Where were we?

That’s right- the search feature.

After a bit of a delay, we’re back to work.  The current issue: adding the placement of the search button.  We wanted 3 options- in the header, in the footer, and in the left menu.  This was complicated by the fact that there is a layout option that doesn’t include the left menu (the horizontal menu).  In the end, we decided that if the user has the horizontal menu enabled, and they try to select the left menu placement for the search button, it will simply default back to the header.  Should eliminate any confusion (probably not).

The database tables are updated, the php conditionals are in place- the location of the search button is now customizable by the user.  But it still doesn’t really work very well.  Currently, the function just uses a simple sql ‘Like’ clause with the search keyword(s) inserted in dynamically.  But it returns the whole text area where the keyword is found.  We’re trying to find a way to limit it to a certain number of words- should be a simple matter of getting x number of characters before and after the keyword, and then finding the nearest space to cut it off at a word.  Actually, as I typed that, I realized there is a better way.  First, check to see if the keyword appears in the first sentence- if so, return that sentence.  If not, grab back to the previous punctuation and forward to the next punctuation (or end of the area) and display that.

Time to try it out!

On another note- I’ve started experimenting with Django.  It seems really cool- the model to database table relationship seems quite intuitive, and the templating system has been fairly easy to use so far.  The difficult area (for me) has been the url mapping.  It looks like once it’s set up, it is a great feature, but figuring out the regex based system is not going well for me.

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