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Old May 14, 2007, 03:20 PM   #1
Ernest T Bass
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Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 114
substandard search function

What is the deal with the search function on this website? It really stinks! I’m trying to find all threads that deal with 1911 style handguns that are chambered in 9mm. So, in the search field I type “9mm 1911”. It finds all threads that mention “9mm” or “1911”, which is of no help at all. How should I word my search if I’m looking for threads about 1911 style pistols chambered in 9mm?

Another reason that I bring this up is because often you see a situation on this site where someone will ask a question and somebody will respond with “look it up with the search function”. I’m sure that most people DO try to look up the question with the search function, but have little success. So my suggestion is that you first try to look it up yourself before you respond with “look it up with the search function”. And if you find it, post the link(s) instead of just saying “look it up with the search function”.
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Old May 14, 2007, 03:47 PM   #2
zoomie
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Every vBulletin forum I read/post on has a crappy search function for short or common words. Here's your answer for now, though. There are always ways around issues.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...om&btnG=Search
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Old May 14, 2007, 04:00 PM   #3
Mal H
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You're right, it stinks - big time! The lame search engine isn't even working the way it is supposed to. If two or more keywords are entered, an AND boolean operation is supposed to be performed. It is defaulting to an OR. Even adding the specific operator "AND" doesn't help.

Use Google like this:
site:http://www.thefiringline.com/ 9mm 1911


Or, you can use our search engine, but only search in titles. I found around 80 threads on 9mm 1911's searching within the past year. The AND function seems to work properly in that case. The more I think about it, the AND function might be working when searching posts, but it is finding posts where the parent thread contains both keywords. That's practically useless. It should find the keywords in the same post to be useful. Dumb!
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Old May 14, 2007, 05:36 PM   #4
tyme
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I'm confused.

Quote:
'9mm' found 122976 times in 83183 documents
'1911' found 102229 times in 70262 documents
complete matches found in 7235 documents
If you mean that you want to search for "9mm 1911" as a phrase, then you need to use google. But it seems to me that the search mechanism is ANDing search terms, just like you want it to.


And, zoomie, BTW TFL does _not_ use the standard vbulletin search mechanism. 2-letter words are allowed, except for a few extremely common words ("an", "to", that sort of thing).
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Old May 14, 2007, 06:49 PM   #5
Mal H
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tyme - see my 3rd paragraph. The search engine is finding 9mm OR 1911 in posts in a thread when you select "Search entire posts". I believe E.T. Bass would like to find 9mm AND 1911 in the same post, not necessarily as a phrase (i.e., "9mm 1911"). IOW, the entire thread is viewed as an entity for search purposes as if the post boundaries didn't exist. As I said, that is practically useless.
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Old May 14, 2007, 07:20 PM   #6
tyme
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I haven't noticed a case where searching has returned a hit on only one of several words, OR where it's returned results where different words hit on different posts in the same thread.

I searched for "9mm 1911" and spot-checked a few results, and those words occurred in the same post.

I also just searched for "paragraph operator", which I think should hit this thread if what you claim is true, and this thread wasn't returned as a result. (well, it will hit this thread now, but pick two uncommon words in different posts and search)


Google, on the other hand, will return results with search words in different posts, because it indexes by thread (more accurately, per page... which means groups of about 25 posts).
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“The egg hatched...” “...the egg hatched... and a hundred baby spiders came out...”
“Who are you?” “A friend. I'm here to prevent you from making a mistake.” “You have no idea what I'm doing here, friend.” “In specific terms, no, but I swore an oath to protect the world...”
“It's a goal you won't understand until later. Your job is to make sure he doesn't achieve the goal.”
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Old May 14, 2007, 08:20 PM   #7
Mal H
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I do believe you're right. I just double checked the thread that led me to believe that the two terms were not in the same post.

This post (#41) was the first in the list: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...11#post2355775

You will note that the occurance of "1911" in that post is not highlighted, but it is there. I missed it the first time. Now scroll up that page of the thread and you'll see several other occurences of "9mm" highlighted with no 1911's. Then in post #30, it has 1911 highlighted and no 9mm's. That's what led me to believe the found terms were in separate posts in the thread.
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