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Please, I'm BEGGING: Better search for non-public hosted forum -- any ideas/suggestions?

Toni Ann Lee

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I'm running a non-public forum hosted by IPS.

The default search is just horrible. I've tried to make it better by using the ajax search hook but that only searches titles, not full text.

Here's my wish list -- does anyone know if any of this is possible?

1) Is Sphinx supported now on IPS-hosted forums? It appears it might be: http://drod.io/image/3Y1H2E1U0n3U but when I try to turn it on, I get the error " Search is not available as the Sphinx API is not available, please contact an administrator about this issue" and I have no idea how to fix that. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. (I'm assuming Sphinx is better than traditional search -- is that true?)

2) A vexing issue my users have is that when they're on a specific thread, the search defaults to search just in that thread: http://drod.io/image/1B2A1r2B250f Is there any way to change that behavior so searches on specific threads search the entire forum?

3) Are there any hooks (like the ajax search) that will search the entire post, and not just the title?

4) Is there any way to enable wildcard support without having to put an * at the end of the query? My users don't know to do that. So a search for "mob" would return a result for "mobile".

5) Does anyone have any advice on how to make search better? My users are incredibly frustrated.

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1) We do not support Sphinx on our hosting. It requires server-side software to be installed and configured on a per-site basis.

2) You could modify the skin template to do that.

3) This might work for a small forum, however this would easily use up a ton of server resources on even a moderate-sized site where users like to use the quick search. I would be careful installing such a hook if you find one, as you may find that it uses too many resources (which will cause your host (us in this case) to contact you about your site).

4) There is no way to "enable" such things, no. A custom hook would be able to accomplish this. That said, I think it's difficult to do this generally speaking - how can you just assume if I type in "mob" that I want *anything* that happens to have this string in it? Maybe I'm looking for "mob" and now I won't be able to find it because it will be drowned out in the sea of "mobile" and "mobster" and anything else with this string.

5) Can you outline what you mean by "better"?

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