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Question about searching...

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 7:57 pm
by Jason Paul
Maybe I'm missing something.

Is it not possible on these forums to search by topic title ONLY? It looks like the only options are title and message text, or message text only.

I've never seen this before. That would mean that no matter what, you're going to get EVERY occurrance of the word you're searching.

If I want to search "vibrato", then I can't find ONLY threads with "vibrato" in the title. I'll get every thread that has the word "vibrato" in it, which currently returns 136 matches. If I manually look through those, I find only seven with "vibrato" in the title. It's not a huge deal to search through 136 threads (3 pages). However, I looked something up the other day, and there were 26 pages of results.

This greatly reduces the benefit of the search function. I don't mean to complain - this is a great forum - but I've just never seen this before.

Any help or comments? Forgive me if this has come up before. I didn't want to search for it. :)


Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:24 pm
by Denny
The search is...ah...a bit challenged.

Display results as: Posts
instead of the defalt Topics

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:07 am
by Cynth
Remebering to use the "Displaying posts" option has helped me a lot. Actually, the titles are often not very good if you think about it. They can just say something like "Help!", but actually be about vibrato, for example. Sometimes in a thread with a particular title discussions develop into something entirely different. So for me learning about the posts option has made it so that I get the posts with my word in it instead of having to search through threads for the few relevant posts. And it keeps you from missing posts that might have been made in threads that weren't originally about that topic.

What I have trouble with is that it seems that you can look for two words by using the AND operator, or whatever it's called, but you can't look for two words that occur together. At least I don't think so.

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:25 am
by Lambchop
Cynth wrote:What I have trouble with is that it seems that you can look for two words by using the AND operator, or whatever it's called, but you can't look for two words that occur together. At least I don't think so.

Sure you can! As long as they occur together in the same post. :P

That's with the Chiffy search. The Google search lets you use quotations around them to search for the words occurring together in phrases. Just put quotation marks around them. Like this . . . "fipple flute" . . . I think there are several standard Boolean operators you can use.

If you're going to use the Chiffy search, then limit it to a particular forum, like the whistle forum or the flute forum.

Cynth is right . . . you don't want to search only in thread titles, as the titles do not reflect the content of the thread. A thread about whistle fipples might diverge into talk of vibrato.

Specifying "posts" cuts down on the amount of reading you have to do . . . the gist of the post will be visible on your screen, you can read it there and avoid having to pull up a whole thread and search through it.

But, really, the whole notion of searching very specifically for what you think you want has a huge disadvantage. The problem is that you miss a lot that way. You can glean a lot from scanning those 36 pages of posts. Sure, you'll see things in addition to what you wanted, but you'll learn a whole lot along the way. It's not like you have to ponder them all in depth, either. You can skim over them without opening them up.

I vaguely recall seeing something somewhere that let you specify the number of characters visible in the posts as they appear in the list the search returns. That would make it more useful. This may be an admin function. I'll have to go check on my school's board and see. Of course, that might also increase bandwidth or something.

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:23 pm
by Jason Paul
Thanks all.

Displaying as posts does have its advantages. It's just not the way I'm used to searching, so it didn't occur to me. I'd never done it that way because it always seemed that it would look too cluttered.

See, I'm learning about whistles and searching. :)


Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:33 pm
by Cynth
The display thread option is the default and I didn't know that the post thing worked better until someone mentioned it recently. In fact, I didn't even look down there at all! I think a lot of people don't quite know what it means, I know I didn't. :lol: