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Difficulties with Forum Search


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The old forum software (before 2018) limited searches to words of four letters or more, so I assume the new (since 2018) has similar rules.  Anyhow, I searched on the word "just" and came up with no hits whatsoever -- which is utterly ridiculous.  I thought maybe the lower limit had been upped to five letters, and tested that hypothesis by searching on "make" -- which returned thousands of hits.  So now I'm wondering if it's something to do with my set-up or if it's a general weirdity.

I'm gonna search on some more words that ought to be common here, and post my results below.  Would some of you please be so kind as to try the same searches and post your results?  Thank you!

just -- 0

make -- 9,972

John -- 14,340

must -- 0

bust -- 116

jest -- 22

It's not just four-letter words, either.  The other day I was looking for a post that I thought contained the word "mystic," and a search did bring up half a dozen hits -- but not this one, which does indeed contain the word (albeit inside a spoiler box).

There have been other times as well, when I've been sure that the post I was looking for contained a certain word, but a search failed to bring it up.  If any of you have had similar problems, please post them in this thread.  Maybe we'll start to see a pattern.

Thanks!

 

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5 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

It's not just four-letter words, either.  The other day I was looking for a post that I thought contained the word "mystic," and a search did bring up half a dozen hits -- but not this one, which does indeed contain the word (albeit inside a spoiler box).

There have been other times as well, when I've been sure that the post I was looking for contained a certain word, but a search failed to bring it up.  If any of you have had similar problems, please post them in this thread.  Maybe we'll start to see a pattern.

I don’t have specific examples at the moment, but I’ve experienced these same issues on many occasions.

 

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4 hours ago, Artemis said:

I don’t have specific examples at the moment, but I’ve experienced these same issues on many occasions.

OK, it's not my computer, then.  Next time you (or anyone else who's interested) have that experience, please post it here.  Dunno if there''s anything we can do about it, but maybe we can at least figure out the conditions under which it occurs, and we might be able to avoid the problem at least some of the time, by choosing our search terms a bit differently.

Let me see if everything inside a spoiler box is "invisible" to the search.  Yup, looks that way, which is understandable but also disappointing.  Hmm, looks like stuff in quote boxes might be invisible to searches as well -- but that also makes sense, seeing as how it would presumably be found in the original post.

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Let me see if I could help:

 

pun, just, no, red, god, 243, the, his, last = 0

nope, sherly, wikipedia, plum pudding, cake, pant, coat, dear = many many hits

hudder = 2, pretty sure it was mentioned much more

jim = 0, there should be at least one Jim from IT

floccinaucinihilipilification: yes it has the perfect amount of hits

 

I think you probably right, words that are to short (three letters) are tend to be ignored, the ignored four letter words perhaps because there are too many of them everyone, and the ones that show up has reasonable amount (not too many) although I'm surprised because I think I talk about cake at least 13017472 times.

To conclude, I think the search engine is totally and utterly inept, because we all know there is at least ONE Jim from IT!

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Thanks!  I don't think the forum's search ever did find three-letter words, so you'll need to search for James.

As for hudder, it's usually written as hudders, so lemme try that ....  Is 40 good enough?

I agree, the search engine is unreliable -- but I suspect there's a method to its madness.  It's computer-based, after all.

 

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On 7/12/2020 at 12:48 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

but I suspect there's a method to its madness.

Yes, its hard to understand how those zeroes and ones work.

I remember the fun an frustration of figuring out Forbidden 404. This is the closest case that we have now, BORED BORED BOREDDDDD

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1 hour ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

Yes, its hard to understand how those zeroes and ones work.

Trust me, even if you know how the zeroes and ones work in general, it can still be very challenging to figure out how a specific piece of software works.  It depends on what the designer had in mind, and whether the programmer actually accomplished what was supposed to be accomplished.  If they didn't, that's called a "bug," and I suspect that's what we have here.

Believe it or not, our old friend the Forbidden error was not actually a bug, it was a feature.  Unfortunately for us, we didn't WANT that particular @#$%&*! feature, but they hadn't provided any way to disable it.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 7/11/2020 at 5:48 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Thanks!  I don't think the forum's search ever did find three-letter words, so you'll need to search for James.

As for hudder, it's usually written as hudders, so lemme try that ....  Is 40 good enough?

I agree, the search engine is unreliable -- but I suspect there's a method to its madness.  It's computer-based, after all.

 

It would appear that with the latest software update, three-letter words are now searchable, huzzah! :D

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On 8/17/2021 at 3:18 PM, Undead Medic said:

It would appear that with the latest software update, three-letter words are now searchable, huzzah! :D

Yup, it does!  :applause:  (But draws the line at two letters.)

It still seems to treat multiple search objects as OR situations, whereas I'd far more often find AND to be a more useful default.  It doesn't seem to recognize either AND or + as boolean symbols, though.  Am I overlooking something?

 

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