Making #documentation more prominent in Search

Not sure if this should be a new topic (maybe there exists no topic explaining slow mode) or it’s about search (there’s a great topic, but I just can’t findn it). Someone asked me what slow mode was. I searched and can’t find out. (Since I’ve read every feature topic for the past 7 years, I know what slow mode is, even though I have never actually seen it).

When I search for “slow mode” I can find Slow mode appreciation, which might have an answer.

Searching settings for “slow mode” finds “Does ‘Slow Mode’ prevent editing, after editing_grace_period?” but there’s still no way to know what slow mode is.

Several of my attempts seemed to bring up a topic about “slow database”, which I guess migth be good.

On a related note, do we have how-to, and maybe announcements with higher search priority?


hmm i got this topic as one of my search results for slow mode but it wasn’t near the top of the list:


I may have been too impatient. :slight_smile:

But also, @JammyDodger , slow mode may deserve its own topic. It may be that it’s not search’s fault that it didn’t find a good answer (though yours was quite good for the person who asked).


just to be clear, i had to click “more” to get the full page of results and scroll to get that. it wasn’t on the immediate popup list of results. :slightly_smiling_face:


I started a reply earlier saying I didn’t think we had one yet, but couldn’t quite find the words to convey that whilst also not sounding like I was volunteering to write one… :slight_smile:

But no, I think it would be good to have one. :+1: I’ll add it to my list. :memo:

I think with support being set to ‘low’ it automatically elevates all the others, so this may not be necessary. :thinking: I’m wondering if searching for something that existed would give better hits?

Instant update: No, no it does not. :slight_smile: I tried ‘invites’ and ‘whispers’ and got more feature and bug topics than documentation. Let me give that a little tweak and see if it makes a difference.


The documentation subcategories were all set to ‘high’ already. I cranked them up to ‘very high’, and it did give them a lot more prominence in the results, but I think it may have been too much as it did drown out a lot of pretty much anything else. I’ve knocked them back down to ‘high’ again (at least for now).

I think adding in:docs or #documentation to the search is useful, but does rely on people knowing about them (and remembering to use them). Searching the Docs - Discourse Meta list is good too, and possibly easier to find for new people?


Ohh. Yes. Docs - Discourse Meta is definitely where new people should look. I think it would be good if that were more prominently available on the sidebar. Right now (as far as I can tell) you need to click the “more” and then find the docs link. It seems far from obvious. (And now I’ve hijacked this topic, with stuff that doesn’t belong, it seems).


The current bumping appears to be working correctly though?

I had a quick run-through with ‘invites’, ‘whispers’, and ‘polls’ (so just a rough ‘off-the-top-of-my-head’ attempt) and the documentation wasn’t the first thing that came up.

in:docs works a treat though.


oh my … you found an edge case here…

Title: invite something invite

Will win in search over a prioritized category with

Title: invite only once

This is because: SiteSetting.max_duplicate_search_index_terms is set to 6… This is kind of fine for topic body, but for titles… I think we want the simple 1.

Fixed this per:

Will issue a full reindex on meta once this lands.


We have success!

How is search feeling now @JammyDodger ?


That is working excellently. :clap: I’ve tried to trick it with lots of things, but so far it’s been giving me docs at the top every time. :+1:


There is 1 tiny edge case on poll I feel there is a vector for tricking my new intelligence there, but except for that I agree, looking great.

Will see if we can make a few more improvements to search to justify bumping the index globally, it requires a full rebake to take effect. Going to bookmark this for 1 month from now.


I wonder if using tags to improve the ranking of search results (adding rating modifiers to tags) would allow further fine-tuning.

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