Search on Extension Warehouse doesn't work well

I was looking for “survey tool” (a Ruby that turns out is available at Ruby Library Depot). I did a search on “survey” and “survey tool”. Many extensions came up, most of which did not seem to have anything that I could see related to surveying (a few did). Doing a Google Search for “survey tool for SketchUp” found the ruby. I don’t know what the search engine is looking for. The word “survey” ;anywhere in the documentation or ? Maybe if it were possible to limit search to the plugin title, as an option, the search could be more efficient.

What I read in your post is that since there’s no extension in the warehouse that matches your search term, the search doesn’t work. That’s like saying there’s a problem with the encyclopedia because ‘Elephant’ doesn’t show up in the ‘A’ volume. So you would like the Extension Warehouse to include links to extensions from outside sources that may or may not have been kept up to date and have not been vetted to make sure they work correctly and don’t cause conflicts or damage.

Most of the extensions available from the Ruby Library Depot have not been kept up to date and many of them will not work correctly on versions of SketchUp after SU2013.

Who should then be responsible for providing assistance to users when those out of date extensions won’t work? If the authors of those extensions aren’t interested in keeping them up to date, it’s not likely they’ll be much assistance when users can’t get them to load or work properly. There’s history to back that up, too.

The extensions provided in the Extension Warehouse and in the Sketchucation Plugin Store are being kept up to date and those authors are engaged and will provide assistance.

It’s up to the author of the extension to ask to have it hosted in the Extension Warehouse and or the Sketchucation Plugin Store.


Wow. I’m amazed by the defensiveness that comes up with any criticism of SketchUp or Trimble. Your interpretation seriously misunderstands and/or ignores what I was actually saying. The search function in Extension warehouse was of almost no use to me. The simplest demonstration of its’ poor performance is that by going to Google Search (a general search tool not focused on SketchUp let alone SketchUp extensions), I immediately found what I was looking for. In this case it was a Ruby script to input survey points. I suggest you try some searches yourself on this topic. Here’s what I found:

  1.  I did a search for “survey” in Extension Warehouse.  It came up with 10 items.  2 of them had to do with surveying.  The others had no understandable connection to “survey”.  For example: MF random buildings generator. This plugin lets you create a group of randomly sized boxes that looks like a group of building blocks
  2.  I did a search for “survey tool” in Extension Warehouse.  It came up with nothing.
  3.  I did a search in Bing for “survey tool for sketchup”.  It came up with multiple items (more than 10), all of which were interesting and relevant.  The second link included a discussion on the SketchUcation forum that directly referenced the plugin I was looking for.  The 8th link was directly to the plugin on Ruby Library Depot.  (Despite all the potential problems it works fine in 2015, been using it a long time, and in SU 2016.)
  4.  I did a search in Google for “survey tool plugin for sketchup”.  It came up with many interesting links.  The first non-ad link was to the same SketchUcation Forum reference as Bing found.  The 3rd link was directly to the plugin on Ruby Library Depot.

The spirit around SketchUp in its’ earlier days was very much about community with many people contributing ideas. There was lots of connecting happening. And most people were doing it for fun. If Trimble wanted to promote this attitude it would provide suggestions and links to other sources of information (that doesn’t make Trimble responsible for these other people). There is not even a link to SketchUcation or the plugins there (which as you point out are well maintained). Shouldn’t Trimble be supportive of SketchUcation?

If Bing or Google is better at finding help with SketchUp than Trimble/SketchUp is, that is a poor reflection on Trimble/SketchUp.

If I were Trimble, as a for profit business I would want to improve that. And I would take my comments seriously as a source of helpful feedback.

Hoping not to sound defensive, I would point out that search in the Extension Warehouse covers only the extensions that are actually in the EW. If the extension is sourced somewhere else, the EW does not know about it. The SketchUcation store has the same limitation. Generic web searchers such as Bing and Google do not, so they can find thing from, e.g., Ruby Library Depot.

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I have to agree with Huck… the search engines in both ( and components) border on useless… I gave up with them years ago and rely on searching via the developer filter…

Dare I point out that the search function of which you complain is designed to search only it’s own contents, saving you the need to wade through the morass of Google searches.
Google, Bing etc give you everything. E warehouse sketchucation give you a specific filtered list without all the ‘extra’. I know how I prefer to search.

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I’m curious what it is about the EW and SCF Plugin Store would make anyone think they are intended as search engines like Google and Bing are. There isn’t anything that I can see that would be misleading.

It’s kind of like saying your Casio calculator is bad because it doesn’t send texts.

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By the way, i think EW is slow and clunky and could be improved immeasurably, but I know what i expect it to search for.

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Hi Box,
You mention using the search in EW to save "you the need to wade through the morass of Google searches"
My experience was just the opposite. Google gave me highly relevant responses including the exact item I needed. In contrast EW gave me many irrelevant items.
More important in my mind is that EW doesn’t seem to make any effort to let you know there are other resources such as SketchUcation, etc.

DaveR, I don’t think anyone said EW was misleading. It just isn’t very functional. And failing to make people aware of other resources reflects an attitude from Trimble that I think is unfortunate.

I think that returning results from a web-wide search mixed in with EW search results would imply that Trimble approves the results or takes responsibility for them, which is never going to be the case. But maybe there’s a compromise: what if the EW search results panel had a “search the web” button that would invoke the user’s browser with a Google or Bing search? That admits there is a larger world without necessarily endorsing anything found there.


That sounds like a good suggestion.

From my view the most important thing is to encourage participation from a wide variety of sources.

Trimble could provide a list of other sources with a disclaimer, i.e. they don’t endorse the sites but just let their users know there are others out there.

Yours is a voice of sanity. I don’t detect self-righteous posturing, as in the replies of some of your interlocutors (N.B., an irrelevant analogy is just a rhetorical technique, not an answer). I’m a newbie who has searched unsuccessfully in EW for the very survey tool you speak of, having been led to it via a search on “survey” in the fora. Limiting results to only what is within EW (but including irrelevant hits?) is a byproduct of risk-averse thinking.

If you are still searching for the survey tool, I did find it at Ruby Library Depot.

Bumped into your post "Search on Extension Warehouse doesn’t work well"
My Extension 2DXY SIteSurvey Tools has been there about a year.

See :™-sitesurvey™-tools
I agree that the search and organization of the warehouse is kind weak.

Barry Milliken

I agree with Huck, in that the search is rudimentary and often returns non-relevant “hits”. There is also undocumented differences between how you enter terms. IE:
import DXF, is different than import+DXF or “import DXF” (quoting) or import "DXF"
But there is no documentation to explain why.

There is absolutely NO link to the Extension Warehouse User Guide, anywhere at the EW.

There should be a “?” (help) button at one end of the serach boxes that links to guide page:
Searching or Browsing for Extensions

I also agree with most of what Dave said also. That the EW should only search the EW.

I “like” what Steve proposed (a external search link) but only if the EW search comes up empty. (I am really sick of seeing that “Tell us whats missing” form.)

Oh, and I moved this to the proper FR sub-category of [Extension Warehouse] ( category.