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Search a specific forum, not Select All RRS feed

  • Question

  • I work in a highly secured environment and I am only allowed to use IE 8.  Current version 8.0.7601.17514 on Windows 7 Enterprise Service Pack 1.  I have no control of my operating system version or my version of IE.

    When MSFT upgraded their forums to this new look, my capability to LIMIT my searching to a particular forum went bye-bye.  Here is what is happening:

    1. Go to MSDN.com/SQL
    2. Select Forums.
    3. Since I'm a SQL Server guy, I typically want to limit my search to one of the 50 or so areas under SQL.  So select "Select all" which will then unselect all. 
    4. At this point, I'm going to get an error message:  "Stop running this script?  The script on this page is causing your browser to run slowly.  If it continues to run, your computer might become unresponsive"  I have tried answering both yes and no, and either way, the results are not as desired.  Let’s progress down the “Yes” path.
    5. At this point I select the one forum I want to search through.
    6. Again, At this point, I'm going to get an error message:  "Stop running this script?  The script on this page is causing your browser to run slowly.  If it continues to run, your computer might become unresponsive"  I have tried answering both yes and no, and either way, the results are not as desired.  Let’s progress down the “Yes” path.
    7. Instead of only the posts from the forum I select showing, like at home, it’s still showing all SQL forum results and yet the left column only shows the forum I want to see selected.
    8. If I then type in a search team into the box that says “Search forum for questions” I then get search results for my term from all SQL Server forums and all forums are now checked again, not the one I want!

    I’ve had my helpdesk trouble solve the problem, but we can’t seem to find anything obvious.  This works at home just like it should, and when I tried using Firefox off my USB stick here at work the desired outcome also worked.  I can’t use my thumb drive all the time; the help desk only allows me to use it for certain scenarios; we tried it as a test, but I’m wondering why Firefox can do this and IE can’t in the same domain with the same firewall, software and local security policies in place.

    Thanks for your help,

    Keith


    • Edited by Greenmtnsun Tuesday, August 6, 2013 11:09 PM
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013 6:59 PM

Answers

  • Okay, I might have gone a bit overboard with this, considering that it's now almost 3AM, but I've put together a (IMHO at least) significantly better version of my nice and simple six line script.

    The script is now wrapped up in a WinForm (completely by hand too, there's a reason this took a while). The usage is pretty much the same as the original (enter the forum name and search terms) and click a button. Except now you have the ability to use all currently available filtering and sorting options. As well, the forum branding can be chosen, MSDN isn't hardcoded.

    Here's a screenshot to give you an idea:


    Since the script ballooned up to 325 lines, I've uploaded it to the script repository instead of posting it here. You can download and give it a try from here:

    http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Search-Query-Builder-For-8d31d994

    Hopefully this helps.


    Don't retire TechNet!

    Friday, August 23, 2013 6:53 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I have no control of my operating system version or my version of IE.

    I’ve had my helpdesk trouble solve the problem, but we can’t seem to find anything obvious.


    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/175500/en-us

    (BING search for
        script running too long site:support.microsoft.com
    )



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:33 PM
  • My tech support department spent a lot of time thinking that the "script" dialog box, but from what I can tell, in my humble opinion its a distraction.  Its not the problem.

    1.  I tried what you requested.  Rebooted the machine, all the normal tech support kind of things after trying it.  Nope.

    2.  If you think about it, if you say "yes" to the dialog, the script still runs, and if the script had a problem, wouldn't it display a time out dialog?  Anyway, I am not convinced its the script dialog box and the fix didn't solve it anyway.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013 3:50 PM
  • 2.  If you think about it, if you say "yes" to the dialog, the script still runs, and if the script had a problem, wouldn't it display a time out dialog? 

    Eventually.   I think it is just a way to set the threshold higher, so the message doesn't come up.   How did you use the fix?   Maybe you just need to set it even higher?

    However, I agree that the usability of that site in your scenario leaves something to be desired.   So let's try to find a workaround for you.

    FWIW here is what I see in my Address bar after doing the uncheck.  Perhaps you could start with that?

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home?filter=alltypes&sort=lastpostdesc&brandIgnore=true

    Also, I suspect that isn't really what you want for a final result.  E.g. if you only have one forum that you want to use, it would be more efficient to go to it directly.  Then just find it and create a Favorites Bar button for it.   Alternatively, if you only want to follow a few just add them to your subscription list and then find them again by using Quick Access, My Forums.

    Ah.  Now I see what's wrong.  Starting from this

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home?category=sqlserver

    instead of clicking on Select all there, click on View All.  Doing that I see a popup selector with only 39 items selected.  So, already cut down from "50 or so"  <eg>

    Anyway, now you hit a bit of a usability defect:  where are those 39 items?  So, type SQL and you will find them.   Now, use that one's Select all and see if they uncheck any more efficiently.  Also notice that then you will be in a better position to try to find what you really want, check that, and optionally subscribe to it.

