This is a bug to continue our e-mail discussion to help us to decide whether Najdi.si should replace Google as the default search engine in the Slovene Firefox versions.
Hi Aleks and Matjaz, In your emails you said making this change would be "better" for the "average Slovenian internet user". Can you explain why this would be better? Thanks, Mic
I suppose I could chime in as well. Here's a list of some of the pros and cons of Najdi.si as far as I can see them. Najdi.si: - has far better support than Google for the complex Slovene declension system. Words in Slovene get a huge variety of endings attached to them, and Najdi.si supports this in searching very well. Thus websites needn't have nouns in the nominative case, verbs in the infinitive and adjectives in nominative of masculine singular (which is the dictionary form most people would search for) etcetera for them to come up in searches. - searches Slovene sites (ie those located on .si domains, those written in Slovene and also those which have any kind of connection with Slovenia) only. This is both a good and a bad thing I suppose. I don't know what kind of user the default settings are aiming for - if the user wants more local content, then Najdi.si is better for that. Perhaps users of localised versions of software ARE in fact users who have less firm a grasp of foreign languages, and would therefore prefer to search locally first. However, I'm not entirely convinced that this is the case for the majority of users of the Slovene version of Firefox - and nor have I much of an idea how to find this out -, so I would sooner call this a drawback than a genuine advantage for a default setting. - has local news written in Slovene from a variety of sources; Google doesn't have any Slovene-language news. Najdi.si also allows free sending of SMS messages in all Slovene mobile networks and has much better maps of Slovenia than Google (at the moment anyway). All these things aren't, however, directly related to searching, so I'm not sure if they should form a basis for our decision. - probably works faster for most users because it's located on a local server, but that's just a guess and we'd need to benchmark that I suppose. - doesn't at present support search suggestions which Google does. - has much more prominent advertising than Google (unless you're knowledgeable enough to block it - in which case it has none - but I don't think the user we're aiming for is skilful enough to do that). Of these, I think the first two are by far the most important issues, and all in all it boils down to whether we want to offer users a local or a global search engine. It goes without saying that both have their advantages and drawbacks, but I don't think I'm in a position to judge which is better for Firefox users. Furthermore I imagine I'm probably rather biassed and I should concede that I personally use Google. However, I wouldn't say my opinion is very representative at all, as I'm not in Slovenia most of the time and thus prefer a more global search engine. Matjaz should hopefully be able to add some (more positive!) points that I've missed, as I believe it's his search engine of choice.
I'd like to second two points that Aleks (duh, pun please, twice?) made: Firstly, the difference in scope when comparing Najdi and Google. Najdi probably outperforms in terms of search results for Slovenian content, Google likely outperforms for topics not covered in Slovene, or covered better in other languages that a user might speak. I assess that Najdi agrees, if you look at their IE toolbar, http://www.najdi.si/help/toolbar.html, they offer one-click searching for the same term in Najdi and Google. Sadly, that page does not explain how do to that in a Slovene Firefox with three clicks. Secondly, the lack of search suggest is somewhat of a biggie to me. I'm not sure how good rich search is looking for Fx3, but http://wiki.mozilla.org/Search/Rich_Results might be worth a look here, too. As in, if we could merge the suggest results of Google and Najdi, you'd probably get the best of both worlds. I hope I got rich results right here.
Aleks already pointed out the most important pros and cons of choosing Najdi.si, but I'd like to add just one more. As Mr Kogovsek pointed out, Najdi.si is the leading Slovenian web page and search-engine. That is _very_ important information, because _users_ chose it over Google and not someone else (as is the case with Internet Explorer vs. the rest of thw world). So, the majority of Slovenians prefer Najdi.si over Google. Full stop. :-) Considering the lack of search suggest I'd like to stress that it's quite impossible and useless for Slovenian searches, due to complex Slovenian declension system.
I thought it was relevant to also add into the dialogue this information which we had exchanged in an email, so with permission from Najdi, here is additional information from Najdi about their service (if there is something I've missed that's pertinent please feel free to add): Najdi.si is a leading Slovenian web page / search-engine, with 1 mio monthly users and approx 30 mio monthly searches (according to alexaholic Najdi has a daily reach of ~0.05% and are ranked 4th in Slovenia). Currently, there had been only 16% of FF usage on Najdi.si (which is much bellow market average), mainly because Najdi.si had not offered FF toolbar in the past. This also means that Najdi.si is probably the best opportunity for Firefox to further expand its market share among Slovenian users. Currently, there's been less than 1% of all Najdi.si searches conducted with Najdi.si through FF (with Najdi.si as optional search engine) ------ I am not currently advocating one position or another, my intent is to include this data for discussion. IMHO the question in part centres around the expectation from the user for the first position search plug-in e.g., is it a global search or language specific search. Any changes we make should be in line with this and an improved experience. I believe it's global search but will rely on product and UI/UE input here.
