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Author Topic: Question about searching  (Read 2404 times)
Bill Cook
Member

Posts: 501


« on: November 27, 2003, 06:10:36 PM »

Can your search page handle strings?  e.g. ["running out of story"].  Or would you have to go [running AND out AND of AND story]?

I have trouble using it in the same way as Yahoo or Google and end up getting no matches or a match with every post in the database.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2003, 12:37:52 AM »

There's a "use query as entered" option that does exactly what you're asking (well, it seems to when I use it).

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2003, 09:59:19 AM »

Bill,

I find that php searching is not what I would call robust.  You cannot perform string searches.  As I'm sure you've already discovered, adding quotes around a phrase has no affect on the search results.  Searching for words or phrases with hyphens also mucks up the search.  I will illustrate with the following.  

I want to find a specific topic where one of the posts includes the phrase "bunny slippers."  Using the search for any terms default, I get 44 hits.  Not unmanagable, but lets say that I don't want to go through all of them.  I try the search for all terms option and get 1 hit and it's not what I want.  Why is that?

The topic in question has two references to bunny slippers, one is "nude-but-for-bunny-slippers", the other includes a typo, "bunny slipppers."   Both of these will get picked up in the search for any option, but neither will get picked up in the search for all option.   You can't always anticipate typos, but it seems that the hyphenated phrase should be searchable.  Wrong.

nude-but-for-bunny-slippers doesn't work
*slippers doesn't work
nude* doesn't work
nude bunny slippers (Search for all) doesn't work
nude bunny slippers (Search for any) gives me even more hits

In your example, "running out of story," the main problem is the large number of hits:  4182 as an any search, and 696 as an all search.  The words "out" and "of" are dropped from both searchs.  So you are essentially searching for the words "running" and "story."  These two words are not particularly useful as search terms at the Forge.

You can try narrowing the search by using more unique terms, selecting a forum or forum category, or imposing a date limit.  If you can't narrow the search and don't want to wade through all the topics, your best bet is to include an author you suspect posted on the topic or who you might want to read on the topic.  (Note that authors must match log in ids although capitalization is not important.)  For example, an all search using "running" and "story" with author "valamir" results in 15 hits.

Julie
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Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2003, 12:14:35 PM »

Quote from: jrs
If you can't narrow the search and don't want to wade through all the topics, your best bet is to include an author you suspect posted on the topic or who you might want to read on the topic.


This is a good ace to have in the hole.

Case in point, searching the term "searching" with author "jrs" brings up 1 hit: this thread.
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