allow searches for common terms

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mimosa
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allow searches for common terms

Post by mimosa » 23. Jan 2012, 12:48

... it's still useful if you use multiple search terms.

Maybe users could be invited to refine their search if they pick a common term. But if there is no operational reason against it, it would be more straightforward to just remove the restriction.

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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by Shador » 23. Jan 2012, 13:59

Yes, the integrated search function of phpBB kinda sucks. Especially in such cases I fall back to google using site:salixos.org/forum which generally is much better anyway.
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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by mimosa » 23. Jan 2012, 14:03

Thanks for the tip, Shador.

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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by thenktor » 23. Jan 2012, 14:48

I've changed the settings for common words, maybe it's better now. What are the common words you've tried?
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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by mimosa » 23. Jan 2012, 15:09

Some obviously common words such as "file" might still be useful in refining a search. In this case, it was "Firefox" - I was looking for a discussion I think I remember about profiles. I think I tried "Firefox configuration", which just gave me the results for "configuration". Or maybe that was too common too, can't remember now.

Unless there are implications such as overuse of bandwidth, I don't see the use of a feature to exclude common search terms. If you get too many results, you refine the search, and maybe gradually come to search more intelligently in future.

However, I often "think by searching". (Heuristically?) So in a search engine I might do a search for something like "wireless", and the words that appear in the first few hits of the many hundreds suggest ways to refine my search, such as "card" or "-driver" (because I am interested in something else to do with wireless, not drivers).

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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by thenktor » 23. Jan 2012, 17:21

For now I've just increased the threshold for common words. I did not want to disable it completely because it is obviously there for a reason: CPU time. Maybe it doesn't even matter on a quite small forum like this. I still can increase this threshold further and there is also the option to switch to a mysql search backend instead of the standard phpbb backend, which I guess is the better one anyway. I'll first talk about it with Akuna.
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mimosa
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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by mimosa » 23. Jan 2012, 18:06

That certainly solves this example: a search for "firefox" yields ~600 results, adding "profile" reduces that to 28. A lot of "clean profile", so adding "-clean" gives 21 somewhat more varied results.

That's a huge improvement and maybe enough for practical purposes. :D

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Re: allow searches for common terms

Post by thenktor » 3. Feb 2012, 08:25

I've switched the search backend now, give it a try and report pros/cons.

EDIT: now it's possible to search a phrase, e.g. "search backend".
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