     
    Good luck
    Robert
    ---



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013 7:48 PM
  • It does not appear that any suggestions to date have solved this problem.  I could use more help on it.

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:38 PM
  • You're trying to search in just one forum?

    Lots of ways to do that. Here's some...

     

    1. Search in Bing for your forum:http://www.bing.com/search?q=sql+server+getting+started+forum

    Click on the first result: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home?forum=sqlgetstarted

     

    2. Let's say you're in the SQL category: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home

    And you want to get the Setup forum. You can click on the setup forum breadcrumb link on one of the thread links on the right. So I searched "setup" on the web page, it lit up some threads on the right. I clicked one  of the breadcrumb links to get to the setup forum only: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home?forum=sqlsetupandupgrade

     

    3. Let's say you frequent the same forum. Hover over the breadcrumb link of that forum's name, and then click "Add to my forums". Then favorite your "My Forums" page so you can get to it super easy: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/user/forums

     

    4. Let's say you frequent the same forum. Go click the link from your Activity: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Profile/greenmtnsun/activity

    Then do #3, because it's pretty cool to get all your forums on one page like that. Then favorite that page so you can get to it super easy: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/user/forums

     

    =========================

     

    Regardless of all these methods that will likely help you avoid getting that script error... What you're doing (Unselecting all of a category to try to select one forum in a category when all are selected) is not super intuitive. I purposefully avoided that (and used the methods above) because it used to chug when I unselected all like that (it works fast for me now, but maybe not at home). Now it seems to work okay, and populates from all of MSDN when you unselect all... and then only of the category when you click one category. Seems good enough. 

    You shouldn't be getting that error. I'll submit a bug request.  

    Thanks!


    Ed Price, SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:52 AM
    Owner
  • Would you mind to upload the errors' screenshot if it is possible? by the way, we understand your security limitation , but just FYI. the issue won't be happening on IE10 and would you be able to set your IE security to be default levels properly. There is a workaround for your reference, you may filter the searched result by the forum left navigation. search first and filter next.


    Mike Wang



    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:46 AM
  • It does not appear that any suggestions to date have solved this problem.  I could use more help on it.

    Then it would help if you would respond to questions and suggestions which were offered.

    Extracts from my last reply which were "apparently" ignored:

    Starting from this

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sqlserver/en-US/home?category=sqlserver

    instead of clicking on Select all there, click on View All. 

    The idea was that you would try that procedure instead of what you were doing and respond whether you found it more efficient or not, in spite of it being admittedly arcane.

     

    Ignoring the crappy paragraphing provided by this forum's editor, I continued with an observation for you to use to refine your original exaggerated estimate for what you were seeing with something more objective.

    Doing that I see a popup selector with only 39 items selected.  So, already cut down from "50 or so"  <eg>

     

    But this was only step 1 of a multi-step alternative to what you were doing so you would need to do it all before making an assessment of it.   Here's step 2 (with emphasis added, so you can find exactly what you need to do)

    Anyway, now you hit a bit of a usability defect:  where are those 39 items?  So, type SQL and you will find them.  .

    And step 3 (with an implied question for you to answer, as a guide to how you could construct your response)

    Now, use that one's Select all and see if they uncheck any more efficiently.   

    And some more information about the UI which it would have been helpful if you had acknowledged and told us if, overall, this alternate procedure (all 3 steps plus the change in UI) was more efficient than what you were apparently doing and complaining about:

    Also notice that then you will be in a better position to try to find what you really want, check that, and optionally subscribe to it.

     

    FYI



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:15 PM
  • Robert, I don't know what to tell you.  I didn't ignore you per se.  I've tried everything you said and it made no improvement.  They were really work around proposals anyway, I need a solution.  Either way, the proposals didn't work around the problem.  I've tried twice.  Lastly, 39 and 50 equal no appreciable difference.  I clearly wasn't proporting to count.  I can't select the forums I want, and its selecting all.  My original problem statement is still in play.
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:58 PM
  • "There is a workaround for your reference, you may filter the searched result by the forum left navigation. search first and filter next."  That doesn't work.  That's the reason I filed the ticket here.

    The error message?  Ok:

    I also have no ability to change any setting on the security tab of internet options. 

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:06 PM
  • Ed,

    #1 doesn't work.  You land in that forum, but when you enter a search term, it returns all of the other SQL forums.

    #2 doesn't work.  You land in that forum, but when you enter a search term, it returns all of the other SQL forums.

    #3 doesn't work.  You land in that forum, but when you enter a search term, it returns all of the other SQL forums.

    #4 references #3, so it won't work.

    I really appreciate your answer.  I'd have marked it the answer just for the effort, but it doesn't work.  I see your in SQL over there.  I could really use a solution for this.  Its driving me nuts!  Where do I hit the downgrade button on your forums upgrade?  This was once so incredibly awesome.  Now I'm feeling disabled.

    Keith

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:16 PM
  • Try bypassing the javascript altogether. Don't use the filters or the search box, just the url to get what you want.

