Implement !bangs

I am sure everyone is aware of !bangs, a feature DuckDuckGo initially introduced, now many new search engines in the market such as Neeva, You.com and etc have implemented bangs and have supported this very useful as well as time saving feature. I do not really want to go more in detail with bangs, because I am sure all of us, at some point, have tried DuckDuckGo, and nowadays, it has been kind of a must for me, at least in my primary search engine.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about right now.

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Hi @Archit, thanks for all your suggestions and welcome here. Yes, we are well aware of !bangs, of course. It’s something we have seriously considered including. We took the view that our new innovative Search Choices option was better for supporting search diversity, and that we would release that and see what people think. The feedback has been very encouraging (your feedback there encouraged). You can go to anyone of 8 search choices, with just one click so very fast and convenient.

I think adding Search Choices was a great idea.

Speaking as someone who previously used bangs frequently, I never once used bangs to get to a general search engine like Bing or Google when using DDG. I’ve exclusively used them for searching a particular site, such as Wikipedia, Archwiki, AUR packages, Github, MDN Web Docs, Stackoverflow, AniDB, Booktopia, or Weblio (Japanese web dictionary).

I later realised that it would be much faster, as my queries wouldn’t have to go through DDG, just to add them as a search engine in Firefox. I now have ~20 search engines that I can use with a keyword, and I recommend this approach when available.

The way to do this is to right-click the search bar on a website and click “Add a Keyword for this Search…” Now, when you type this keyword in the omnibar, it will search the site you’ve bookmarked:

However, it would certainly be nice to have them built into Mojeek for users that maintain a lot of computers.

Hey colin, I just realized we have an alternative feature that functions similar to !bangs after you mentioned it. It seems to work pretty well just like bangs, once I set it up, it should be good to go but I am not sure if I can use it for a variety of websites, because there are thousands of websites that you could easily access by just using “!” and say “yt” and etc. But adding that as search choices kind of limits me because I cannot add like 100 websites, but if we have bangs, I can just put an exclamatory mark and move on, if you know what I mean. I still cannot speak much on the search choices feature as I lack experience with it, so I will continue to experiement all aspects of Mojeek and continue to experience the search engine. Been loving it so far and will continue to give feedback as I use it!

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I find it intuitive to use the existing operators like:

matt damon inurl:wikipedia 
catalysis inurl:merriam

The only bang that does not have a substitute is !ducky which automatically retrieves the first result:

ghana site:https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/ !ducky 

Also, I remember having problems looking up certain syntax because the exclamation point, colon, hyphen etc cannot be escaped in the search. Sometimes I want to search for example code or a line from a log where I don’t expect to find an exact match because of a time stamp or host name. I wish that search engines could recognize embedded fields like this and attempt declarative searches or machine learning.

With respect to search terms, it would be helpful if there was an official escape character. This way I could paste a line from a log and escape it manually if the syntax collided with the search engine. Alternatively, there could be an advanced search field which searched verbatim and internally either did not honor operators or escaped them.

I don’t remember what would trigger DuckDuckGo. But I might search for a WinDbg command like this:

windbg !analyze 
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I’ve been thinking about the !ducky bang.

And I think an index operator might make more sense than a shortcut to the first result.

I could use the new operator instead of !ducky: my search terms index:1 That search would automatically send me to the first result.

But I could also use the new operator to navigate to lower-ranked results. For example, vivaldi.com used to be ranked lower. So I might have searched for vivaldi index:2 to visit their home page.

I think this might be helpful because Mojeek would not have to bias their search results to accommodate trends. Instead, if I’m already familiar with the results then I can use this new operator to find the information I’m looking for.

I realize the results of this new operator might be unpredictable. But my guess is the usefulness of this operator will only increase over time as the search index becomes larger and more stable.

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I’ll get it raised and look at the viability; weirdly before this I wasn’t familiar with !ducky (but obviously I’m Feeling Lucky…) a bit of a blindspot on my part.

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@Josh If there ends up being some policy problem–index somehow leads to spam or exploitation–it would be helpful to know about policy problems so I can make better suggestions in the future, or there could be a FAQ or wiki under Feedback.

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