5 Nov

Weekly Update 126: Focusing on Fatheads

This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.

Hello contributors,

Since we started putting statistics about Instant Answer performance on the forum (see here for a summary), we've noticed that Fatheads tend to have the highest coverage. This is a helpful insight but what does that mean?

Firstly, Fatheads are reference Instant Answers (IAs) that enable users to get snippets of text from articles on the web. In the case of programming, it's usually extracts from documentation, for example if you search for "ruby time" you'll see the first section of a page from ruby-doc.org. These IAs are created by writing scripts (in Ruby, Python, JavaScript or Perl) to scrape the online articles and store them in a database. When a user's search matches an article's title in that database, the first part of the article is displayed.

But what about coverage? Although interactive IAs and cheat sheets tend to get the most attention in blogs and social media, Fathead reference IAs are generally shown more often for searches on a particular topic, especially programming languages. We call this "coverage" and although it's not a perfect measure of an IA's success, a higher figure is usually better if triggering is accurate.

Based on this, we'd like to try focusing on Fatheads, both creating new ones and improving existing ones, to have a bigger impact for more programmers. To make this easier, we've been working with the language leaders to break down big tasks into smaller issues that anyone can pick up. With proper labelling, this generates a handy list of issues available for contributors, as you can see here:

Open Programming Mission issues

This should help anybody wondering "how can I contribute to DuckDuckGo?" and as usual, let's highlight a few specific issues...

5-minute Fixes

More quick fix ideas here...

Weekend Warriors

  • NodeJS Bug: Not triggering for some articles

    A lot of the docs articles don't trigger, e.g. searching for "node dns lookupService", "node child disconnect" or "node http message service" doesn't show a NodeJS result.

  • NodeJS: Add common redirects

    One approach is to replace symbols such as dots with spaces; e.g. "http.Agent" should have an "http agent" redirect.

More high priority fix ideas here...

Quick Tip

We've talked about aliases for the command line before (here and here), but you can also make aliases specifically for Git. Here's a handy one I noticed in a tweet by Kamil Kisiel.

Firstly you need to open your .gitconfig file which can be done with:

git config --global --edit

Now simply add the following two lines:

[url "git@github.com:"]
insteadOf = gh:

After a reboot, you can now save key strokes when you clone a repository or add a remote upstream repository by using this syntax:

git clone gh:duckduckgo/zeroclickinfo-goodies

Isn't that clever? Of course, you can also use it for other Git phrases you use a lot.

Hope you have a great weekend!

- The DuckDuckGo Staff

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Thanks for this explications !

posted by Molarsang • 5 months and 19 days ago Link