[New-bugs-announce] [issue15871] Online docs: make index search always available.

Terry J. Reedy report at bugs.python.org
Thu Sep 6 19:14:26 CEST 2012

New submission from Terry J. Reedy:

For the Windows Help version of the docs, the left side box has 4 tabs: Contents, Index, Search, Favorites. I now mostly use the Index tab. That means that I can enter an indexed keyword, topic, or object name and jump from place to place in the docs.

The left margin of the online docs only has a text search box equivalent to the Windows search tab (which I essentially never use). The index is only available on the front page, possibly not even visible without scrolling. Consequently, people, especially beginners, tend to use the text search box when they should be using the index. The result is often useless.

The issue came up on python-list about a beginner entering 'print' and getting nothing useful. With the Windows doc, 'print' in the index search immediately brings up print (builtin function) (twice, I did not look into why). The same thing in the search lists 153 pages, with the builtin functions page at 75. Not too surprising, as it is a long page with only 3 occurrences of 'print'. Also not useful.

So I think the online docs should also have an always available index search box in addition to the text search box (which should be properly labeled as such). 'Enter a module, class, for function name.' should be applied to index search, not text search.

An alternative is for the one box to give both index search results and text search results, but doing the latter when one only wants the former is a waste of both server and reader resources.

assignee: docs at python
components: Documentation
messages: 169930
nosy: docs at python, eric.araujo, ezio.melotti, georg.brandl, terry.reedy
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Online docs: make index search always available.
type: enhancement
versions: Python 2.7, Python 3.2, Python 3.3, Python 3.4

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