Yes great story Tom.
Can I also suggest you add your idea to the ideastore - It just means it won't get lost and many others can 
view it and comment rather that it be lost in the mailing list like a few have 
in the past.

Ian Forrester

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[] On Behalf Of Jamie Tetlow
        Sent: 23 February 2009 09:31
        Subject: Re: [backstage] User story: finding a radio show
        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 ;-)
        Jamie Tetlow
        BBC Future Media & Technology for Audio & Music Interactive
        Working on: 
        DynPub & APS
        - Dynamic Publishing 
        - Automated Programme Support
        On 22/2/09 15:49, "Tom Morris" <> 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 
        > 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
        > - 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, that's not the first
        > place I thought to look.)

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