Search Function doesn't work.

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've never had much luck using the forum's built-in search function, and figured it was just me not using it correctly, mis-remembering quotes or article titles. I am not convinced of that anymore.

-Example:

I was trying to find a specific transcript containing a note about CERN, remembering that the C's had responded with something along the lines of "They wish!" and proceeded to try combinations of that to search for the relevant transcript.

Nothing came back. -Nothing but lots of seemingly randomly selected threads where the words, "They" and "Wish" were used. -Which is not much better than useless.

I continued plugging away, using different word combinations, and eventually chanced upon what I was looking for on Duck Duck Go. The actual line I had in mind was:

A: They only wish! The more interesting work is of a different nature and location.

Having found the thread I wanted, (the Session 13, June 2015 transcript) I was about to continue my original line of inquiry but then stopped, backed up and thought, "Ugh! Okay. I've been frustrated by this search problem for years now. It's time to get to the bottom of it!"

Please try this to see if you can't replicate the problem:

Search for: A: They only wish!

-Which should be a very easy match, given that there's no algorithmic guesswork needed at all. It's the same string cut and pasted. I tried searching for it across both the specific board containing links to the transcripts (by date) and across the entire forum. Only random garbage came back, collections of hits on single words, (selected in ways which appeared more or less at complete random).

The relevant transcript simply didn't come up.

Am I doing something wrong, missing some basic feature, or does this indicate that the search function might need some attention?

My researches through the forum have been prevented or just made inordinately difficult due to this phenomenon many times.
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Hi Woodsman,
Have you tried to put the expression in quotes? When I search for "A: They only wish!" I obtain very few entries.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
mkrnhr said:
Hi Woodsman,
Have you tried to put the expression in quotes? When I search for "A: They only wish!" I obtain very few entries.

That works!

Thank-you!
 

ashu

Jedi Master
Thank you for sharing mkrnhr, I didn't know that you could search in quotes - handy to know.
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
You're welcome. There are some advanced search options here: https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?action=search but a quick way to do a search is to go to the board where you suspect the thread belongs to, for example the board for the C's sessions, and do a search with the option "this board" instead of "Entire forum". There is also the possibility of using an external search engine of course.
 

Scottie

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
mkrnhr said:
You're welcome. There are some advanced search options here: https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?action=search but a quick way to do a search is to go to the board where you suspect the thread belongs to, for example the board for the C's sessions, and do a search with the option "this board" instead of "Entire forum". There is also the possibility of using an external search engine of course.

Using an external, real search engine is generally your best bet.

Search functions on web sites are never as good as Google, DuckDuckGo, and other "big" search engines because the amount of indexing, the type of indexing, the computational power required to do the search, and the intelligence involved in finding similar search terms is impractical for 1 little server... which is why Google et al have data centers packed with servers.

But since we're all so used to the likes of Google, we expect all searches to work as well as Google. For single-server sites like this forum, searches are usually the slowest requests that the server will process. The fancier the search, the longer it takes, and the slower your server is over all. A complex search function is a wonderful way for evil people to do Denial of Service attacks because just a few simultaneous searches can literally hang the server.

So, you can search the Cass forum for "they wish" in quotes, but you still might not find what you're looking for. Google and DDG take into account the fact that humans don't remember things well, so it will search for "they ___ wish" where ___ can be commonly used words in the language used. That requires lots of horsepower! Including another word in the search also increases the likelihood of getting the result you want.

Your best bet is to do a search like the one I just did on DuckDuckGo:

CERN they wish site:cassiopaea.org

That searches for CERN + they + wish on the site cassiopaea.org only.

The post you're looking for is the 3rd result. :thup:

Which reminds me... I guess I should add DuckDuckGo to the search option pulldown menu at the top of the page. Google and Bing are okay, but DuckDuckGo is better!
 

Scottie

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Scottie said:
Which reminds me... I guess I should add DuckDuckGo to the search option pulldown menu at the top of the page.

Aaand, now it's added!
 

Arwenn

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Scottie said:
Your best bet is to do a search like the one I just did on DuckDuckGo:

CERN they wish site:cassiopaea.org

That searches for CERN + they + wish on the site cassiopaea.org only.

The post you're looking for is the 3rd result. :thup:

Which reminds me... I guess I should add DuckDuckGo to the search option pulldown menu at the top of the page. Google and Bing are okay, but DuckDuckGo is better!

Thanks for the search tip Scottie, that's really handy to know. I too struggle finding what I'm looking for using the forum's search function, even with using quotes.
 
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