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Hacker News Instant Search (instantise.com)
146 points by binomial on Sept 12, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments

While the new crop of "Instance [website] Search" projects are cool, I feel like most are missing the key feature of Google Instant: predictions. Without predictions, the user never knows what search returned the current results. Instead of instant search, these examples feel like instant filtering.

The YouTube Instant implementation did have predictions, though I believe it was just a hack using Google's own API.

How about you collaborate with http://searchyc.com and use their index with this interface?

I'd love that. They'd need to significantly speed Search YC up for that to work though. A search that doesn't require hitting enter but takes 5 seconds to give results isn't very satisfying.

I really love Search YC, but it's so slow. I wonder if we could do some kind of kickstarter campaign to get them better infrastructure (assuming better infrastructure would fix it without significant code optimizations). Or maybe someone could donate servers? Maybe lsc, since he runs a hosting company, though his margins are probably fairly low even without giving away hosting.

And even if it needs optimizations, if they OSSed it, I bet HN users could make that happen too.

It is slow sometimes, but their query logs would be useful for query suggestions. Query suggestions should be based on what searches are popular. Not sure if you want to go through the effort of making suggestions yourself though.

Had a little play with that site, its nice that it has a JSON service but whenever it made a query it hanged like hell. So like jackowayed said, they'd have to get faster results. One thing you cant fault with using Google search, its fast.

No offense, but I'm slightly tired of Instant Search Blog'o'News!, etc. headlines.

Rather than wiping the results and re-inserting the new ones after each character is added it would look better if individual results were pulled out and inserted in the correct location. Some times the results don't change between key presses yet there is still a momentary flash where they're removed and re-added.

It would also be nice if it degraded gracefully for non-js browsers. Like Google search does.

Also, you should try to force the browser vertical scroll bar to be on permanently. When typing using Firefox just now the scrollbar kept appearing and disappearing which made the position of various on screen elements jump from side to side as the viewport size changed.

This is awesome. I love seeing what people can build in a short period of time, and you know that this was just a couple of days.

Good job, Tam.

6 Hours actually. :P Thanks for the kind words.

This is the best one yet - I can actually see myself using this. It's hard to know what terms people have used on HN when searching for something. The Ask HN archives are a brilliant resource.

I like the idea to, but querying searchyc.com for 'ask hn' ends up being much more effective. The concept is great, and I'm sure the execution will keep improving.

The thing I'm most impressed with is the awesome domain name.

It doesn't have predictions.

I'll be fixing that soon. Should be in within 24 hours.

Can I ask where did You get information on all HN submissions? Did You just scrape the web site for all IDs from 0 to 1683584 or so?

Have a look at the source code. He just uses Google search.

Nice. But, check that some results are repeated. For example, when searching for "android ", http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1506909 and http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1332153 are listed twice.

I don't like how the results are refreshed ... it should load the results in a hidden div or something, then swap, and it should put a delta between refreshes ... I would have a second elapsed between 2 result sets displayed.

The indexer doesn't do a very good job, e.g. I searched for "mono" and only 4 results have been shown. Here's the Google index: http://www.google.ro/search?q=mono+site:news.ycombinator.com

Also, the address bar should be refreshed with the query searched because the URI has to be a permalink.

Otherwise, it's awesome.

Hey guys, author here, thanks all for the kind words. It's nice to see it reaching the front page of HN when someone with decent karma submits it.

Just to let you all know I've only spent about 6 hours on this and plan to polish it up somewhat as it's still quite rough. I've also got a bunch of other developers requesting inclusion into the site swell, which I'll also add.

Things on the todo list are visual polish, adding other services, new menu, adding the suggest feature, perhaps changing from just using the google search to better apis etc.

Thanks for the feedback.

Next step, grab a corpus of HN posts and do some text crunching to generate suggestions.

(or you could 'borrow' Feross' code, which is not condoned by Google - posts on the Interwebs say Google Suggest's "API" is not for public use - and not specific to this domain.)

Hi. I took two scripts and combined wich give fill-in words and to get direct results (still just 5) on the page with google instant. What do you guys think of the results? url = www.googled.eu

http://bit.ly/ddUj1E <-- if anyone finds analytics interesting, HN moved WAY more traffic than TC. A good section of the directs are HN too.

My hat is off to you. It works in Opera and now I can get a glimpse of what Google Instant -- and other Instants that don't play nice with Opera -- is like. Thanks.

Can you please do a body {height: 100%; margin-bottom: 1px;}

I tried this out on a test page, couldnt see a difference, whats it supposed to fix?

Cute idea, but it doesn't have predictions and the results are quite bad. Typing in "NoSQL" doesn't come up with the recent Heroku blog post about NoSQL.

A new meme? Surprised that it took Google to do it before it got applied to several other sites.

Seems that Google is still pretty darn innovative and forward-thinking.

My first impression before clicking the link was that this was using searchyc.com 's index.

I guess its based on a search-engine result after all.

you should adjust it so searching for "lisp" does not end up with a chunk of code w/ multiple li tags in it as being more relevant than articles that actually have the word "lisp" in them. I noticed this with a few other phrases too such as "vegan" - there are multiple "vega" chip comments that take precedence over the fully matched word.

Love it. Replacing the google search for HN (the search hyperlink at the bottom of this page), with this one would be nice.

awesome! I liked the nice and clean UI. Even if the coder himself says it is ugly in his about page :)

How come when I click on "reddit" in the top bar of Instantise, it takes me to Google in an iframe?

Hey guys just added a bunch more services from other developers. Thanks to all.

this is an amazing tool thank you. I would appreciate the presentation of the post date in the results page if possible. Thanks for your hard work.

I get only 4 results for node.js

You get only 4 results for everything - i think that's the limit.

Good call. I thought it was broken only getting 4 results for python. I think this should be clearly stated somewhere on the webpage.

this is amazing, the best search tool for HN. Very helpful.

So, does the author now get a handsome six-figure job offer from Y Combinator via Twitter?

Unlikely. I know you're trying to make a joke but I'd see YC point him to one of their start-ups long before they'd hire him themselves.

And start-ups generally do not offer six figure salaries.

And i dont use twitter. :P

Good for you :)

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