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11-26-2009, 10:30 AM   #1
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Please improve the search capability

I enter this search "FA 50mm f1.7" and it tells me there are no results, and that I can't search for terms with fewer than three letters.

This is a photography forum. If I can't search for "50/1.7" or "35mm", what use is the search function?

I really love this forum and am grateful for all the work you've done. I hope that the search capability can be improved.

11-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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All the features are already here, as this problem is quite significant and has been addressed to be best of my current capability.

If you need to search for a multi-word string in which any word contains fewer than three letters, or contains symbols, you will need to use the google search box found on the advanced search page.

If you need to search for a single word containing symbols, just the tag search.

If you need to search for a word or words each containing 3 or more alphanumeric characters, use the regular forum search engine.

If you need to search for multiple words containing symbols, use the google search box as well.

One day, I will try to get the system to auto-detect the input string and bring you to the appropriate of the three search methods available. Unfortunately, MySQL's fulltext engine can't search for any term containing symbolic character (this is a bug that hasn't been fixed for years), and thus neither can the forum search engine.

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11-26-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for your reply. I didn't realize there was a Google search option. That more than satisfies my request. I was able to find everything I needed by using that. My apologies for missing it.
11-26-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Adam, I've had some success with a modification called Continue Search by Dismounted

QuoteQuote:
It removes words that are shorter than the "minimum word length" which clears up most of the annoying "The search term you specified (*) is under the minimum word length (*)...." messages.
Last version I saw for this was for 3.6x but I suspect it works for all 3.x as the search engine code seems to of remained the same for all of version 3 releases. Though this doesn't address special characters, it could help reduce some of the frustrations along the way.

11-26-2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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Another function I found really useful was boolean searching (it's a usergroup option - Can Use Boolean Search > Yes). That also helped with many(if not most) of the symbol search query errors.

JohnBee added 40 mins. later... <(simulated hack>

I also wanted to add(sorry about the multiple posts), that I remember seeing a MOD(in it's early stages) for vBull. that offered advanced google search integration. I didn't get a chance to work with it as it was in beta when it came out, however, it looked very promising as it was a fully embedded google search function rather than an substitution over that of vBull's default search.

If you're interested in having a look at that, I may be able to dig up the development thread for it.

On a side note, It really is to bad for the state of vBull's search system as it stands. I once mentioned(to Jelsoft) that they code a parser or interpreter to handle search queries(like goggle) rather than have the users deal with the Boolean arguments and operations(ouch).

It looks like they've removed full text from vB 4 and so I guess they called it quits. Not sure what they have for big boards support.... but as it seems it looks like they're leaving it up to the owners to deal with search query loads on their own.

Last edited by JohnBee; 11-26-2009 at 05:32 PM.
11-26-2009, 08:06 PM   #6
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Boolean search is currently enabled on our forum.

AFAIK fulltext is still used in vB4, but I may be wrong. In any case, the default vB4 search is still horrible.

If you can link me to the Google search integration mod, I will have a look. I've likely considered it in the past, but you never know. Later down the road I will still code my own parser to do exactly what you mentioned above.

I won't be upgrading our forum to vB4 here, as I feel it doesn't bring anything to the table (and vB's vision has drastically changed since they were bought out by Internet Brands). So, that allows us to perfect this installation as it is, without having to worry about future compatibility.

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11-26-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you can link me to the Google search integration mod, I will have a look. I've likely considered it in the past, but you never know. Later down the road I will still code my own parser to do exactly what you mentioned above.
GTSearch: Google™ Custom Search Engine - vBulletin.org Forum

This is the one and it looks like its out of beta
Though I looks like it may require a few tweaks at the template level for 3.6.x and beyond.

Also, I dbl checked on vbull.com and confirmed that vB4 will indeed still have full text search option.
I based my statement on an earlier thread which stated that vB4 wouldn't have full text(closer to announcement stage).
Looks like it was corrected

Last edited by JohnBee; 11-26-2009 at 08:52 PM.
11-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #8
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I'll take another look at that mod, but I've seen it before and didn't see it fit for our site then.

As for Continue Search- thanks! I've now implemented it here.


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11-26-2009, 09:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
As for Continue Search- thanks! I've now implemented it here.
YW! - Glad to be of help
11-26-2009, 11:41 PM   #10
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I've added the Google search box to the main navbar dropdown, and also implemented the GTsearch script rather than having an off-site (well, it's still processed by Google) Google search display.

I can't believe how much of an influence Google has on the web- just here, we're looking at analytics, CSE, and the translation API.

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11-26-2009, 11:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I've added the Google search box to the main navbar dropdown, and also implemented the GTsearch script rather than having an off-site (well, it's still processed by Google) Google search display.
I just tested it and... wow what a difference in search results this makes!
I threw in the term "Vivitar 70-210mm Series 1"(which didn't work earlier) and got several good hits! (dancing banana here!)

Great job! and a wonderful addition to the forums this is.

Last edited by JohnBee; 11-26-2009 at 11:50 PM.
11-26-2009, 11:50 PM   #12
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Yup, having it a. in the dropdown and b. locally is much better than having it buried away on the advanced search page. Enjoy!

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11-28-2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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I'm having a problem with the Google search. When I go to Advanced Search, and type in a query at the bottom of the page in the Google search bar, nothing happens when I click "Google Search" nothing happens. I'm using OS X 10.6.2 and Safari 4.0.4. The Google search in the drop-down menu does work though.
11-28-2009, 04:10 PM   #14
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I'll take a look at this. Use the dropdown search for now, as it uses the same Google system.
11-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #15
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There was a problem with the red, classic, and simple skins; it has now been corrected.

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