Hi guys as promised, from Mike Beltzner here are some of his thoughts from a UI/UE perspective. I look forward to your response Comments: I characterized the request in this bug as a question of the purpose of the primary search plug-in for other languages. Mike had these thoughts: * context: it's hard for us to answer because we are native English speakers so it's hard to imagine coming from another language/perspective * the primary search plug-in should provide the best search results that are most relevant to the user based on their search terms (i.e., in whatever language they wrote in); how one result is more relevant than another and how search handles language at the same time to provide most relevant results is what is hard to determine (meaning "best" is hard to determine) * Mike suggested I get input from Search people at Google (and others) on this idea of relevance+language. I am working on this last idea now and will post more as I get more contacts with more information. Mike had one question: what the primary language of business and internet usage in Slovenia? i hope you feel that we have not at all forgotten you and this has prompted us to think very seriously about the recommended answer to this bug. thank you
Hi again, I'm glad things didn't stop moving. :-) I agree with Mike - it's hard for non-Slovenian speakers to work this issue out and that's why we are here to help you understand it. I'd like to stress once again that Slovenians use Najdi.si as their primary search engine, since it is the leading Slovenian web page (not only search engine). And yes, Slovenian is by far the most dominant language of business and internet usage in Slovenia. I'm looking forward to hear from you soon and I hope you'll bring some good information from Google people.
(In reply to comment #7) > I agree with Mike - it's hard for non-Slovenian speakers to work this issue > out and that's why we are here to help you understand it. I'd like to stress We really do appreciate that, by the way. This is truly a dilemma for me, and I find myself going back and forth a lot. > once again that Slovenians use Najdi.si as their primary search engine, since > it is the leading Slovenian web page (not only search engine). And yes, Does that mean that it provides the best experience, though? What I'm governed by is a desire to ensure that when a user installs Firefox, they're given a really positive experience in terms of getting to where they want to go on the internet. I'm fully willing to belive that najdi.si is a better tool for providing this experience, I'm just having trouble figuring out the ways we'd determine that. (note: this is really the first time we've looked deeply at this sort of issue, which is why we're struggling; we really do appreciate your patience). > Slovenian is by far the most dominant language of business and internet usage > in Slovenia. That's helpful to know. That, plus the fact that najdi.si supports complex declinations (as per comment 2) make me lean towards supporting the idea of using najdi as the default search engine. If it didn't exlude non-slovenian web pages, it would really be a slam dunk. Maybe I misinterpreted that section of comment 2, though. Matjaž: can you comment a little bit on what happens when someone wants to search for information about something that isn't well covered by Slovenian websites? As a najdi user, does this happen to you a lot? > I'm looking forward to hear from you soon and I hope you'll bring some good > information from Google people. Any progress here, Mic?
(In reply to comment #9) > (In reply to comment #7) > That's helpful to know. That, plus the fact that najdi.si supports complex > declinations (as per comment 2) make me lean towards supporting the idea of > using najdi as the default search engine. If it didn't exlude non-slovenian web I appreciate that. > pages, it would really be a slam dunk. Maybe I misinterpreted that section of > comment 2, though. > Matjaž: can you comment a little bit on what happens when someone wants to > search for information about something that isn't well covered by Slovenian > websites? As a najdi user, does this happen to you a lot? I only use Najdi.si for searching Slovenian content, otherwise I use Google, of course. What happens when one searches for non-Slovenian webcontent with Najdi.si is that it receives only small amount of results, which are crap, e.g. http://www.najdi.si/search.jsp?q=south+carolina+gdp. But still -- most users search for Slovenian content.
Hello Matjaz and Aleks, I am approving your request to make Najdi the primary position search provider. This has been an excellent discussion and I thank you for your patience in educating us about both your market and the user experience (being non-English primary language users). If it's at all possible to provide feedback to Najdi to improve their non Slovenian languages (english as well as other language) searching that'd be great. If we can help them with that, please let us know, we'd be happy to help. Over to you Axel. Thanks again, let me know if I can be of help on next steps. Best Mic
one more thing, thanks to Beltzner for weighing in to help us clarify the usability issues here best mic
Just to raise a dissenting voice... I've been talking to a few people in the Web Dev community here in Slovenia who are apparently too shy to post here (not helpful of course)! Disclaimers: 1) I am not trying to comment for them here for fear of misrepresentation, just passing on my interpertation of what they said. 2) I don't use najdi.si, only for maps The general feeling is that they thought using najdi as default *was not* a good idea. Basically, according to Alexa google.si and google.com come before najdi.si which contradicts the idea that the majority of Slovenians prefer Najdi.si over Google (I don't have any figures here, we should try to dig some up). And the feeling is that while Najdi is still a good service and the top local search engine, the quality of results is not as good as it could be. The core issue here I believe is whether the average user searches for local or global content mostly. I would say the latter.
