Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Better Googling

Google does most things well, but a couple things really irk me when searching.  For example, when I search for something like:
... I'm expecting javadocs for the HashMap class.  It's not like it has any trouble figuring that out - it has long since found the relevant javadocs.  The problem is that it finds the wrong version.  I mean, how many people are looking for javadocs for a JDK that has entered the end of its service life?  When I do such a query, I expect the latest javadocs to appear.  I mean, with all the collective google genius, it's hard to believe they can't figure out logic to rank the more recent of two "like" resources higher - popularity isn't everything after all.

The other annoyance at the moment is not really google's fault but they're the application that I'll blame anyway.  I search for something and a result looks really relevant.  Clicking on it leads me to a "Sign in to see the answer..." page.  A site named is typical of just this sort of rude net-unfriendly behavior.  I don't want to see any results for such bad web citizens.  It's annoying.  I don't care if they have an expert going to personally answer my question, I don't like it one bit.

So, what to do?  It was searching for a filtering mechanism for this later problem that led me to stumble on Google Custom Search where one can create and customize their own search engine.  Using it, led to curing both ills.  I very quickly created my own developer friendly search engine wherein recent javadocs are ranked higher and bad citizens are excluded.  Problem solved.

Google creates annoyances, and google provides a toolbox to fix them... nice work.

Now, if I could get you to quit goofing off with useless stuff like this and focus on getting Picasa for the Mac ... Please....