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Author Topic: MSL search for stations with letter-named streets fail. Back to Topics
CampKohler

Champion Author
Sacramento

Posts:12,666
Points:2,003,295
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jun 20, 2013 5:05:30 PM

At the Sacto site, the following Search the List for Your Station searches fail:

One target is the Shell at 29th & H Streets.

1. "California", "Sacramento", "Sacramento", "Shell", and:
a. "h" yields Station Not Found
b. "h st" yields 5 non-matching Shell stations and the target

2. "California", "Sacramento", (blank), "Shell", and:
a. "h" yields Station Not Found
b. "h st" yields 13 non-matching Shell stations and 3 targets

3. "California", "Sacramento", (blank), (blank), and:
a. "h" yields "Sorry - an error occured" [sic]
b. "h st" yields many non-matching stations and (unexamined) targets

4. "California", "Sacramento", "Sacramento", "Shell", and:
a. "29" yields Station Not Found
b. "29th" yields the target
c. "29th st" yields 5 non-matching Shell stations and the target

5. "California", "Sacramento", (blank), "Shell", and:
a. "29" yields Station Not Found
b. "29th" yields the target
c. "29th st" yields 15 non-matching Shell stations and the target

6. "California", "Sacramento", (blank), (blank), and:
a. "29" yields Station Not Found
b. "29th" yields 3 targets
c. "29th st" yields many non-matching stations and (unexamined) targets

1a.), 2a.) and 3a.) may be failing due to time-outs, which some systems experience if the search takes too long. I would like to know if that is the case here or if there is another cause.

Clearly there are some failures here. Perhaps if the rules of this search were to be explained, the generalities of the it could be understood.


[Edited by: CampKohler at 6/20/2013 5:06:54 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,019
Points:3,795,090
Joined:Mar 2003
Message Posted: Jun 24, 2013 8:21:35 AM

I see this as someone who has too much time on their hands that finds things they really don't understand and really have no idea what the problem is (if there is on at all) or how to fix it. Then we get topics like these who really do nothing more than take up site space that could be used for something more useful.

And let us not forget, one needs 10,000 points to be able to perform this search.

It would be good to hear from a moderator on how this type of search works.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

Posts:7,142
Points:777,125
Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jun 23, 2013 4:34:35 PM

CK "On the opinion front, I don't think users should have to learn the vagaries and quirks of non-intuitive site functions. If a field such as the Street is obviously available for the user to use, he should not be told he is not use it because the code is misbehaving. That's just plain silly. Next we will be telling drivers who have no forward gears, "Suck it up, drive backwards and stop complaining. That's why there are license plates at both ends." Egads!"

That is a stupid comparison.
This is a free site, and has a low risk factor of significant harm.

It is those types of remarks that turn folks off to your constant list of problems.

Would it be nice if the site worked perfectly in all ways? Yes. Is it reasonable to expect a site like this to be bug free? No.
Is it appropriate to bring these bugs to their attention? Probably.
Is it necessary for them to tell you why it works the way it does or comment on every bug you find? No.

I am sure that things get addressed based on many factors, including the 80/20 rule (if it works for how 80 percent use it, the 20 percent will have to deal with it until they choose or get around to fixing it.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,666
Points:2,003,295
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jun 23, 2013 3:57:36 PM

GB: The search you did gave the same results I got. Two of the stations have no "h" in the Exact Address or Cross Street. Maybe it was looking at the "st".

----

I am reporting a problem in the code. I am not stating whether it is important or significant or why anyone should "worry" about it or whether man-hours should be devoted to solving it. If they want to fix it, they will, and if they don't, they won't.

On the opinion front, I don't think users should have to learn the vagaries and quirks of non-intuitive site functions. If a field such as the Street is obviously available for the user to use, he should not be told he is not use it because the code is misbehaving. That's just plain silly. Next we will be telling drivers who have no forward gears, "Suck it up, drive backwards and stop complaining. That's why there are license plates at both ends." Egads!

[Edited by: CampKohler at 6/23/2013 4:05:07 PM EST]
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kwzh
Champion Author San Jose

Posts:23,056
Points:4,222,380
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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 11:37:03 PM

Gas_Buddy writes,
> don't most people [at the MSL] search for "State" "Metro Area" "City" and "Station"?

Not necessarily. I often don't know which of several neighboring cities a station is in, but I probably did note the street name in order to identify it.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Points:3,578,670
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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 9:17:57 PM



Just out of curiosity I tried a search for the number 1 search (i.e., "1." in the original post). "a", "h" indicated no stations found, however, "b" "h st" showed a Shell (Circle K) at 730 29th Street, at a "cross" with H Street.

Search results

That said, and perhaps I'm missing why there needs to be that much detail/research, is this really a significant problem? Don't most members simply search off the home page and look for "Shell" stations to see prices? Or, for that matter, even searching the Master Station List, don't most people (or am I in a minority) search for "State" "Metro Area" "City" and "Station"?

I'm not saying that the search parameters are perfect, but is this search issue really such a significant issue to warrant all the work done on it or that could be done on it? Or am I naive in thinking that relatively simple searches are what's normally practiced? I'm just asking for a better understanding of the issue/of the original post.
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bytebug
Champion Author Orange County

Posts:29,010
Points:4,665,615
Joined:Oct 2001
Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 8:24:46 AM

I'm not sure why anyone would worry about this. Whenever I've ever searched for a station in the MSL, there's never been so many stations in a city that simply narrowing the search down by brand hasn't reduced the list to a single page.
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

Posts:96,019
Points:3,795,090
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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 6:14:50 AM

Apparently the search is not done with boolean code. That would be more accurate. I'm not sure how it is coded.
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Points:789,535
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Message Posted: Jun 22, 2013 2:55:51 AM


I've noticed some of the same kind of errors during MSL searches in the past but didn't stop to investigate further. I tried some similar examples using Palmdale, California as the target city and had similar erroneous results including one or two stations that had been deleted from the MSL yet showed up in the search results although the streets they are located at were not part of the search terms.

Palmdale is useful for this test because the military laid out the streets and used Avenue A, Avenue B, 5th street, 6th street, etc. covering the entire alphabet.

Another potential error in MSL search is that one or more spaces in the street name give wrong results (e.g. Buena Vista Rd)
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Points:3,795,090
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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 10:50:32 PM

Leave street off! Simple!

Folksy? I don't think so.

Again another topic that is really pointless started by CampKohler.
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 7:25:42 PM

Thanks for the clarification. I repeated some of the combinations you tried and got the same results. I doubt SM understood what you were talking about either and probably performed a different search entirely.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:12,666
Points:2,003,295
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 6:54:33 PM

Scrap: This is another case of GB trying to sound folksy in their labeling; it's what you or I would have called a MSL Station Search.

SM: Here are three examples of searches done from an "ordinary" PC (W7 w/ IE10).
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Scrapheap
Champion Author Virginia

Posts:17,173
Points:2,899,075
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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 11:07:25 AM

I'm not even sure where you are doing this. Where is "Search the List for Your Station searches"?
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Points:3,795,090
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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2013 6:23:15 AM

I found it with every method you listed CampKohler. No fails. Hits every time.

No footnotes????
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