Searching for keywords

Discussion in 'tMP Site News & Suggestions' started by mikelyons, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Hi Guys,
    I'm having a problem searching for a post/thread. I type in all the words I can remember, so the search engine goes off and searches and then tells me it didn't use three out of four words because they are very common. What use is that. I can't search on a phrase because there's a rude word (edited) in the middle and replaced by asterisks. The word that's left is probably more common on this site than any of the others. Can I make it search for the specific words I want without it deciding it knows better?
  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    More use than actually using the words as you'd be swamped with threads cos they all contain these common words! ;)

    It might help us if you tell us what you're searching for - via pm of course! ;(
  3. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I'm going to jump in on this because this is (for want of a better phrase) my professional area, working as I do for a company writing and supplying catalogue software to libraries, and being very familiar with search strategies.

    Most search engines have a number of words (called stopwords) that you cannot by default search on - for example, words like "the" and "an", boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) and common words that if included as part of the search would - as Dyl suggested - return thousands of results.

    However, most systems also have a mechanism of overriding these stopwords - for example by enclosing the search term in quotes so that the search term is treated purely as text in its own right. If something like that could be enabled, then "advanced" searchers could take advantage of that functionality, while "casual" searchers would see unchanged functionality from the present setup.

    Just my tuppence worth! :tongue:
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    So did I dave. I tried using + and " but the words four, right and I'd were omitted from the search which also included the word notes - which was searched on!

    Is there no option of an 'exact match' phrase search?

    The thread concerned was about a piece called something like the four sacred truths (yes I did try and no I didn't find it) it was from a previous areas or nationals and I can't remember who wrote it but it was funny!
    The thread was something like "four sacred truths, I'd settle for four right ****** notes"
  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I think the piece was Four Noble Truths, by Philip Sparke. That might help you find it!
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    You won't find that, Mike, it was part of my old signature.

    "Four Noble Truths???? RIght now I'd settle for four $^$&%*$*($& right notes!"
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    Ha! Thanks Will. I've just spent the last 15 minutes search all threads for noble truths. :rolleyes: Good job I came back to the forum to check new posts. :tongue:
  8. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Thanks everyone, that was what I was looking for, however, it does not solve the problem of a lack of phrase searching. Anything on this folks? The world and his wife's website seem to be able to manage this, is it possible on tMP?
  9. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Well, you were looking for 'sacred truths' - it might help if you actually use the correct phrase? ;)

    Besides, if it was a signature phrase, the search option wouldn't find it anyway as it only searches posts and thread titles.
  10. Di

    Di Active Member

    But what we still have is the problem of the search omitting words which are too short (3 characters or less) or words it thinks are too common.
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    There are currently no words excluded from the searches - as far as I can set in vB Admin Panel.

    The current minimum word length is 4.

    Do we need to amend these settings?
  12. Di

    Di Active Member

    I've tried searching for several three letter words and always get the message:

    Then there are the common words such as

    The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : this

    The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : that

    and for the sake of argument,The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search : other ;)

  13. andreab

    andreab Member

    So is there a way of searching for a whole phrase? For example, I'm trying to find information on where to get tenor horn valve felts, but if I type in the phrase I seem to get every post that has any of these words in it!
  14. needmorevodka

    needmorevodka Member

    I also found this a problem when searching for something about valve oil recently. Both words are pretty common and "oil" is too short so wasn't even included in the search. Didn't dare start another thread though for fear of getting slapped for starting another thread about valve oil! LOL ;)

    Using the "Search titles only" option helped but it still ended up taking me hours to find what I wanted. A whole phrase option would have enabled me to do a more specific search, but as it stands adding more words just gives me even more posts to trawl.
  15. andreab

    andreab Member

    Yes I agree with all that! There's probably another thread on this topic and it might have the answer but I can't find an effective way of searching for it!
  16. needmorevodka

    needmorevodka Member

    Is anything going to be done about the problem mentioned a month ago on the previous page? Or indeed, can anything be done about this problem? Please advise. It is very frustrating and starting new threads is such a hazardous business.
  17. andreab

    andreab Member

    Hi Needmorevodka

    This is one of those annoying replies that says 'I don't know the answer to your question', but I thought you might appreciate knowing that someone else cares! It would be at least a step forward to know if nothing can be done about it then we can just stop trying!

  18. andreab

    andreab Member

    Am I posting in the wrong place to find an answer to this? i.e. is it possible to do a search on an exact phrase, rather than all threads being listed that contain any of the individual words in the phrase?

    (I also need a tumbleweed smiley)
  19. needmorevodka

    needmorevodka Member

    I don't know Andrea, I just re-read the whole thread and it seems like you're posting in the right place. Mikelyons asked this queston right here a year ago (quoted below) so we must be in the right thread. Dyl's response (also quoted below) was unhelpful and didn't acknowledge the question.

    We could perhaps risk it and start another thread, but I fear we would be jumped on with alacrity, told this has already been discussed here, "refer to rule 2(a)", the thread would swiftly be locked and we would still be none the wiser.

    It sure is a tricky one.

  20. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Bex, I am not 100% convinced I like the tone in your request here sorry, it's almost as if you are demanding that this be done!

    Please remember that tMP is free... well... to you and all the members it is... to me it actually costs an arm and a leg!!

    Now, in answer to your abrupt demand: presently using the software on tMP I am not aware of a method of 'phrase searching' though I have asked about this on the support forums of the application and so will advise as and when I hear something back.