Yahoo! Boss now features keywords and more language support

Yahoo! Boss search APIThe Yahoo! Developer Network blog just published a blog post with new Boss features: Yahoo! Search BOSS Releases Key Terms. There are a few key details in this article.

  • Key terms are now available: Each result now includes the keyterms Yahoo’s search index has assigned to the web page. This is the same information Yahoo! uses for search suggestions. I was trying to recreate this by using key term extraction in Yahoo! Pipes. But this would have involved multiple requests and slowed the page down. Boss’s inclusion of keyterms opens a whole new world of semantic search options. I’m using them to display related results on V3GGIE.
  • Extended language/region support: I was in Romania a couple weeks ago discussing Yahoo! Boss with some students in Bucharest. I noticed we didn’t support the Romanian language in Boss. I was able to send a few emails asking for support and voila, the Yahoo! Boss has not only added Romanian, but also Turkish and Hebrew! That is some fast turn around and shows their commitment to the users.
  • Boss made easier: Christian Heilmann has been creating Boss plug-n-play projects. You can get a JavaScript Boss badge, grab all the keyterms in one arrray, and recently a build your own site search in 3 easy steps lesson.
  • The article also has a link to a new site I’m developing: Tartin3. This is still in the development stages and is a prototype for a much larger site I’m hoping to take the covers off Insider Food within the next couple weeks.Insider Food is now Live – but in Beta mode as I fix bugs and make enhance the search logic

Disclaimer: I work for Yahoo! but I’m not on the Yahoo! Boss team. I’m their “customer”, as I use Boss for multiple projects outside Yahoo!. I also am a member of the International Yahoo! Developer Network, which allows me to demonstrate and teach some of the Yahoo! API’s and services.

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Make a niche search engine with Yahoo! BOSS

The Yahoo! Developer Network blog just published an article I wrote about Yahoo! BOSS. It discusses how to use the search filters and query attributes with the BOSS API.

I’ve used these methods on, a vegetarian search engine and will be launching a new niche search engine in the next few weeks.
Yahoo! BOSS plus your ideas make a unique search experience


Insider Food badge for featured expertsI’ve just taken the covers off my latest search engine project. Insider Food is a regional search engine powered by local bloggers, chefs, and restaurant fanatics.

It’s a wee bit slow right now due to a multitude of API requests to Yahoo! Boss, Yahoo! Pipes, Flickr, Amazon, and more. Look for some upcoming posts about the construction of the site. Hopefully I can even describe caching and threading. Once somebody teaches me :).

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CSS3 Attribute Selector Presentation

During the fog of a summer cold and pressing deadlines… I gave a presentation today at the Yahoo! Front End Engineering Summit about CSS3 Attribute Selectors. The presentation briefly touched on some of my previous posts on this site as well as a few new concepts and ideas.

Here is the full presentation (HTML): CSS3 Attribute Lovin’. Feel free to copy, share, or do whatever you like with it.

I’ll post some more information on the new topics soon. Right now I’ve got to get back to my massive list of outstanding bugs on my project.

Add Pagination to your Yahoo! BOSS search engine

Search pagination exampleYahoo’s BOSS search API makes it easy for you to create a customized search engine. Yahoo! also has a Design Pattern lLibrary to save time designing your pages. They’ve put a lot of effort into creating the best user experience for search pagination.

Pagination guidelines

Here’s a sample of the Design Library’s ideas for search pagination.

  • Display the navigation controls as a row of links.
  • Present links in the following order: ‘Prev’, page links, ‘Next’.
  • Display a left arrow after the label ‘Prev’.
  • Display a right arrow before the label ‘Next’.
  • Make the arrow(s) clickable.
  • The page links should contain a maximum set of 10 page links. If fewer pages of results exist, only show page links for the available pages.
  • When on pages 1-6, the page links should always start at ‘1’.

Search Pagination

The rationale for these rules is also interesting:

  • Displaying arrow graphics helps differentiate the links and provides larger click targets.
  • Disabled controls add little value in this context since
    • These links often appear blow the fold.
    • The first page of results makes up the vast majority of pageviews. Displaying a disabled “previous” control on all of these is of little added value.
    • Although a “First” link has value, it competes with the functionality presented in the random-access links.
    • The “Last” link is of little value as the results are sorted by relevance. This is is also problematic since the total number of results (and therefore, the last result) may not be known.

Add this pagination style to your search engine

See the final result on Vegetarian Enchiladas Recipes

Most PHP pagination tutorials assume you are pulling content from a database. Ascanio Colonna created a good tutorial on building pagination with PHP that is agnostic to the data source. I’ve taken his code and modified it to match the Yahoo Design Pattern. I’ve also added the suggested YUI Module markup to stay consistent with the YUI Grids and any future YUI javascript.

