Has PWA broken traditional website behaviour?

So, it appears that now that SuttaCentral is a PWA (progressive web ap), some longstanding norms and functions of the world wide web are no longer with us.

For example. I am looking for a sutta in the chapter of the tens that includes in the title the word “Ānanda”. When I go to this page… https://suttacentral.net/an10 and try to do a browser search using ctrl+F, it doesn’t turn up any results. This appears to be because the entire page does not load, therefore the text is not actually there.

Is there any way this could be “fixed”? I put it in quotes because this may fall into the feature-not-a-bug category because it saves bandwith by not having to load the entire page.

Please delete or merge this topic if it has been covered somewhere else.
[EDIT: originally I linked to the book of the eights. I meant to link to book of tens. Now corrected]


the workaround for discussion threads was to do a “control-p” to print the whole webpage into pdf file to get around the caching problem. I just tried it for the AN 8 page and that hack doesn’t work.

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Don’t know how you got to this assumption; but I don’t think it’s true. Works for me:

Is that what you’re looking for?

So, yes, the browser search works fine on the sutta pages. They seem to load completely even if very long, which is great. That wasn’t what I was talking about.

As far as your second screen shot, it appears that there are only 3 results found. However further down on the page (which hasn’t loaded) there should be more hits. But the page doesn’t load completely. (BTW, since I was looking for a sutta named Ananda, I had the compact view turned on, so I didn’t get those hits.)

So, it works?

No. By “those hits” I meant the three that you found that were not sutta names. So, no, it doesn’t work.

I don’t think you understand what the problem is. On this page there is a list of all of the suttas in the book of the 10s: suttacentral.net/an10. But the page does not load completely.

There is a sutta called Ānanda Sutta that only appears on the page when you scroll down.

So doing a browser search from the top of the page (Without scrolling down) won’t return this sutta.

Does that make sense?

This is unfortunately a bug with the Polymer element iron-list, which we rely on to generate these pages. There’s no trivial fix, I’m afraid, and we will probably have to wait until it is rectified upstream. This will have to wait for virtual-scroller, which will be the replacement for iron-list.


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Ah, yea, makes sense now. You can’t search for something that isn’t loaded.

Maybe something like this for Chrome may solve your dilemma:

Nope. When you scroll down the things at the top disappear.

@sujato, is there a reason that we can’t just have a regular html list? I realize that the reasons may be so complicated that you don’t have time to explain. And I guess once the site’s search feature is working better we won’t need to search for things this way.

It’s to do with making multiple views available, and especially so that they work on mobile. On a desktop you can load up hundreds of cards (not that you’d want to, but you could get away with it), but for mobile you have to load things bit by bit. Like everything in programming, it’s a tradeoff.

Rest assured, though, that it is one that I keenly feel the pain of, which is why I went down the rabbit-hole to research alternatives.

Yes, improved search can mitigate this. But still, it is a basic expected browser behavior. We will see if there is another solution.

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Thank you so much. I can’t say that it rises to the level of pain for me yet. :slight_smile:

Another thing I noticed is that some websites that scrape a page looking, I suppose, for what is considered the body aren’t able to find anything on SuttaCentral sutta pages.

For example, fivefilters.org/kindle-it/, a service that will send a page to an ebook reader, isn’t able to find the text.

Same thing for readsy.co/, a speed reading site.

I realize that there are workarounds cutting and pasting. And that eventually suttacentral may have an ebook creation feature. But it seems like the site should be able to play nice with any website that was looking for text on the page.


It should indeed. I have noted this issue:

Psst, it works already! Blake has now finished it, we will publish the details soon. It will take a little while to implement a UI on the site, but meanwhile you can download EPUBs directly from a URL.


Thanks! This is exciting. Is this a follow up from this post? https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/temporary-solutions-for-offline-website/10011/4

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