I'm probably one of those web devs Brian mentioned, so let me add my opinion. Najdi.si is definitely heavily used in Slovenia, but it's also the only search engine that is also heavily marketed in major newspapers and magazines and has been for years. That's not a blemish, but it would be wrong to assume that their market share is a result of their quality only. It's also true that it is the best local search engine, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it best search engine for Slovenian pages. I personally rarely use it because it seldom provides good hits for what I need. It's also my impression that the quality of results has steadily been declining through years. Google has supported stemming for slovene for quite some time. I'm not fit to judge if it's worse or better than Najdi.si's, but I'd be surprised if there was much difference. In both cases they probably rely on openly available tools. Similar case could be made for maps. Google has recently added street level support in its mapping application for larger slovenian cities, but Najdi.si has more details for smaller towns. On the other hand Google has satellite pictures that Najdi lacks. My longterm bet would again be on Google. If the goal is to provide best local search engine, then Najdi.si is clearly the way to go. If it's best user experience and good results, then my vote would still be for Google.
Matjaz/Aleks can you comment on Marko and Brian's comments, particularly one concern I have is statements related to quality of Najdi's search results: "And the feeling is that while Najdi is still a good service and the top local search engine, the quality of results is not as good as it could be." "It's also true that it is the best local search engine, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it best search engine for Slovenian pages. I personally rarely use it because it seldom provides good hits for what I need. It's also my impression that the quality of results has steadily been declining through years." thanks mic
brian, i have a question for you -- in general, we want to support requests from localizers, and we put pretty high pressure on everyone here not to override based on our own feelings -- so we're inclined to really listen -- in this case, to put in najdi. but you're suggesting the opposite of what was suggested initially -- do you have any ideas on how to resolve?
I fully support using local search engines. But, it has to be for the right reasons. I agree basically with what Aleks said in comment 2: "Of these, I think the first two are by far the most important issues, and all in all it boils down to whether we want to offer users a local or a global search engine." So it is your call. If you want better local search, go with najdi.si. If you want better global search, go with google.si. I can not judge what the *average* Slovene Firefox user wants/needs most.
It's also not just "local vs. global" -- if I can oversimplify, it looks like the issue is "great local, practically nonexistent global" versus "mediocre local, great global". Only one of those two choices provides options in both categories. So even if you decide that Najdi is a significantly better local engine, and people search locally more often, is the downside for the minority of searches worth it? One way to answer this would be to select a random sample of users, default their search box to Najdi, and then compare stats on how they use their browser to another random sample of users using Google as their engine. I don't know if the infrastructure to do this exists, though.
Brian, Marko and Peter -- I agree with your thoughts, but I'd also like to stress that Slovenian builds of Firefox are intended to be used especially by beginner or intermediate users, who may also be Slovenian-only speaking users. People like you and me most probably use the original (English) builds, even though some of us are localizing them. ;) But more than I'm trying to figure out which one of the engines is more appropriate for at least 50% of Slovenian Firefox users, more I believe I will never find the answer. In long term I believe Google will prevail, as it always does (:D), so after all it might be a bad idea to change default engine to Najdi.si and than later back to Google again. FYI, Interseek (the owner of Najdi.si) was just bought by Telekom Slovenije, by far the biggest telecommunications company in Slovenia.
(In reply to comment #19) > stress that Slovenian builds of Firefox are intended to be used especially by > beginner or intermediate users, who may also be Slovenian-only speaking users. > People like you and me most probably use the original (English) builds, even > though some of us are localizing them. ;) That doesn't really make sense to me. I'd assume that most advanced users use localized builds, too. You might be part of a minority. However, advanced users are more likely to change the search provider to whatever fits them best, so this is still a valid argument for "great local, practically nonexistent global" as the default.
(In reply to comment #20) > That doesn't really make sense to me. I'd assume that most advanced users use > localized builds, too. You might be part of a minority. They do, but majority of advanced users here in Slovenia uses English builds, I'm pretty sure about that.
One more question - is there any localized Firefox build which does not use Google as default search engine?