The pagination.php file includes a function that creates the module. You’ll need to call this function from your results page with a series of parameters. These are easy to populate from the BOSS interface. It’s worth noting that I am ignoring the BOSS next/last page nodes in the web service and prefer to build my own urls.

The Pagination Code

Lets’ start by looking at the code inside your results.php file. This will call the pagination function and pass the desired parameters.

	require '/include/pagination.php';
  if(isset($_REQUEST['page'])) {
	$page = $_REQUEST['page'];
	} else  {
	$page = '1';
	$limit = $count;
	$targetpage = 'results.php';
	$pagestring = '?page=';
	$summary_name = 'articles';
	$placement = 'summary';
	// start pagination
	  echo getPaginationString($page, $totalhits, $limit,  $targetpage, $pagestring, $summary_name, $placement);

Here’s what you are working with:

require ‘/include/pagination.php’
Where does the pagination file sit on your server
$page logic
First look to see if there is page=x in the url. If so, $page = x, if not, you are on page 1.
How many results will appear on the page
what is the name of your results page? index.php, results.php?
I tried to minimize this to ?p= but couldn’t track down why it didn’t work. I’ve left it at the default ?page=…
This is what appears in the text “xxx (summary_name) results. This is not used in the Yahoo Design Library
You’ll probably want to use summary. This function also allows “footer” for a simplified output
echo getPaginationString(…)
Send the information to the function and display the results in the page.

Important Update!

The original code I posted had a serious security flaw. You should never output user’s input directly into your page. I had something like this href=”?query=$_REQUEST[‘query’]”. This allows all sorts of Cross Site Scripting attacks. You must urlencode any text that comes from a user. This is safe: urlencode($_REQUEST[‘query’]).

I apologize if anyone has used this code, as I wrote it on their site. They should immediately update the logic. -Ted

The pagination function

I have streamlined the original code from Asconio, as he was tying into pre-existing facebook styles. This code is for your unique web site. It’s also worth noting I use rewrite rules to make my search result page urls more friendly, i.e. /corn.html instead of /result.php?q=corn


"; if($lastpage > 1) // Paginator page selection is drawn only if more than 1 pages are there { $pagination .= '
    '; // First page selector if ($page > 2) // Previous page selector if ($page > 1) $pagination .= "
  • $string_next
  • "; // Page selectors if ($page < 4) //not enough pages to bother { for ($counter = 1; $counter <= min(5, $lastpage); $counter++) { if ($counter == $page) $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; else $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; } } elseif ($page > $lastpage - 3) { for($counter = $lastpage - min(5, $lastpage); $counter <= $lastpage; $counter++) { if ($counter == $page) $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; else $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; } } else { for($counter = $page - 2; $counter <= $page + 2; $counter++) { if ($counter == $page) $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; else $pagination .= "
  • $counter
  • "; } } //next button if ($page < $lastpage) $pagination .= "
  • $string_next
  • "; //last button if ($page < $lastpage - 1) $pagination .= '
'; } $pagination = ""; return $pagination; } ?> $string_try_inx"; } $trydiff=''; switch ($tid){ case "rc": $trydiff = "
  • $string_try_diff_type $string_local_tab or $string_buzz_tab"; break; case "lo": $trydiff = "
  • $string_try_diff_type $string_recipes_tab or $string_buzz_tab"; break; default: $trydiff = "
  • $string_try_diff_type $string_recipes_tab or $string_local_tab"; } ?>

    I’ve added a few classes to the final output. The previous and next links have class”nextlink” or class=”prevlink”. The current page has the number within a strong tag with class=”current”. Finally, the parent module has class=”pagelinks mod”. This makes it pretty simple to style

    Pagination CSS

    I’m using the YUI Sam Skin sprite for the tabbed search box. I’ve added a couple arrows to this sprite for my search pagination.

    .pagelinks {
    border:1px solid #ccc;
    padding:5px 0 0 0;
    .pagelinks ul li {
    .pagelinks ul a, .pagelinks ul strong {
    display;block; padding:3px 5px;
    .pagelinks ul strong {
    background-color:green; color:#fff;
    .pagelinks li.nextlink a,.pagelinks li.prevlink a  {
    padding-right:15px; font-size:120%; font-wieght:bold; background:url(/images/sprite.png) no-repeat 100% -1943px;
    .pagelinks li.prevlink a {
    padding-right:0px; padding-left:15px; background-position:0 -1973px;

    I am also not a PHP expert and welcome suggestions on improving the code.

    Download files

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