Is the "Search Forums" feature / internal search engine broken?

Started by D.A. Bentley, April 13, 2020, 09:33:00 pm

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D.A. Bentley

Has anyone else had trouble getting results from searches?
I can hardly find anything anymore if I am looking for specific things I had found before.

For example I remember a post on a "Three Way Altitude Mixer" and RogueNZ had a couple rgd files shared.
Try searching for the key words or the tdg and nothing comes up.

These were the files I downloaded, and now that I want to go back and read that post I can't find it:

Just wondering if anyone can find it and if you did what did you search for?




Yeah I've noticed this. Even searching topic titles is having issues. Keywords especially aren't being found correctly within content, that's for sure.


D.A. Bentley

OK so the search engine is case sensitive!  That's not good!

Searching for "RogueNZ" brought up nothing except this thread.  wow.  Had to go lowercase.



Quote from: D.A. Bentley on April 14, 2020, 11:09:19 amOK so the search engine is case sensitive!  That's not good!

Searching for "RogueNZ" brought up nothing except this thread.  wow.  Had to go lowercase.

It shouldn't be case sensitive, not if it's working normally. If I search for RogueNZ I get the same results as when as I search for roguenz. The thread "Function Node General Discussion / Re: Cloud Altitude and Density" shows up in position 3 in both searches. I don't know why it's acting differently for other people. In the past I have noticed that the search behaved differently if I revised the search (searched again) from the results page, but that seems to be working well for me since we upgraded the forum in August 2019. I guess it still has some bugs. I will look out for any other weirdness.
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


It's annoying that there hasn't been any search mods for 2.1 yet, but lots of topics about it in the forums.

@Matt perhaps, though, this plugin would help with this though by intercepting the user at post creation with *hopefully* similar topics?

D.A. Bentley

Quote from: Dune on April 14, 2020, 11:34:12 amI have a link for you, you didn't notice?
Thanks Dune!  Yea, I saw that but didn't realise it was a link at first, since the whole sentence was underlined.
After some more tests it seems like only user names are case sensitive.

It might help to have Matt or whoever maintains the web site to request a Google Crawl every so often.
Request Google Web Crawl

I find I can search an find more answers using Google than the internal search function.  But seems like mostly older stuff comes up.


QuoteI find I can search an find more answers using Google than the internal search function.
This seems to be true for many online knowledge systems.

D.A. Bentley

I seem to have discovered the internal search doesn't work well with file attachments.

For example I will tell you the thread I was looking for first:,13078.msg129458.html#msg129458

Now I was searching for this specific file since it was mentioned in a tutorial:  "Camouflage Terrain Surface.tgc"

Searching for the exact file name brought up only one result, but after removing the .tgc I did get some (5) results including the thread I was looking for where that file existed as an attachment.
Please NOTE:  The text that was matched when I found the thread I was looking for was not from text in the file attachment, but from text in the message body.
Maybe all file attachment posts should also list the file attachment name as text in the message body for future search ease?

In the first search of the exact file name I only got one result, and the matched text was in the body of the message.

I could be wrong, but I thought I was able to search for attachments in the past using the internal search engine.  If there is a way to make file attachments searchable that would be a good option to turn on I think.



I think that would be good. Then you could even search for *.tgd and find all shared files (if you need one).


Digging into this a bit. Searches are enforced as case-insensitive as seen here:

// Make the query lower case. It's gonna be case insensitive anyway.

 $stripped_query = un_htmlspecialchars($smcFunc['strtolower']($stripped_query));

as of 2.1 RC2 (github) from what I can see. Unless the smc function "strtolower" is not working, but the query is case-insensitive anyway.

Adding attachments to searches should be possible. I forked a copy of SMF and looking through the code to familiarize. May try a few things if I get some time.