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Search option: Search everywhere

Author Moony
Registered
#1 | Posted: 17 Oct 2006 14:21 
When using search users can choose between searching in titles and in messages. Why not make "searching everywhere" or "searching both in titles and in messages" as a third option?

Author Ivan
Advanced Member
#2 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 01:28 | Edited by: Ivan 
You, obviously, are bored, when there is a stable version and there's nothing to change :)

Imagine, with your proposal there will become a mess - where would the links go? And why? I the case "In the topic titles" they go to the titles and you can review the entire topic. In the case "In the messages" they go to the exact messages (respectively annotated) and you find sharply the message you look for. So, when topic titles and messages are collected in one search, you'll have some strange, confusing and unclear result that will not be of any use.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#3 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 03:01 
Additionally, such kind of request is very heavy for database. Topics and messages are stored in separated tables, so concatenating these tables on the fly, when making a request, will slow down the execution dramatically. This was implemented in previous versions of miniBB, and I disliked the results even on small databases, so I've changed it to what we have now.

I previously had one idea in mind, which allows to do something like that, searching separately topics titles first, then messages. But in that case, it's very difficult to program pagination algorithm. I will keep this for future development, but not know. I think, with current algorithm, it's possible to find something in 95% of cases.

Author Moony
Registered
#4 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 06:37 
Imagine, with your proposal there will become a mess - where would the links go? And why? I the case "In the topic titles" they go to the titles and you can review the entire topic. In the case "In the messages" they go to the exact messages (respectively annotated) and you find sharply the message you look for. So, when topic titles and messages are collected in one search, you'll have some strange, confusing and unclear result that will not be of any use.
It is possible to solve this problem by making message text in the results to be linked to the message and title to be the link to the whole topic. In this way, if the user sees more relevant result in the topic title, he will press it and go to the topic and if he sees more relevant result in the message text, he will click on the message text and go to the relevant message.

Author Ivan
Advanced Member
#5 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 08:57 | Edited by: Ivan 
Paul, by my modest opinion this might show you as a coding virtuoso :) but I still cannot see the sense :) To switch from message search to topic search is a matter of seconds. Nobody can code a search like "Search all and put what I want at the first position of the list" :)

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#6 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 09:10 
Relevancy is a very difficult algorithm, and I doubt we will implement something like that in miniBB. It's a forums system, and not a search crawler, and it's a not inveting-the-bicycles polygon. Set up Google search or Yandex search bar, if you want it to be similar to the search engine.

The most convenient method to implement stays as I mentioned already. If you search by topic titles and messages simultaneously, script should make two different requests (in general, four different requests - first two for selecting count of records found, to generate pagination string, and second two for actually selecting the results). If search term has been found in topic title(s), these results are shown first (like if you would search by "topic titles"), and the link goes directly to the topic's first page. If search term has been found in message body, these results are shown after (like if you would search by "messages"), and the link goes to the separate message ID.

The only problem I can see here, is how to avoid duplicated results. For example, if search term is found in topic title, it should be excluded from the search by messages; at the same time it causes the determination, how much records should be shown in total. A stick of two endings, as usual.

But if we ignore the duplicated results, general algorithm would be quite simple to understand and develop.

Author Ivan
Advanced Member
#7 | Posted: 18 Oct 2006 15:50 | Edited by: Ivan 
I think that this is not a real problem - to get the topics and the posts with the same word(s) because this is universal software, not for one special client or previously defined public. There are many kinds of forums - science, art, conversation etc.

In a given case the searched word, found in the topic, may be repeated in the posts below - let's say, in a scientific topic where something concrete is discussed.

In some other forum the searched word in the topic might not appear at all in the posts below the title. For example: "Your understanding about love" - love is this, love is that - and the searched word "understanding" not to be used in any post of the conversation :)

So, to do a simple search of the word(s) both in the topic titles and the posts, without comparing them, is even more reasonable. The result will be one list, made from two lists - topics and posts :) 2 in 1 :) What we always have already but with two separate options and lists :)

phpBB has this option - "Search both in the topic titles and messages text", but after that there are two more separate options:

- Show as topics
- Show as posts

Which as a result, too, is what we already have :)

Author tom322
Registered
#8 | Posted: 19 Oct 2006 09:38 
I wish average forum users (90% of them) knew so much about the search and used it more often...:). It would be interesting to see how many users have actually searched something on the forum (I would assume no more than 20%).

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