How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

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Theikkru
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How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by Theikkru » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:28 am

I feel like I must be missing something really obvious, but I can't figure out how to search for terms or phrases longer than 1 word, such as "flamethrower turret". If I type multiple words in, with or without quotations, the search just gives me all results containing any combination of the words instead of only those with the intact phrase. I've also tried replacing the spaces with "+"s to no avail (e.g. "+flamethrower+turret").

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by Koub » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:49 am

I think what you're asking for is not possible. At least I have never been able to do so, and believe me, most of the time I spend moderating on the forum is searching for some post I remember having read anywhere during the 5 last years, so such a feature would be invaluable to me :).
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by Theikkru » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:11 am

What!? Not possible!? Then what are quotation marks for? They don't seem to do anything else, and are universally reserved as control escape characters expressly for that purpose in not only all (other) search engines but many programming languages as well! If such a basic search function as finding a specific multi-word phrase is really not possible, that really weakens the forum policy that users should search for existing similar topics before posting their own new one (especially in Bugs/suggestions forums).

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:06 am

This has been bothering me a lot !
(Since, indeed, this makes netiquette harder to follow.)

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=759665
Exact match searching or searching for exact phrases can be implemented for PHPBB3 boards without using any modifications if you are using MySQL as your database.

There are two further requirements.

The database tables must use the myISAM storage engine (see below)
The MySQL database should be version 4.1.7 or later (more information can be found here).
(note that this thread is 11 yers old...)
Would this be compatible with the current forum technology ?

Meanwhile, you can work around this limitation by using an external search engine like http://duckduckgo.com and using a query like :

Code: Select all

site:https://forums.factorio.com/ "flamethrower turret"

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by Koub » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:14 am

I've found a topic in phpBB forums : https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/ ... %7Clang_fr

Sorry for the Google cache link, I get a 503 on every topic of the pbpbb forum.

Actually, one can find quite a number of threads relating to the "exact match" search, and all say you can't do it by default on phpBB boards.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by BlueTemplar » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:36 am

Well, yes, as the post says, this requires some implementation.
(I was disappointed that phrase search wasn't implemented during the recent forum rework...)
AmigoJack wrote:search results display only those posts (or topics) which have the phrase you searched for. The highlighting in those displayed posts however is flawed - this is a technical limitation. You can test this if you just search with your internet browser thru the following search results and you'll always find at least one occurance of what you searched for - unbound to what is highlighted.
This is not true, at least for the current forum.
Counter-example :
search.php?keywords=%22flamethrower+tur ... mit=Search
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=23042&p=423155&hil ... et#p423155
Actually it did search for and return only those posts that include the 'exact phrase'. To prove that, just remove the quotes and you'll get a bunch more results.
Nope, it didn't, I get 45 matches in both cases. Has their forum software changed in the last 3 years ?

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Re: How do I search for multi-word terms/phrases?

Post by Koub » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:19 pm

Not that I know - apart from the recent version upgrade, but I'm only a moderator, not a forum administrator so there might have been silent evolution I didn't notice. The search engine did marginally change however, because now, three letter words can be searched (while the minimum was four before).

If this thread could be considered as a pleading for a better search feature on the forum, I'd add my voice to it.

What I miss most :
  1. The "exact search" feature (when searching for "aaa bbb", I want for that exact string to be searched, not just for aaa AND bbb. More specifically "aaa bbb" is different from "bbb aaa" and from "aaa [insert random stuff here] bbb".
  2. This includes the ability to search for specific punctuations. Example, if I want to search for all the topics containing "17.20" in their title, I can't, because the search input is trimmed to 17 and 20, both being too short for the search engine to even be considered.
What I also miss, but less :
  1. The ability to search for 2 char strings, like "OP", "BP", ...
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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