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More search options?

Discussion in 'WCHA Website Suggestions' started by Larry Westlake, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Larry Westlake

    Larry Westlake Designer/Builder

    First, thanks to everybody who does the gruntwork keeping this website working.
    I have used it for years as a reference before doing any posting. Often, it isn't necessary to ask any questions because they have already been answered. The repository of posts is a tremendous resource.

    But using the website efficiently for scanning what has already been said depends a lot on the search options. It does seem to me that the search capabilities used to be better. For intance, the ability to search for exact strings that contain spaces is very important, so that if you want information on "one off" construction, you don't get hits for ONE and OFF alone. Currently, this does not seem to be possible, but I think it used to be. Another very useful research/inquiry option would be before/after dates. this would allow tracking how recommendations alter as experience is gained by members, important for those rare new developments like the use of water-based filler.

    Are there more options for the "advanced" search that can be enabled, either by the site itself or by me? Or am I just using "advanced" wrong?

    Larry Westlake
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Dan can probably offer more specific information about how the searching capabilities of this forum can be used. My understanding is that these are quite limited. However, Google and other search engines can offer the exact search that you described. You can go to google.com for example and enter 'site:forums.wcha.org "one off"' to get 167 hits for the search that you want. This can also include date ranges and other options as well. Let me know if this doesn't generate the results that you seek,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  3. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    As you've discovered, the built-in search function of the forums wasn't the greatest (among other things, requires your search term to be four characters or more in length, which is why "one off" produced no results.

    It had been on my to-do list to replace the built-in search with one more robust, and this spurred me to it. It only took all day, but I have replaced the "simple" search with one powered by Google that searches just the WCHA forums, which you will hopefully find more effective. There is a similar search on our main home page (http://www.wcha.org/search-the-wcha/) that searches the entire site, including main site pages, forums and store.

    The "Advanced Search" remains the same built-in version, for those who prefer that.

    Let me know how this change works for you.
    Dan
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Larry Westlake

    Larry Westlake Designer/Builder

    Thanks, Benson. I was not familiar with the syntax as per your example, so I have learned something that will be useful elsewhere as well as here. Previous tries to restrict Google to the WCHA forums (by their own adanced search pick-boxes) didn't give good results, but this does.

    Larry Westlake
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Larry Westlake

    Larry Westlake Designer/Builder

    Dan;
    It appears your reply was posted in real-time while I was answering Benson. Eerie.

    Thanks for doing that upgrade - I really hope other people use it enough to make your work worthwhile.
    It is an excellent private joke that the "basic" search is now more functional than the "advanced" seach, if I understand you correctly.

    Over the years I have found it very interesting to mine the backlog of posts not only for answers, but for questions.

    Thanks,
    Larry Westlake
     

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