Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Combine writing idea with searching for duplicates
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A button next to the idea submission OK button that takes what you have written so far in the text field and uses it to search for similar ideas. The top few would be listed under the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Right now, before submitting an idea, you must do a search yourself for prior art which can be tedious and easy to mess up resulting in unintentional duplicates. The idea of this button is you can just go ahead and start drafting your idea, periodically pressing the 'Show Similar' button to see if any other ideas come close so you can abort. The results will probably be more accurate too, as the terminology one uses to describe an idea and the terminology one comes up with when searching for an idea can differ resulting in missing prior art. I think it would also make it easier for people to post new ideas if they were more sure their idea was actually new to the site.

This is not meant to replace the initial searching, but rather to augment your abilities to help you avoid obvious duplicates without having to do extra work.

johnmeacham, Apr 21 2003

Possible Algorithm http://www.arxiv.org/abs/cs.SD/0303025
Rudi Cilibrasi suggested to me that his algorithm might be a plausable implementation of this concept. [johnmeacham, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       The main point is to reduce the number of steps needed to post as well as encouraging non-duplicate submissions.   

       It wouldn't use just the title or summary, it would use ALL text given to determine similarity. you would click the button after every paragraph say, or right before you click OK with your first draft.   

       Pre-Posting seems like an orthoganal idea which has some overlap in the problems solved, however I would want the 'Show Similar' even when I knew the idea was good, simply because the pre-search is a pain and error prone. It is easier to just start typing when motivation hits and abort later, especially when the full-text similary match will give better results.   

       The similarity algorithm need not be 'substring search'. Perhaps some experementation will be in order to determine what the best algorithm would be.
johnmeacham, Apr 21 2003

       Well, this is not meant to completely replace searching yourself but rather to augment your abilities before you finally submit the idea. Searching beforehand is always a good idea. The articles you find might also just be ones you want to reference. The full-text algorithm could also find something you missed in your initial search.   

       Different people work differently. I would much rather throw away several paragraphs than have to switch modes in the middle of an idea from searching to writing.   

       I guess the two main benefits would be   

       1) weeding out 'obvious', embarassing duplicates. every now and again an experienced poster misses something (perhaps they mistype their search word) or a newbie doesn't think to or know how to properly do a prior art check. Making it simple to do so right before posting should at least stop simple, obvious, embarassing errors.   

       2) A new method of exploring half-bakery. the 'show similar' button could just be available always, even if the algorithm is not great, it will expose you to more ideas to read which may or may not interest you.
johnmeacham, Apr 21 2003


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