Search Engine on

Máirín Duffy duffy at
Mon Jul 26 04:37:32 UTC 2010

On Sun, 2010-07-25 at 15:31 -0600, Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
> 2010/7/24 Máirín Duffy < at>:
> > Is there a reason for what I detect to be a tinge of paranoia here? There is
> > a world of difference between a well-meaning FLOSS code upstream making an
> > honest mistake and a provider lying about their FLOSS-ness. I hear about the
> > former all the time, the latter -never-. Is it really a concern?

> I am confused over a couple of issues:
> 1) What do you mean by  paranoia and where?
> 2) What was the question that there is paranoia about?

Paranoia about potential third party vendors claiming to be FLOSS when
they are not which seems to be a theme here, but I apologize if I'm
being unfair....
> I thought the discussion was whether or not we should provide a
> ourselves or get rid of it. I have been
> discussing in any form the former. We can't provide an open source
> search engine to replace Google or Bing or Yahoo. We are neither
> staffed, budgeted, or knowledgeable to do something at even the level
> of the original AltaVista. Having had to replace several
> ill-performing search programs with Google at previous jobs.. I am not
> sure how well we could do ourselves in a way that people consider
> 'relevant' any more.

I guess one problem here, that I've missed in the discussion so far, is
rather than thinking about which search engine is best to use - what is
best for the user? Is a page with a search box in the middle of it the
first time you open the default browser really the best experience for
our Fedora users? Isn't there already a persistent search box now
available embedded in the browser chrome so no matter what page you're
on you can search the web? So why are we providing a search box in the
main screen area again? Was it to make referral money that we then found
out later we couldn't accept? 

I think a big confusion here too is we're talking about start.fpo AND
docs.fpo. I don't think you need a Google / Yahoo / Altavista level
search system to be able to search docs.fpo or even www.fpo. Sure, you
need a big horse engine to search the whole web, but why should we be in
the business of searching the entire web?
> Now if the question is that we should remove/redirect
> from a 'cover' of google to say a page that
> explains what Fedora Project is about, what people can expect from the
> community (and vice versa), how to join, etc etc. I am all for that.

I don't think that's going to provide the best experience for the user
either though. How about a start page like Chromium has that shows
thumbnails of your most frequently-visited websites so you can access
them in one click based on visual cues? I think a long time ago Bryan
Clark wrote a blog post about what should be in the browser window when
you first open it to best make users' lives easier. Actually I think
Colin may have written an extension for Firefox that does the thumbnail
thing. Why don't we get rid of start.fpo and just install that extension
by default?

Best way to solve a problem is to make it not a problem anymore :)
Certainly beats feeling like you're compromising your values!


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