Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

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Louis7777
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Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by Louis7777 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:02 am

Does anyone else feel that the "Search for keywords" section is a bit complicated?

Personally I am not quite sure about what the difference is between the options "Search for all terms or use query as entered" and "Search for any terms".
So let's say that we are searching for dunkin donuts in the advanced search and let's compare it to its equivalent query in Google's search:

- Does "Search for all terms or use query as entered" mean that it is a combination of this +dunkin +donuts and this "dunkin donuts"? Because when you want all the terms to appear in Google's SERPs then you add a + before each word and when you're looking for exact matches you type a phrase in quotes.

- Does "Search for any terms" simply mean dunkin donuts?
Do you think it'd be easy to combine those options and maybe as well have a single search field where you can switch the function to author search?

In any case, I think it would be a good idea to have a small question mark icon or simply a link to point to a section in the FAQ that will have usage examples for all the search operators.

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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by DavidIQ » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:01 pm

A probable reason for them being separate is so one can search for terms in a specific author's posts. I think giving more clarity or instructions on how the search works is a good idea though.
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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by VSE » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:22 am

Louis7777 wrote:Does anyone else feel that the "Search for keywords" section is a bit complicated?

Personally I am not quite sure about what the difference is between the options "Search for all terms or use query as entered" and "Search for any terms".
It's pretty self explanatory.. All vs Any

If you choose "all" the results should contain posts or topics where all search terms where found. If you choose "any" then just 1 of each search term needs to present, which results in a much larger set of results.

All is like an And operator, and Any is like the Or operator.
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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by Pony99CA » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:23 am

Search for all terms returns posts (or whatever) where all of the terms are in the post (or whatever; think Boolean AND) -- subject to indexing limitations (for example, "post" may not be found because it's too common). (I don't know what benefit using "+" would give here.)

For example, typing "dunkin donuts" would require both "dunkin" and "donuts" to be in the post.

Search for any terms returns posts if any of the terms are in the post (think Boolean OR). (I don't know what benefit using brackets would give here.)

For example, typing "dunkin donuts" would require either "dunkin" or "donuts" (or both) to be in the post.

As far as I know, there's no equivalent of Google's "term1 term2 term3" double quote search.

So it seems easy enough to use, although perhaps not explained in the best possible way.

I personally wish that you could omit both terms and author (for example, to find all posts within a certain date range).

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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by Louis7777 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:14 am

VSE wrote:It's pretty self explanatory.. All vs Any

If you choose "all" the results should contain posts or topics where all search terms where found. If you choose "any" then just 1 of each search term needs to present, which results in a much larger set of results.

All is like an And operator, and Any is like the Or operator.
(So is my example correct?)

"All" is the default. Does it make any difference if I use + before words, when All is selected? Because from what I understand it already does that.

And does it make any difference if I use the | operator, when Any is selected?
Pony99CA wrote: As far as I know, there's no equivalent of Google's "term1 term2 term3" double quote search.
The default selection (All) does that already, right?

Because it says "query as entered" which means the entire phrase - as if we had typed it in Google inside quotes.

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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by VSE » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:59 am

"Place + in front of a word which must be found and - in front of a word which must not be found. Put a list of words separated by | into brackets if only one of the words must be found. Use * as a wildcard for partial matches."

I'm not even sure if that is valid anymore??? As you're right, it does the same basic stuff as search all or any term options do.

Also, this needs a revision, too much variation between posts and messages and subjects and topics:
"Post subjects and message text" => should be "Topic titles and post text"
"Message text only" => should be "Post text only"
"Topic titles only"
"First post of topics only"
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Re: Advanced search - make it simpler to use?

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:13 am

Louis7777 wrote:
Pony99CA wrote: As far as I know, there's no equivalent of Google's "term1 term2 term3" double quote search.
The default selection (All) does that already, right?

Because it says "query as entered" which means the entire phrase - as if we had typed it in Google inside quotes.
I don't believe so. Searching for "Dunkin Donuts" would only find posts where those two words were adjacent in that order. In phpBB, searching for Dunkin Donuts would probably find things like "My friend Bill Dunkin likes donuts."

But it's not rocket science to try it out on a test board. Create posts with various alternatives and then see how Search behaves.

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