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Old 11-20-2003, 09:30 PM   #1
mjlaupp
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Default The Search Engine

[quote author=Mike Laupp link=board=24;threadid=1504;start=msg10637#msg1063 7 date=1068048917]
I think that a full description of how to use the advanced search capabilities of this board would be of more use. It should be a sticky topic. In what section would it be most usefull?[/quote]
[quote author=Bill link=board=24;threadid=1504;start=msg10643#msg1064 3 date=1068054922]
Excellent idea![/quote]

Chris,

I am working on a how to description and have been working all of the advanced search functions. I have identified one problem and one needed change with the advanced search as currently implimented for this board:

#1. The search "by user:" function is searching on the 'username' field. This would not be a problem if all users had the same user name and board display name. I am one of those who do not have the same names in both fields. I can not find my own posts using my display name. However, I can find my posts using my user name. Is it possible to change this search feature to use the 'name' field in place of or in addition to the 'username' field?

#2. The default search filter is set to: "Search -all- Members Only". This is eliminating the posts by guests, by downgraded members and by deleted guests/members. There is a lot of usefull information in this "hidden area". Would you/could you change this default to:" Any Poster"?

Thanx
Mike
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Old 11-21-2003, 08:22 AM   #2
Bill
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Default Re:The Search Engine

Kudos to you, Mike, for taking this on! I have found the search engine to be harder to use than it should be. Like you, I have sometimes had trouble finding my own posts - now I know why! And since some of my posts appear to have a different display name, I'm doubly confused.

Also noticed that it doesn't seem to know about wildcards, like the * used in so many Windows apps.

The default 60-day search window seems a less-than-optimal choice, too. Since the recent stuff is easily found in the original thread, I'm usually hoping to find something in a time farther back. When I remember, I open the window up to 600 days - when I forget, I can't find what I'm looking for.

Also, I would like some info on how to form Boolean search expressions. For example, is there a "NOT" capability?

Occasionally, I seem to have had some trouble when I leave the Search Topic window blank - in other words, looking for all posts by Elvis, for example. When that happens, I put something dumb in the topic box (like a single letter "a&quot, and it seems to work.

I'm sure I'm doing some things wrong - but the search engine isn't intuitive. Simple instructions sure would help.

Bill
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Old 11-21-2003, 04:49 PM   #3
mjlaupp
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Default Re:The Search Engine

[quote author=Bill link=board=24;threadid=1540;start=msg10903#msg1090 3 date=1069424537]
Kudos to you, Mike, for taking this on! I have found the search engine to be harder to use than it should be. Like you, I have sometimes had trouble finding my own posts - now I know why! And since some of my posts appear to have a different display name, I'm doubly confused.[/quote]

The "username" field is private. At this time, the only way to find the postings for a member whose user name and public name are different is to view their profile and use the Show the last 10 posts of this person. GO selections at the bottom of their profile. The only filter availiable, using this search method, is the number of postings to return. So, if you are looking for "Bill" and "Goodyear tires", this is not the way to go. Instead, the advanced search needs to be modified to use the "name" field as a search filter.


Quote:
The default 60-day search window seems a less-than-optimal choice, too. Since the recent stuff is easily found in the original thread, I'm usually hoping to find something in a time farther back. When I remember, I open the window up to 600 days - when I forget, I can't find what I'm looking for.
I'm not sure about this. If you search on a common word or phrase, you would get way to many returns. For instance: If you were to Search For: the word the, set the Max Age Since Last Post: to 1000 days and set the Display How Many Results? to 12000. You would get almost the entire forum dumped in your lap (extreme example). The exception would be the binary conversion postings. And that is a horse of a different color. Possibly this could be defaulted to 90 or 180 days, but I wouldn't want the default set any larger.


Quote:
Also, I would like some info on how to form Boolean search expressions.
At this time there are only three boolean type searches availiable. The drop down selection list to the right of the Search For; field selects the following:
  • Match all words equals the boolean expressions: word1 + word2 and word1 and word2. It will return any posting containing both of the words in any order.
  • Match any words equals the boolean expressions: word1 or word2 and word1 and word2. It will return any posting containing one or both of the words in any order.
  • Match as phrase equals the expression: "word1 word2". It will only return the postings containing the search words in consecutive order, ie., as a phrase.
Quote:
Occasionally, I seem to have had some trouble when I leave the Search Topic window blank - in other words, looking for all posts by Elvis, for example. When that happens, I put something dumb in the topic box (like a single letter "a&quot, and it seems to work.
Hey gang! Bill thinks Elvis is alive and posting on this board!

Putting "something dumb" or not so dumb in the box is absolutely necessary. This search engine will not function without something to search for. All of the other entries and selections are filters applied to the search expression. To find the posts by Elvis about Goodyear Tires:
  • Enter Goodyear tires in the Search for: box.
  • Enter Elvis in the by user: box.
  • Select Search for topics posted in by someone or Search for topics started by someone from the dropdown list to the right of the by user: box. You must make one of these two selections to get a return filtered by user. (If Elvis has a user name of: epresley, your results will be zero, nada, zip, blank.)
Quote:
I'm sure I'm doing some things wrong - but the search engine isn't intuitive. Simple instructions sure would help.
HTH
MJL
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Old 11-26-2003, 12:17 AM   #4
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Default Re:The Search Engine

Great input. let me see what I can do.
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