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Exact words in super search

by LucaPette (Friar)
on Nov 04, 2005 at 19:18 UTC ( [id://505850]=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'm trying to do some searches with super search, but i'm not able to get results on exact words.
For example when i use map as keyword for title searches i would want to obtain only titles containing map but not the ones containing remap or mapping.
Is this only a my problem or super search not allow this feature?

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Re: Exact words in super search
by sauoq (Abbot) on Nov 04, 2005 at 22:31 UTC
    Is this only a my problem or super search not allow this feature?

    Change the separator character to something like "," and enter in " map " as your search term. I'm not sure what it will do with that if map is the first or last word in the post, but if it occurs surrounded by spaces, you should be good. That's the general technique. Season to taste.

    "My two cents aren't worth a dime.";
Re: Exact words in super search
by jdporter (Paladin) on Nov 04, 2005 at 20:39 UTC

    It's definitely Super Search, not you. Super Search works by doing a simple scan for the given string(s) in the title (and/or in the the node text — your choice). There is no regex capability which would allow you to specify e.g. word boundaries. "Tough beans." :-)

    We're building the house of the future together.

      There is no regex capability which would allow you to specify e.g. word boundaries. "Tough beans." :-)

      Yes, there is. It's called \b, and it looks for "word boundaries". Now, I believe that implementing the code to wrap the various regexed search terms correctly might be less trivial: I haven't looked at that code yet, so I don't know if the implementation somehow makes it difficult.

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        Actually, the code to handle \b was written long ago but it isn't available for public use because it requires MySQL regexes which are huge CPU hogs. It used to be that Saints could use MySQL regexes for searching on node titles, but that feature was doomed to eventually go away (which finally happened as a prelude to introducing the new levels) from the beginning, because it still required too much DB server CPU for it to be used except rarely (it offered a superb denial-of-service attack vector).

        sauoq shows the best that is available in Super Search and, unfortunately, MySQL makes it unreasonable to provide anything much more useful. The only way MySQL provides for matching whole words is regexes (too much CPU) or "full-text searches" (which we tried for a while but they had their own problems, the worst but not only one being that they couldn't be prevented from taking the DB server to its knees if your search matched too many nodes). It is too bad that MySQL's LIKE operator doesn't allow something as simple as '%[^a-z]map[^a-z]%', which is a fairly common feature IME.

        There are some fairly minor improvements that would be possible such as the ability to not ignore letter case, the ability to anchor searches, the ability to "OR" terms in a single search, or the ability to use concat(' ',title,' ') like '% map %' (which is used if you search for a one-letter word in the simple title search). But none of those are a huge "win" over what we already have.

        The best answer (other than somehow getting MySQL to upgrade to one of the newer regex engines that aren't CPU hogs) is probably to allow post-filtering of search results using limited Perl regexes. The trick is that good keywords need to be provided in the SQL for the search to be effective. So I can't just let the user search for /\bmap\b/, I have to have them search for LIKE '%map%' in the SQL and post-filter on /\bmap\b/. Perhaps that would be done automatically by having a field that searches for "full words"...

        - tye        

        Really? Are you sure? Any explanation as to why \b doesn't work for me right now? Does the use of this search feature require permission that you have but I don't?

        We're building the house of the future together.

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