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4.1 Search functionality - bring back AND searches!


wohali
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Try this search on media tag: https://community.invisionpower.com/search/?q=media+tag&type=downloads_file

The first hit, Collections, only mentions tag, not media. The second hit, Ballistic, only mentions media, not tag. If terms are supposed to be ANDed together, it's not working. The search box is acting as if terms are being ORed together instead.

The same search across the entire community has the same problem: https://community.invisionpower.com/search/?q=media+tag

Now, you can search for "media tag" and get things that explicitly have the string "media tag" in them, but what if you wanted to search for e.g. posts that have conf_global.php AND constants.php in them? You can't now. You only get an OR of those search terms.

In comparison, Google will look for things that have all search terms, and preferentially list them above matches that only have one or more of the search terms. This makes the most relevant results highly valued.

IPS closed the bug I submitted on this: https://community.invisionpower.com/4bugtrack/active-reports/41-and-search-terms-not-working-r8009/ as something they're "experimenting with," so if you feel this change is detrimental, please support this post to let IPS know.

Please, please bring back the ability to do AND searches, at least as an advanced search parameter if not as the default.

P.S. Noticed you deprecated Sphinx...are you looking at ElasticSearch as a possible replacement? It certainly is capable of the above described behaviour...

Edited by wohali
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6 hours ago, Mark said:

We are still experimenting with this behaviour, but currently this is intentional. If it helps, can search for "media tag" (with quotes) to only return results which match that exactly.

As long as there is no help box at the serach or something where it is written in, this function clearly does not exist.

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I read the comments, Nathan. I disagree with the experimental behaviour. And there is no way to search on multiple terms that do not appear next to each other, as per my example:

 

Quote

e.g. posts that have conf_global.php AND constants.php in them

 

You simply can't do this kind of search given the current 4.1 behaviour, correct?

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Please change the search behavior to AND the search terms by default.  Who the heck wants to get search results where all the terms are not in each search result?  Can you imagine using Google like that?  I'm trying to find something in the Marketplace, which is nigh impossible when you're using multiple search terms (and of course, the same is true in the forum, and even worse since there are many more rows compared to the Marketplace).  It's sad that I still have to use Google to get any meaningful search results from this site. 

Pretty funny, as the search I was doing was "media tag" (without the quotes), same as the original poster above.  

Thank you.

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Yeah, we're not settled on the current behaviour.

It's more complicated than just changing back to the old way which also had issues. For example, if you search this site for "vbulletin conversion", it's appropriate for a topic called "convert from vbulletin" to show, even though the word "conversion" doesn't specifically appear.

As I say though, we're still working on it :) 

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3 hours ago, Mark said:

Yeah, we're not settled on the current behaviour.

It's more complicated than just changing back to the old way which also had issues. For example, if you search this site for "vbulletin conversion", it's appropriate for a topic called "convert from vbulletin" to show, even though the word "conversion" doesn't specifically appear.

As I say though, we're still working on it :) 

I'd still much rather have the AND behavior and not see such a topic, rather than getting a million topics I have absolutely no interest in because they do not contain all of my search terms.  If I don't find what I'm looking for, I will often try different search terms ("vbulletin conversion", "vbulletin converter", "vbulletin convert") until I find what I need.  That's easier than trying to sift through many hundreds of topics that might contain "vbulletin" or "converter" on this site. 

A useful and accurate search system is very important to me.  When you have millions of posts on your forum going back over ten years, being able to find quickly find relevant threads is very important.  If people cannot find what they are looking for, they may start a new topic, or simply go to another site that does return accurate search results. 

 ..Al

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Awesome, thanks!  I can't wait to be a further pain in the ass over this issue. :D

Also, I swear that a few days ago I saw "View New Content" to the left of "Mark Site as Read" at the top of the page.  But it's since disappeared.  One of my gripes with the search changes is that "View New Content" is buried in a menu, making it not obvious (for people who don't yet know where it is), and more clicks and navigation to get to it.  This is something a TON of people use on my forum.  I know it can be moved to the root of the menu, but I feel it deserves a more prominent position in the forum template. 

