Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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literacy neutral search engines

Web navigation for everyone
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A search engine (or possibly just an add on) for the hard of spelling. A regular search engine with an option to enter words which may be dubiously spelt(sp?). Future expansions to include a phonetic search option and possible a voice input mechanism.
key-aero, Jul 30 2001

Web Brain http://www.webbrain.com
like Rods Tiger's idea [quarterbaker, Jul 30 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

How Internet Searches Work http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/talks/wm4/2.html
Interesting, with a few comments [reensure, Jul 30 2001]

English, French, German, Danish, Dutch. http://www.xs4all.nl/~margjos/
Typed in Sausage Roll in Northern Light, After Finding the site in Language Folder, Went into Food Lexicon from that point [thumbwax, Jul 30 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Google knows better than you http://www.google.c...ourceid=opera&num=0
Note spelling "correction" [rmutt, Jul 30 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Soundex http://www.nara.gov/genealogy/coding.html
A well-known encoding fairly resilient to misspellings [jutta, Jul 30 2001]


       When I posted this one, the category was quite clearly showing computer:website. Am I doing something wrong, or is this behaviour designed to encourage memetic cross fertilisation?
key-aero, Jul 30 2001

       I'm more trying to get at a deliberate action on the part of the user to indicate that they have no idea how something is spelled (sp?). I find that thing in Google intrusive since it usually kicks in, for me, when I'm searching for something obscure and technical but correctly spelt.
key-aero, Jul 31 2001

       [admin: All my server logs show this as coming in with "Category: Strategy games" selected. If there's a glitch, I think it's on your side.   

       Adjusting categories: Thanks for the screenshot. Yes, that big white empty area is seen by most users as a scrolled list. Hm. Let's work on this in e-mail.]   

       I really like the way google works. It doesn't get in the way if you don't want it, it's fast if you do, I've had no esoteric words misspelled, and plenty of esoteric words spelled correctly. (With the notable exception of Lynyrd Skynyrd, which, I guess, is _so_ frequently misspelled that it's more efficient to accept the misspellings.) In fact I'm starting to use google more and more as an automatically up-to-date dictionary.   

       I've watched someone use a search engine with a voice input mechanism try to look up information about the Weather in San Jose - obviously not a good choice for a test case. It hurt me to watch.
jutta, Jul 31 2001

       I know, what you're saying, which is why I wasn't suggesting the mechanism google uses, i.e. this is meant only for people who think they know a word but not it's spelling. Same for the voice input, it would just be usefull if you'd heard a word but couldn't spell it. The idea only came about because I recently posted something including a dutch word which I can remember the sound of but not the spelling, being too lazy to find a dictionary, this would have come in handy.
Maybe there'd be a whole new idea in 'search engines which wilfully misinterpret your accent/input', possibly using a voice input and a pipe through babel? Could be good for those idle weekend surfing hours.
key-aero, Jul 31 2001

       Altavista was the best in the olden days but Google has been the best for ages now. I use Google unless I need precision then its Altavista. A good search engine should have a box to check when you are drunk or tired. Maybe another one if you are refreshed and feeling scientific.
yunohu, Jul 31 2001

       If you want to use a car you need to learn to drive. If you want to use a gun it's good to know which end to point at the target. If you want to cook a meal you should learn what is edible and what is toxic. Everyone seems to accept these ideas but inability to work a computer seems never to be the user's fault.


       Why not learn to spell rather than dump your problems on coders of search engines?
sirrobin, Jul 31 2001

       re: learning to spell.   

       In one of my earlier responses you'll note that this idea came from trying to track down a word in a half forgotten language. I'm still searching for the word - it's dutch slang for sausage roll if anyone can help.
key-aero, Jul 31 2001

       worst rollen?
Northern Light search engine seems to meet your criteria, Rods
thumbwax, Jul 31 2001

       sirrobin, that's not fair. not everyone is a good speller and there's many reasons for that. for example, when my uncle immigrated with his parents to canada from greece he was only twelve, and didn't speak any english at all. the education authorities here thought that it would be in his best interests to put him in school with kids his own age, even though he couldn't communicate with them. although he speaks english quite well now (and with no accent), his spelling and handwriting suffered tremendously, even though he usually reads two to three books a week. he is one of the people who could benefit from this idea.
mihali, Jul 31 2001

       try Web Brain (see link) - you have to navigate by selecting words, but you don't have to type in any words
quarterbaker, Jul 31 2001

       Thumbwax: you see that's all you can get from an online dictionary. I think most of them are based on 'concise pocket' editions, whereas this, being a slang term, could probably only be found in the full (4?) volume van Dale. Does anyone know of a good way of doing a fuzzy match on words? This one pattern matches s*broo?je. Incidently worst rollen would be closer to a hot dog - although again I think that was Broodje worst.
key-aero, Aug 01 2001

       suggestion: if google can get you to a page it can translate, try hitting a site where you can enter english and have it appear translated ~ on screen, as if you'd typed 'gummystump' and your site returned "No references to 'yin-yang' found".   

       Northern lights is a cool idea; Web Brain seems to be more user friendly, but scored zero for 'code red worm' to google's 35,300 (32,200 on refresh). Thus ends my one nagging doubt about google's timeliness.
reensure, Aug 01 2001

       Key-aero: In a situation like yours I'd go in search of a Dutch language news group and post the query there.

Mihali: Good point. I wasn't aware Canada offered so few opportunities for continuing education that one couldn't learn basic skills past regular school age.
sirrobin, Aug 01 2001

       Is there a multi-lingual fuzzy-data site which will return all the words (in any of its catalogued languages) that come arbitrarily close to the spelling and/or assumed pronunciation of a search word? Seems like this would be useful for problems like that of key-aero, and it wouldn't be all *that* hard to implement.
Dog Ed, Aug 01 2001

       saucijzenbroodje = sausage roll according to link
thumbwax, Aug 01 2001

       Yes!!!!!!!!! Thank you, thumbwax. And a food lexicon! I would have expected to see that here.
key-aero, Aug 01 2001

       I actually have read a number of library-user studies (for elementary age students) that sought to determine the most effective OPAC (online public access catalog) interfaces. While ordinary keyword searching results in a low success rate, it seems that when the interface attempts to correct spelling errors and suggest synonyms, the students have tremendous success finding books that are helpful and relevant. Many databases in libraries: OPACs, journal databases, etc. use more sophisticated search interfaces than web search engines. I know search engines usually have an "advanced search" but I definitely think this is something that could and should be improved upon.
EvoketheTiger, Aug 01 2001

       Holland has changed a lot in the past years, 3 000 000 imigrants on a 16 000 000 total. Unlike German's we have all world lingo's represented somehow.



       Will translate dutch to English poorly. very few Americans know how to find anything on the .nl domain. so i think this will help. Met jullie ge worstenbroodje en andere belangrijke uitvindingen!
enjoy.. . . . .. . ... . .. . . . .
postseti, Jul 08 2002

       (Boggles at the thought of [jutta] searching for 'Lynyrd Skynyrd')
phoenix, Jul 08 2002


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