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New INS members benefit - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:16 am
by souldeep
At 1pm GMT today I will enable a new development to benefit forum members with INS membership accounts.


Synopsis:

I've found on occasions a new topic has been introduced where I remember something similar being discussed previously. I then have to go and use the search feature to try and find the old topics. I thought to myself how convenient (and encouraging to investigate further) if I didn't have to go do a search, that the topics where just linked with the current topic I'm reading.


What's Coming:

This new feature displays a list of similar (related) topics at the bottom of the current topic's page. It matches keywords in the current topic's title with other topic titles in this forum and determines the most relevant and closely matched result set. You will note an example of this new area enclosed in a green rectangle in the following image.
stopic1.jpg

You don't like change:

Not to worry. I've created a new option in your UCP. If you have no idea what the UCP is please go and read the tutorials on the User Control Panel found here - viewforum.php?f=494777.

You will find the new option under Board Preferences --> Display Options. The preference to enable/disable the feature on your account is encircled in a green rectangle in the image below.
stopic2.jpg

Features:

  • Displays a list of the most similar/relevant topics at the bottom of the current topic page.
  • Similar topics are sorted in order of decreasing relevance.
  • Currently it displays 5 Similar Topics to display per page. This can be increased/decreased if the community feels this would be beneficial.
  • I can enable a cache option for the result sets if in it's use, we start to find performance an issue.
  • I've created a UCP option so that you, the INS member, have full control over the feature be visible or not when you access the forum. By default it is enabled. You will have to switch it off in the UCP if you want to disable the feature.
  • Adjustable age-span of topics to display. I have set this to 5 years currently. Can be increased or decreased based on members feedback.
  • This new functionality will encourage exploration of the historical INS members archive.

Notes:

  • I considered developing the feature to interrogate individual posts. But with nearly 70,000 posts to search every time, and that number growing, I felt forum performance would be hindered. You can still use the search feature if you need to make a comprehensive search.
  • Similar topic searches are not case sensitive.
  • Short words (less than 3 or 4 letters) are ignored.
  • Stop-words are ignored (the, and, some, etc.).
  • If a word is present in more than 50% of all topic titles, it is considered too common and is treated as a stop-word, and is ignored.
  • Hopefully this feature will encourage more thought around topic titles.
  • Hopefully this feature will encourage more thought around topic titles.
  • If no similar topics are found, the results table will simply be omitted from the bottom of the topic page.
  • You need to be logged into your INS forum account to see the new Similar Topics feature.

Re: Announcing a new INS members feature - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:32 am
by Clive
A very useful new feature Martyn.. thank you.

Re: Announcing a new INS members feature - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:40 am
by Bakurae
This is a terrific idea. I've sometimes thought of starting a discussion and then stumbled across a reminder that there was one on the same topic a few months back. The new feature can not only save us time, but help us keep building on an existing conversation rather than re-inventing the wheel.

Re: Announcing a new INS members feature - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:48 am
by Operafan
+ 1, Thank you, Martyn ! :D

Re: New INS members benefit - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:00 pm
by souldeep
Feature now Live.

Thanks for the replies so far. I hope you all find it useful.

Re: New INS members benefit - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:44 pm
by pjburton
That's a great addition Martin and I'm sure will be much utilised from now on.

Peter

Re: New INS members benefit - Similar Topic Results.

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:28 pm
by AFNetsuke
Wow, Martyn! And we thought you had been on holiday at the coast only having fun. Always working for the netsuke community though...i should have known. :x