure DB my field has relied on for years
The latter is harder to achieve than the former, for reasons that
have a great deal to do with human failings rather than technology.
It's also something that tends to transition generationally - newer
generations trust newer technologies more naturally, having not been
raised with The Old Ways.
Perhaps this is just another level to be beaten. Human searching is
often characterized as much by targeted searching as it is by
somewhat more random browsing...it's generally my view that we
haven't solved the browsability issue in software yet.
> In fact, my service
> described above *is* an academic search, and 10 seconds for a search
> was borderline enough for us to try and be smarter and faster about
> it. And seriously, it isn't that hard.
Hmm. Is this something that a Canadian could dive into, or does it
require some sort of restricted access? I'd love to poke around.
> Libraries have a long tradition of designing things that are hard to
> use, cryptic to understand and generally produce sub-par results.
And yet, I love walking through libraries. Robarts Library at the
University of Toronto was a particularly impressive temple to the
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: Tue Oct 25 2005 - 03:06:34 EDT