Inside JXtended Finder 1.1 - Part 1

We’ve been hard at work on the next version of Finder and now that it is approaching stable, it’s time to take a look under the hood and see what it can do! But first, it is important to understand what Finder is and what makes it so special. If we set aside all of the technical jargon it is probably best understood as a modern search engine with X-ray vision.

Finder 1.1 Create Search Filter

The first question people usually ask is some variation of "What makes Finder better than the Joomla Core search system?" to which the answer is: everything. The Joomla Core search system takes the simplest approach. Search articles, then in Web links, then in any other content for which a plugin is provided. This approach works but requires a sacrifice in the form of accuracy and relevance of search results. On the other hand, Finder brings technologies developed for modern search engines to Joomla 1.5. It talks directly to your Joomla database to understand your site’s structure and content in a way that no other search engine can. By looking at your content directly, Finder will learn where every instance of a word is, how the word is used, and how many times it is used. Finder then leverages that information to return the most accurate and relevant search results to your users.

Finder 1.1 Advanced Search Options with Magazine

Finder 1.1 builds on this approach by analyzing the organizational structure of your site. With this high-level knowledge, Finder will give users and administers an unprecedented amount of power. This new power is used to allow users to search only within a specific section or category, to search only a specific type of content, and to give administrators the ability to create predefined search filters. In addition to the new found power of Finder, version 1.1 is an important milestone that will make it easier for users, administrators, and developers alike to unleash its full potential.

In the next few articles, we’ll dig into specific pieces of Finder 1.1 to see how they can be leveraged to empower your Joomla Web site.

9 Comments

  1. if it is so good, why not to include it in core joomla 1.6?
  2. There are several reasons. One reason is that the scope of Joomla 1.6 was set many months ago through a white-paper submission and approval process. To my knowledge, enhanced search wasn't even submitted as an idea. The Joomla Core search works fine for most Joomla sites which tend to be relatively small and don't need granular filtering. Finder was designed to provide accurate search results on sites with large data sets and it is currently being used on many sites with thousands of articles. It is possible that Finder will make its way into the core in the future but for that to happen, compromises will have to be made that we don't have to make when providing it as an separate extension.
  3. what compromises you have in mind?
  4. What SEF system does jxtended.com use?
  5. I do like the comments interface. 1. Are there parameters to hide the email and website fields? 2. Can you hide the row of buttons (Bold, Italics...)? 3. Is it possible to show only 1 captcha instead of 2 captchas? 4. Is it possible not to show the sound captcha? Thank you.
  6. Hi jx team, I hope Finder 1.1 will allow searching and indexing of articles created by thrid-party components. For example, Joomsuite produces many e-commerce components critical to my business, but right now I have to use Finder for my core content and the JResources search for their component. I imagine if Finder could search and index the entire DB without having to select which components to search, I could ditch the JResources search mechanism for Finder. Hope to see this! Kevin
  7. @Lin, The biggest issue is the migration from one system to the other. For the Core to have Finder, it would have to keep both in place or remove com_search and replace it with Finder. With one option, we have to break all search features or we have to double the amount of work to keep them up to date and it gets complicated for the user to figure out which one to use, what the differences are, etc.
  8. @Kevin, I truly wish that were possible. Unfortunately, there are just too many variables that go into something like this. An extension like Finder has to figure out URLs, published states, access levels, start and end publish dates. Those fields are named/handled differently in almost every system and that is the biggest reason why Finder can't just talk to any table. It would make life much easier but it just isn't possible with the current platform.
  9. @Jeff, JXtended.com just uses Joomla! 1.5 Core SEF URLs. All of the site's URLs are a result of the site's menu structure. There are now parameters to hide/show the e-mail and website fields. The bbCode buttons can be disabled. We support two CAPTCHA options, reCaptcha (the one this site is using) and a more basic captcha option that may be what you're more familiar with.

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