The issue certainly isn't "great local, practically nonexistent global" versus "mediocre local, great global". Najdi.si is pretty much mediocre (but better than LOCAL competition). So is Google, but in my opinion it is a bit better. It's not just my opinion either. Here are top sites for Slovenia from Alexa (which is as good as data gets these days): http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=SI&ts_mode=country&lang=none What I'd like to draw attention to is that Alexa has a well known IE bias, since its toolbar was (is?) available only on IE and therefore results are unlikely heavily skewed in Google's favor by strong Firefox presence here. Also, Google doesn't advertise in Slovenia, while Najdi.si has been doing it heavily for years. And yet Google.com AND Google.si are more popular than Najdi, which certainly didn't used to be true. I'd say users already voted with their feet. I don't think discussion about English and Slovenian builds is especially relevant, since I'm not arguing in Google's sake for my own reasons. My browser is set up to start with a blank page anyway, a change in preferences that was trivial to make. It's hardly more difficult to change the default search engine in search bar.
> One more question - is there any localized Firefox build which does > not use Google as default search engine? I believe Yahoo! is used in Japan, for example. The more relevant question might be if any builds use a local search engine as default, i.e. not Google, Yahoo, Answers.com, etc.?
(In reply to comment #24) The more relevant question might be if any builds use a local search engine as default, i.e. not Google, Yahoo, Answers.com, etc.? > this would be the first, and I'm not sure if that's a "more relevant" question, however i did want to provide an answer to the question asked
in re-reading this, what I meant by my comment, is even though this may be the first time we've done this, we shouldn't add any additional pressure to our decision (or the team) beyond doing the right thing for the user. again, this has and is a great dialogue towards getting that answer. best mic
Hi I'd like to move towards closing this bug with a decision, so here's what I'd like to propose based on a set of principles about search for localized builds. Proposal: stick with Google.si as primary and Najdi as secondary unless there is major disagreement from you'all based on my position below Principles to support this recommendation - this is an attempt to articulate where we've landed as a policy to try and make the "right" decisions for search: In the case where the L10n team (localizer, community, Mozillians) suggests something different to the default we apply 3 criteria: relevancy (how relevant are the results that are generated for users of this language version), coverage (how much of the web is covered with the search results), and user experience (to the extent that we're able to tell without cultural bias) 2) If there's a clear consensus on all three categories in the discussion between all parties, we go with the winner (this is based on what the localizer and local community believes to be what users (that's native language speaking users) want) 3) if there's a split in the community, our expectation is that Google will win the "coverage" criteria, and that the local language search engine must win the "relevance" or "UE" criteria (otherwise they wouldn't have been proposed). We'll then make the assumption that if users are choosing native-language Firefox over "plain vanilla" en-US Firefox, they're making a choice for language relevance of UI, and by extension, search results, so will tend towards choosing the local search plug in suggested by the L10n team as the default In this case, I don't believe there is consensus in this community (and even between the main localizers, Matjaz and Aleks) about Najdi satisfying the UE criteria. Therefore, I suggest sticking with Google.si in primary position as it gets the closest to the best of the three criteria, and Najdi stays in the second position. I hope this makes sense. Thank you all again for this most excellent discussion! It has greatly clarified my and Mozilla's thinking about the purpose of localized search. I look forward to any additional thoughts you may have in agreement or disagreement with my conclusion.
i worked with mic to figure out these criteria -- i think given the lack of consensus on relevancy, sticking with google makes sense. think we're almost to conclusion here, and we really appreciate everyone's patience. hopefully we can get to resolution in the next 2 or 3 days.
Mic, I agree with your decision and I thank you all for participating!
As I haven't heard any major objections/dissension from Comment #29 or #28 I'd like to move towards resolving this bug. Matjaz/Aleks can you reconfirm the search engine order given this discussion e.g., is what you'd propose: google.si najdi.si yahoo.si gov.si wikipedia.si thanks mic
I agree with the search engine order you proposed. Except that it's yahoo.com (not .si) and sl.wikipedia.org (not wikipedia.si).
It seems that we're done discussing the pros and cons and have decided against the change. Thanks to everyone for your contributions. I hope it's all right for me to close this bug.
aleks - i think there is a change to replace yahoo with najdi in 2nd position? can you confirm mic
Oh, right, I hadn't realised that, sorry. Does it really matter which search engine is second though? The user has to open the drop-down menu anyway and will thus see all the options available. We can change it of course if you think it's sensible to do so. (I assume this involves simply modifying "browser.search.order.2=Yahoo" in l10n/sl/browser/chrome/browser-region/region.properties.)
(In reply to comment #34) > .. Does it really matter which search engine is second though? Well, what do you and Matjaz think given what was discussed? Here are more details on our typical approach to search engine order, which effectively says including Yahoo is up to you (as I don't believe Yahoo has a Slovenian version?) http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox3/L10n_Requirements#Search_Order