Organization needed: The Projects Collection

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by jpanhalt, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
    The Projections Collection contains many useful projects that unfortunately will be lost to poor memory as the number of pages increases.

    Search routines are fine, if you know what words are used, including misspellings. I thought that perhaps a sticky that could be scanned easily for subjects and key words would help. In other words, an index.

    Right now, the Collection stands at just 2 pages, and I will volunteer to enter the existing projects into an indexable format.

    Attached ( View attachment 9039 ) is a sample data table for the first 4 projects that were showing this morning. My idea would be to have each Keyword or Phrase alphabetized as a separate index line followed by the title that would be a clickable link to the project. Thus, the first 4 projects would lead to 8 index lines. Except in unusual instances, projects would be limited to 3 index terms.

    A popular keyword might be on several lines and thereby linked to several projects. The titles in that case would help users decide which of the projects might be most relevant to their needs. The authors should provide suggested index terms, but the Index editor could modify those suggestions.

    I am a WordPerfect user, and it seems clear to me that WordPerfect or QuattroPro are not the way to go, if we want the index to be useful to most forum members.

    The purpose of this post is to get suggestions for simple indexing software* or existing tools on the site and feedback on whether others feel that approach would be useful.


    *I am aware of general indexing and searching software, such as Google, X1, etc. Ideally, I am looking for something that will create an entire index from just the keywords and links in a single file, without having to duplicate each line as I did in the sample. If that is not possible, then what I am suggesting here could be done with a little more effort using Excel, QuattroPro, or even a word processor program. If needed, control+f could be used to search that file.
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    Thanks for taking the intiative on this John, I agree that as the collection grows there is a question of manageability and now is a good time to address that.

    The first thing that springs to mind is the use of Tagging. This is something that in its current form is both automatic, implemented at post time by the forum software, and also manual, the user can enter any such terms that are pertinent to the thread. These can be searched as "Tags" from the Tag Cloud.

    The problem with the current implementation of the Tag Cloud is that it is global, i.e. it is applicable to all forums - I guess the motive behind the Tag Cloud was to create a forum independent searching feature.

    Now if we could implement a local cloud of "Tagged Words" for the Project Collection Forum, would that be similar to what you are suggesting? (Btw, the intention is for this to not affect the global Tag Cloud, and I'm not sure we could even create a local tag cloud I'm merely putting this out there as a suggestion).

  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Perhaps a simple list, stickied in place, that can only be edited by mods, and limited to one post? We could even use the cookbook catagory list, or a variation of it?
  4. jpanhalt

    Thread Starter Expert

    Jan 18, 2008
    That is exactly like what I am suggesting. I will have to read up on the tagging process. As you recognize, a global search could lead to a lot of noise hits, e.g., a search on solenoid, ascii, or counter would lead to a lot of global hits, but only a few in the Projects Collection.

    @Bill, My original thought was a simple, controlled list like you suggest. That list could then be used as search terms guaranteed to get at least one hit within the Projects Collection forum. Then, I figured a quick link to the actual post would not be hard to add. The title adds an additional human-based filter for when the number of projects gets much larger. I suspect it will be relatively unimportant until we get to >5 pages of projects.

    Making that sample table was quite easy, so now is the time to plan ahead.

  5. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    I'll have a chat with Rob to see if this possible. It seems the most logical and best automated way.

    Obviously, the above might not be an option therefore Bill's suggestion may be the only suitable way.

    At the minute it best if I do a little digging and see what options are available. In the meantime further suggestions are welcome.

  6. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    The search has this "advanced mode".
    In this mode you can choose wich forum to look at.
    Perhaps the tags of the projects should have a "workover".

  7. m4yh3m

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 28, 2004
    i think an alternative system to house projects should be created. after the projects have been submitted to the forums, verification and validity checked, they should be moved to an alternate organizational system (and out of the forums) that allows extra search criteria like specific ICs, making it easy for others to find functioning circuits that include the components they are wishing to use (great for reference)
  8. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    In a galaxy far far away, in a land before time (and personal computers)................

    When I was first starting out I commenced a card index.
    I headed each card with a 'useful' word or phrase and wrote down the reference from my infant collection of Wireless World's and other dynamic media of the day.
    At the outset I actually did not understand many of the topics, but I wrote them down anyway. (Some would say I still don't understnad any but that's another fish.)
    Over the millenia this index had grown and I have added cards, words and phrases as new subjects have arisen.
    I kept the separate; theory, practical constructional data, and specific datasheets, book references and so on.

    So now for instance I can come up with a good list of articles about/using say the XR2206 function generator and later derivatives.

    The key to this is having a good list of search words, cross references and alternatives.

    I did try once to get Access to offer a similar alphabetical list of tabs I could thumb through so I could computerise the index, but it's such a clumsy beast.