November 13, 2003

An Infinite Number of Pigeons Pecking...

How does Google keep up with the Web? It doesn't, but it tries hard. A key factor in this effort is the Google PageRank method of search and deploy. But what technology underlies PageRank? As Google itself explains, the engine that drives PageRank is pigeons, lots of pigeons:

Why Google's patented PigeonRank works so well

PigeonRank's success relies primarily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon (Columba livia) and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation. The common gray pigeon can easily distinguish among items displaying only the minutest differences, an ability that enables it to select relevant web sites from among thousands of similar pages.

By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings.

When a search query is submitted to Google, it is routed to a data coop where monitors flash result pages at blazing speeds. When a relevant result is observed by one of the pigeons in the cluster, it strikes a rubber-coated steel bar with its beak, which assigns the page a PigeonRank value of one. For each peck, the PigeonRank increases. Those pages receiving the most pecks, are returned at the top of the user's results page with the other results displayed in pecking order.

Read all about it at:Google Technology

Posted by Vanderleun at November 13, 2003 9:53 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Adhere to Layout Guidelines. Did you leave 12 pixels between your push buttons? Does the positioning of your pop-up menus make sense, and when do you use a pop-up versus a scrolling list? Are you using the right types of buttons for the proper functions?

Posted by: Everard at January 13, 2004 12:38 AM

So far in these articles, I have only dipped a toe or two into Aqua's pool. I have covered basic aspects of building an Aqua-compliant application, including the building of photo-illustrative/3D application icons. Now it's time to address other components of our Mac OS X application.

Posted by: David at January 13, 2004 12:39 AM

In building your amazing Aqua application, one of the most important things to consider is the Dock. There are three things your app needs to be "Dock Compliant." Now, I write this knowing that the Dock will be going through some major changes soon, but for the most part, these should still hold true.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 13, 2004 12:39 AM

Drawers. Similar to Sheets, this is a "child" window that gives users access to items that do not always need to be present. But when do you use a drawer and when do you use a palette?

Posted by: Sander at January 13, 2004 12:39 AM

By building an application that takes advantage of Aqua's many facets, you help ensure that your application will not only look good, but have a chance of becoming a raging success. After a new user clicks on the icon of your program, the first thing he or she sees is the application interface. I know that when I review a product, I am very critical of its visual design. I usually have a short time to learn the new software, so design and ease of use are very important. Aside from those who marvel at the beauty of the command line, most users tend to react the same way.

Posted by: Elizeus at January 13, 2004 12:39 AM

You Must Promise. To call your mother, to help old ladies cross the road, and to turn your cell phone off at the movies.

Posted by: Charles at January 13, 2004 12:39 AM

Okay, I just told you what Apple wants you to look out for with window positions, but in the real world, not everyone uses the hiding feature of the Dock, and it is unrealistic to be able to predict where each user will place their Dock at any given day or how large they will have it. However, you can build a feature into your application that allows spacing for the Finder. You can give users the option of where to position their windows and what area of the screen not to cross. I know that BBEdit provides me with this feature, and I wish more developers gave me more control over my windows.

Posted by: Oliver at January 13, 2004 12:40 AM

For my Paint application, I created a series of icons to simulate a rendering algorithm. While the application is performing this CPU-intensive task, you can always see the status of the document by the icon changing in the Dock.

Posted by: Wymond at January 13, 2004 12:40 AM

Okay, I just told you what Apple wants you to look out for with window positions, but in the real world, not everyone uses the hiding feature of the Dock, and it is unrealistic to be able to predict where each user will place their Dock at any given day or how large they will have it. However, you can build a feature into your application that allows spacing for the Finder. You can give users the option of where to position their windows and what area of the screen not to cross. I know that BBEdit provides me with this feature, and I wish more developers gave me more control over my windows.

Posted by: Jerome at January 13, 2004 12:40 AM

User Assistance. This is helping the user with the proper "next step" when performing a task. Less guesswork for the user on what to do next makes for a better experience.

Posted by: Lionel at January 13, 2004 12:40 AM