Nice story Tom! I love these little tales... shame Mother = fail :-( Good to see that some of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle (including BBC Search, with it's recentness/keyword weighting) are starting to come together.
Not sure if there's any intention to build a 'fuzzy' programme finder round these parts but in /programmes we're certainly working on making it more browsable so that the 'language' scenario will be easier to find. If you tie this with Radio 4 looking to integrate /programmes more closely with their website in the coming months, although quite a radical departure, all change for the good. (having said all that trying to parse such an information rich space as Radio 4 will always be a bit of a challenge) If we continue to make more and more data available in the way we are then i'd hope, that if the need is great enough, someone else will build a 'fuzzy' search before we do ;-) cheers, Jamie. _______________________ Jamie Tetlow Designer BBC Future Media & Technology for Audio & Music Interactive Working on: DynPub & APS - Dynamic Publishing - Automated Programme Support http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes On 22/2/09 15:49, "Tom Morris" <bbtommor...@gmail.com> wrote: > My mother is a chronic Radio 4 listener and heard a little bit of a > programme the other day when in the car that she thought a friend > would be interested in. All she remembered was it was "about language > and culture". She had the mistaken idea that it was on in the morning. > She told me that she had been on the Radio 4 website looking to find > it but had no luck. Admittedly, it was quite broad search criteria. > > I had a go at doing something about it today. > First thing I did was make a directory on my Mac, then ran the > following command: > > curl -O > http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/schedules/fm/2009/02/[01-28].xml > > Then I tried grepping that data, but it wasn't pretty-printed and so > gave me the whole day's worth of programming for each result. So I ran > the following: > > xmllint --format *.xml > combined.txt > > This pretty-printed all the XML and wrote it out to a text file. > > I then opened the resulting file up in MacVim. Here I had a > metadata-rich 33250-line text file containing details of all the > programmes broadcast on Radio 4 in the last month. I tapped "/" to > start a search and typed in "language". It took me to the > short_synopsis element of a programme element. I looked at the id, and > appended the relevant namespace on the front to give me > http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hlcr2 - I loaded the page in my > browser, read the long description to my mother, who said something > along the lines of "Ooh, yes, that's right!". She then forwarded that > link and the link to the show page to her friend by e-mail. Total time > for me was about ten minutes. But the point was that she wasn't able > to do it herself - she had, as I said, gone through the listings pages > and the Radio 4 website and couldn't find it. > > All this makes me very happy about the BBC's provision of excellent > metadata as XML, RDF, ASCII and HTML, without doing any silly API or > Web Services nonsense. It's great not only because people can build > applications on top of it, but just because nerdy people can find > stuff easier. > > A suggestion for making this better: a sort of 'fuzzy' programme > finder - a very user-friendly search page linked to from iPlayer and > Listen Again (etc.) that would let you do natural-language searching > of programmes, sorted by recentness. So you could go on and select > that you saw something on TV or heard something on radio, maybe > specify a channel, maybe specify roughly when and throw it a few > keywords. > > (I have to say, I did then just type 'language' into the BBC search, > and the first result in the TV & Radio Programmes box was the right > one. Having spent the last decade or so getting frustrated by the > *ahem* less-than-optimal search on bbc.co.uk, that's not the first > place I thought to look.)