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Allow search, even with 1-, 2-, or 3-character search terms


Guest biggazillakilla

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I know this must have been suggested already, but I couldn't find a thread.

Why can't the search terms that are below the limit simply not be searched? Why is it necessary to give an error message telling the user to go back and remove all search terms below four characters? vBulletin does it this way, and I find it must more humane.

Here's a very common example of what users do: you want to search for an error, so you highlight a full sentence. You paste that full sentence into your search box, submit, and get some results. At least on all the major search engines you do. But Invision requires you to go back and count and delete, which could very well be a tedious job.

Imagine you're using Invision, Google, and whatever, all at the same time, with the same search terms:

How do I turn on the RTE for all of my old members?

For that question, you'd have to delete eleven words to get past Invision's search filter.

(Yes, I know that's not the idea behind forum search tools; it's just an example.)

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The limit isn't built into IPB, but is infact a limitation of MySQL. Instead of creating a very large search index (as vBulletin does) we use the built in features in MySQL to index the post content to allow it to be searched (MySQL Full Text Indexes) - the default limit is 4 characters, but if your board is running on a dedicated server (or if your host is willing to change this for you on a shared server) it can be decreased - but this will cause the indexes to grow much larger.

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Yes, I know that the search limit is defined by MySQL and is difficult to change. All I'm suggesting is that the search continue with only the searchable terms instead of throwing an error message.

For example, with the sentence I gave above:

How do I turn on the RTE for all of my old members?

The search would not return an error message, but would search using only the terms: turn, members. It would also be helpful to show a message that certain terms were not searched because they were too short, too.

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