Searching the right way

Search Forums

List of forums for searching-

http://groups.google.com (my all time favorite)
http://www.google.com – since this searches the entire Internet, it helps in retrieving information from other forums too.

http://search.java.sun.com/search/java/advanced.jsp for Java Language related problems.
Sometimes people post all kind of stuff as well. So you never know you might get lots of useful stuff.
Remember to select “Java forums” option for searching.

http://www.mail-archive.com/
This is a collection of forums. So if you are looking for a problem related to postgresql just type into the text box and it will give you a list of discussion forums for postgresql.

http://www.jboss.org/jive.jsp
Joss specific forum

http://www.groups.yahoo.com
I haven’t used it much but know people who do.

Search tips

How to look at search results:

When search results are displayed on the page, don’t open every link displayed. It is easy to get lost reading page after page of stuff that has little relevance to the problem at hand.
Just quickly scan through the search results to look at the titles of the pages displayed and read the one or two sentences that are displayed below the title. Open a link if you get a feeling that it contains the answer to your problem.

How to specify keywords

This sometimes differs from Website to Website. But usually the following is true:

A keyword search for word1 word2 word3
Usually returns every link that contains ANY of the words

A keyword search for word1+word2+word3 usually returns a link that contains all the above words.

A keyword search for “word1 word2 word3” usually returns links that contain ALL the above words as a SINGLE PHRASE.

What keywords to search for

While searching, try to be as specific as possible. If you don’t get any matches for specific criteria then search for more general terms.
For example:

If searching for a specific error message displayed by the server or database, then type in the complete error message in the search box. You will have to consider that google limits search criteria to 10 words. The rest it will chop off. So try to keep within limit.

For example for the error message “X” reported “The type of the field named in the..”

If you search google for the word Jboss and the above error message text, then first link that google shows might contain the solution.
http://www.geocrawler.com/archives/2/14039/202/434234

Some database or server software products display an error number. For example Oracle database displays error messages like ORA-1433. Postgresql or Jboss may also have specific error messages like that.

If you have error messages like that, it makes it perfect to include it in the search.

If you are searching for a general doubt (not a specific error) in that case there is a good technique you can use.
Try to frame a short sentence that captures the gist of the problem and strip out all the common words (like it for as the etc) you can do the search on the remaining words that are left.

For example, if you have a question on how to get the PK field from the remote interface when you don’t have getters/setters. You want to find out if getters and setters are allowed in the remote interface for PK fields.
Your search criteria would be “getter primary key remote interface entity EJB”

About cuppajavamattiz
Matty Jacob - Avid technical blogger with interests in J2EE, Web Application Servers, Web frameworks, Open source libraries, Relational Databases, Web Services, Source control repositories, ETL, IDE Tools and related technologies.

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