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Re: [vox-tech] [help@google.com: Re: [#19464334] Searching fordotfiles]
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Re: [vox-tech] [help@google.com: Re: [#19464334] Searching fordotfiles]

On Thu, Jan 13, 2005 at 01:25:49PM -0800, Mark K. Kim wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Jan 2005, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > On Thu 13 Jan 05, 12:42 PM, Mark K. Kim <lugod@cbreak.org> said:
> [quotes trimmed - getting way too long!]
> > > Most dotfile has a corresponding /etc file with same syntax so...
> >
> > Yes, but I don't care about /etc/application/2.1.5/config/.dotfile.  I care
> > about:
> >
> >    .dotfile
> >
> > > should Google allow dotfile searches specifically for unix users but not
> > > their global equivalents?
> >
> > Yes.  Because if anybody wants information on ".vimrc", they'll search for
> > ".vimrc".  If they want to search for /etc/vimrc, they'll search for
> > "vimrc".
> The syntax for /etc/vimrc (or more accurately, /usr/share/vim/.../vimrc)
> is same as that of ~/etc/.vimrc.  So why would one be motivated to search

Remember that a search for /etc/vimrc is the same as a search for
etc vimrc.

> for .vimrc when one simply wants to find out the syntax of vimrc files in
> general?  In such scenario, the search engine dropping the dot is the
> right behavior.  The only scenario I can think of where searching
> specifically for ".vimrc" is more desirable over "vimrc" is if "vimrc"
> isn't searchable, making ".vimrc" the more appealing search term, which is
> the case for ".forward" because "forward" is a generic English term.
> But let's look at the statistics.  How many dotfiles do you know that
> isn't searchable besides .forward because it conflicts with another, more
> popular or broader, term?  Just go ahead and check your home directory.
> Knowing this statistics, can a gigantic search engine like Google (or any
> generic search engine) justify making an exception for such class of
> files?
> More importantly, how many dotfiles are absolutely unsearchable with some
> decent phrase combination?  .forward can be searched with "forward unix
> email", and it does come up on the first search.  (Or, to search for the
> original question of forwarding to multiple addresses, "forward unix email
> multiple addresses") and the result comes out on top.
> If Google started making exceptions for everything, it really is going to
> slow it down for everone.  And remember Google has to make these
> exceptions for the googols of searches it really does to every day.  Each
> exception should be justified, and in my opinion, dotfiles isn't
> justifiable.
> > > I don't think a generic search engine like Google should be that specific.
> >
> > I'm simply advocating returning searches for "foo" if you ask for "foo".
> > How is that specific?
> Then it should make that exception for every word, not just for dotfiles.
> But as they explained, doing that is too much for Google.  And as I
> mentioned in an earlier e-mail, making an exception for all words with
> punctuation in front of the word has some problems as well.
> > Besides, the Google people are smart.  I'm sure they'd be able to make
> > dotfiles searchable if they put their minds to it!
> I'm sure they can.  But as above, it has to be justifiable.  In my
> opinion, it's not.
> > > It's up to the person doing the search to use the right keywords:
> > >
> > >    forward unix email
> >
> > Perhaps.  Good point.  But "forward unix email" isn't quite what a person
> > searching for information on ".forward" is looking for.  Results can range
> > anywhere from exactly what the person wants to configuring sendmail.
> Yes, but the right query will bring the right page to the top.
> -Mark
> -- 
> Mark K. Kim
> AIM: markus kimius
> Homepage: http://www.cbreak.org/
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