    E.g http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=[ForumName]&searchTerm=[SearchTerm]

    Replace [ForumName] with the name of the forum you'd like your results scoped to and replace [SearchTerm] with the text you're actually searching for.

    I think you already discovered how to find the forum name in your replies above but the easiest way is to find the forum in the left hand tree and click the checkbox next to its name. Check the new url generated and you'll see the name in there.

    Let me know what happens.


    Life is one big road with a lot of signs.



    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:34 PM
  • Jah, your suggestion returns the results desired!!!  It doesn't solve or fix the real problem, but it is the first work around that works!!!!  Thank you.

    The test case I had was for SSIS and the term cluster.  I had to figure out what the forum name was, but I found it and then applied your principles!

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=sqlintegrationservices&searchTerm=cluster

    So I'd like to mark your answer as a work around rather than as an answer, and have the Forum team file a bug or find me the solution so I don't have to be clugy and remember this every time.  Any hope?

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:49 PM
  • Would you upload a screenshot of the security tab on internet options?


    Mike Wang

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:00 AM
  • Hi Keith,

    While I don't have an answer for the actual problem here, I might be able to make Jah's suggested workaround a bit easier to use. I put together a small PowerShell script that will prompt you for the forum name (the shortened name that appears in the URL), and your search terms. It'll then mash everything together into a URL that you can simply copy and paste into your address bar. Here's the script:

    [void][System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('Microsoft.VisualBasic') 
    $forumName = [Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction]::InputBox('Enter the forum name', 'Forum Name') 
    $searchTermRaw = [Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction]::InputBox('Enter your search term(s)', 'Search Term(s)')
    $searchTerm = $searchTermRaw.Replace(' ','+')
    $url = "http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=$forumName&searchTerm=$searchTerm"
    [Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction]::InputBox("URL for $searchTermRaw in $forumName", "Copy this URL to search for $searchTermRaw in $forumName", $url)

    After I thought about it for a while though, I figured your environment might not allow you to run unsigned PowerShell scripts. If that's the case, try this VBScript instead:

    forumName = InputBox("Enter the forum name", "Forum Name")
    searchTermRaw = InputBox("Enter your search term(s)", "Search Term(s)")
    searchTerm = Replace(searchTermRaw," ","+")
    url = "http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?forum=" + forumName + "&searchTerm="  + searchTerm
    InputBox "URL for "  + searchTermRaw + " in " + forumName, "Copy this URL to search for " + searchTermRaw + " in " + forumName, url

    This is all still a workaround of course, but hopefully it'll help make life easier until a true fix is found.

    EDIT: I should mention that this script assumes you'll be searching in MSDN branded forums, not TechNet or Microsoft branded ones. If you need that adjusted, please let me know and I'll add another prompt.


    Don't retire TechNet!



    Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:50 AM
    Moderator
  • They were really work around proposals anyway

    No.  They were using the UI more efficiently than the way that you were showing having a problem with.

    Then at least you now have two cases that you can compare.  Can you get into the Developer Tools for its Profiler?  Perhaps you could get some clues about what is going on that way?  Also have you tried changing the value of that warning threshold some more?   How much more?

    In fact, now that you are making it clear that you only want to see one MSDN forum at a time, it would probably be an even better idea to start from here:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home?filter=alltypes&sort=lastpostdesc&brandIgnore=true

    That way you would not have to uncheck anything and could just specify a single forum uniquely, starting from 0.  BTW this test has shown that the box misleads us into thinking it is a general "search" specification.   Apparently it is just a "find" specification; so your  SSIS case could be "found" by typing (exactly):  sql server I

     
    Good luck

    Robert
    ---



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:14 AM
  • Ok Mike Laughlin, you get extra credit for inventiveness!  That was awesome.  Being a DBA, I appreciated the powershell!
    Thursday, August 22, 2013 3:46 PM
  • I also like Mike's scripts. If desired, you can add more options to the url that is created. I would hard code them in the script, unless you want to add more prompts to ask which options to use. I'm thinking of sort options. To have the results sorted by descending date when the question/discussion was posted, add:

    &sort=firstpostdesc

    To sort by descending date of last reply, add:

    &sort=lastpostdesc

    The beauty is that once you have figured out the url, you don't need to remember it. The script will handle it.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Okay, I might have gone a bit overboard with this, considering that it's now almost 3AM, but I've put together a (IMHO at least) significantly better version of my nice and simple six line script.

    The script is now wrapped up in a WinForm (completely by hand too, there's a reason this took a while). The usage is pretty much the same as the original (enter the forum name and search terms) and click a button. Except now you have the ability to use all currently available filtering and sorting options. As well, the forum branding can be chosen, MSDN isn't hardcoded.

    Here's a screenshot to give you an idea:


    Since the script ballooned up to 325 lines, I've uploaded it to the script repository instead of posting it here. You can download and give it a try from here:

    http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Search-Query-Builder-For-8d31d994

    Hopefully this helps.


    Don't retire TechNet!

    Friday, August 23, 2013 6:53 AM
    Moderator