March 03, 2005

Amazon Zuggest

Oh, gawd. Somebody built a nice example of a live browser based search against Amazon's catalog. If this takes off, it might even add a bit more load on the servers.

The app is neat, but search results aren't different by letter, so maybe searching on whole words instead would be better. And use fixed width tables so things don't jump about so much.


Francis Shanahan said...

Thanks for the link Mike, I'm going to incorporate your suggestions tonight. My html skills suck :)

I'm trying to keep the load down and caching at my web server.

Struggling with how to detect the end of a word though. What I do right now is monitor keypresses and wait for half a second, if no key is pressed then I figure it's the end of a word. Didn't want to make everyone press space to trigger searching. Any ideas?

Mike said...

Your html skills are just fine. Your site looks wacky to me though - a lot of 'this site is stealing bandwidth' images all over the page. Funny thing is, they say you are steailing from your own domain name.

I'm not sure how to detect the end of the word. Maybe if you see a whitespace, send the request without waiting. Unless you already are in the middle of whitespace. Waiting for a second will still send the request, the user wouldn't have to hit the space bar.

It's a neat app. I'm just not sure what results are cool when done with progressive rendering. Keep at it!

Francis Shanahan said...

Yeah, seems there's a bug in my http handler. Are you coming through a proxy server or something?

Try it now ;)

Michael Parekh said...

Not sure if it's a bug or not, but typing in either "Beatles" or "The Beatles" results in "sorry, no results"...which is pretty amazing...didn't happen when I typed in Rolling Stones.

Francis Shanahan said...

Yeah, I think the issue is on the amazon side, it's not giving a valid SOAP response for the Beatles! Weird.

Anyway, I think I'm going to switch to the REST interface (XML over HTTP), that might give better performance too.

Mike said...

You're using SOAP for a service that i think is cool? Now I feel dirty... (I'm a major restafarian)

Francis Shanahan said...

Ha haa, no more SOAP for me. Switched it to REST, seems a little faster. I also fixed your Beatles bug. You can search for all sorts of stuff now, by content type (Books, DVDs, All, etc.)

Weird though, you still don't get Beatles results if you search by "All" but they come up fine if you seach by Books, Music or even Jewelery.