Thanks!

 ..Al <-- just for you, Charles

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6 minutes ago, AtariAge said:

Awesome, thanks!  I can't wait to be a further pain in the ass over this issue. :D

Also, I swear that a few days ago I saw "View New Content" to the left of "Mark Site as Read" at the top of the page.  But it's since disappeared.  One of my gripes with the search changes is that "View New Content" is buried in a menu, making it not obvious (for people who don't yet know where it is), and more clicks and navigation to get to it.  This is something a TON of people use on my forum.  I know it can be moved to the root of the menu, but I feel it deserves a more prominent position in the forum template. 

Thanks!

 ..Al <-- just for you, Charles

Go to any stream:

56056dac157cb_UnreadContent-InvisionPowe

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9 hours ago, Mark said:

Yeah, we're not settled on the current behaviour.

It's more complicated than just changing back to the old way which also had issues. For example, if you search this site for "vbulletin conversion", it's appropriate for a topic called "convert from vbulletin" to show, even though the word "conversion" doesn't specifically appear.

As I say though, we're still working on it :) 

*cough* Google Site Search integration *cough* - there's a fantastic 3.4 mod for it, and IMHO this should be core. You guys are never going to beat Google on search, everyone's used to the way Google works, and there's no point fighting that. And anyone who isn't indexed in Google for any reason can simply not use it. 

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4 minutes ago, rgf100 said:

*cough* Google Site Search integration *cough* - there's a fantastic 3.4 mod for it, and IMHO this should be core. You guys are never going to beat Google on search, everyone's used to the way Google works, and there's no point fighting that. And anyone who isn't indexed in Google for any reason can simply not use it. 

Not something I personally would use.

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Even though "I still have to use Google to get any meaningful search results from this site."? Even when it's working well, casual users and guests find the IPB search weird.

Also, yes, I know it's not going to suit everyone, and I'm not suggesting it's made the ONLY option. But it'd be a hell of a useful option for many many sites. And I know it doesn't index all content - doesn't get all content on mine either, it's still a valuable addition. 

Anyway, I note the mod guy has released an IPB4 version, so I'll cough up the dollars for that and be perfectly happy. Apologies for the off-topicness. 

Edited by rgf100
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Our community has sorely missed the search only in titles feature, and I got a little discouraged when I looked at the release notes for 4.1.  In the Upcoming features tab that was on the release page previously, there was, I think, specific mention of the plan to reinstate search in titles.  (Many of our members have been living for the update that will provide this!)  But in the current 4.1 In development tab makes no reference to this that I can find.  :sad:  Did I just miss it?

Also, we have a significant need to be able to search for words of fewer than 4 characters.  In previous versions of IP.Board, this was possible.  In IPS 4, it is not.  Are there any plans to bring back customization features (in the ACP) for the search engine?

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45 minutes ago, cyndisa said:

Also, we have a significant need to be able to search for words of fewer than 4 characters.  In previous versions of IP.Board, this was possible.  In IPS 4, it is not.  Are there any plans to bring back customization features (in the ACP) for the search engine?

Yes, this is important for my forum as well.  I'm using Sphinx with my IP.Board 3.4.7 forum, and I have it configured to allow searches on two-character search terms.  Which works very well. As an example of why this is important, there is an Atari 2600 homebrew game called "Qb" that people need to be able to search for.  This is not the only such example where searching for a two character term is important, but is one of several. 

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1 minute ago, AtariAge said:

As an example of why this is important, there is an Atari 2600 homebrew game called "Qb" that people need to be able to search for.  This is not the only such example where searching for a two character term is important, but is one of several. 

Exactly.  One of our moderators has begun a thread for thread titles in our community that cannot be found in IPB search.  While I admire and appreciate the mod's organization and willingness to document these things, it shouldn't be necessary.  We should be able to customize the search engine's parameters / criteria.

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