Ignored words when searching

Ignored words when searching
by on (#101284)
Why are certain common words ignored on searches? Many times since the migration of the forums I have had trouble searching for threads/posts just because certain words are filtered out. Even though the words are common, they can be used with other (common or not) words to form not-so-common combinations. For example, I can't search for anything related to sprites (sprite cycling, sprite corruption, sprite animation, etc.) because the word "sprite" is ignored.

Because of this, I often have to try hard and remember other things (not necessarily related to the information I'm after) that might have been mentioned in a thread I'm looking for just so I can find it. I can only do this because I was around when the thread was made and have read it before, but what about new users? They can't do that, they rely on a search mechanism that doesn't ignore words that can form unique combinations with other words.

Can we reconsider some of these filtered words?
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101288)
Does Google sprite site:forums.nesdev.com also fail?
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101294)
I haven't tried, but it's kinda lame that we need an external tool for searches when our own software is able to do it. This solution is also very counter-intuitive.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101301)
Oh the irony. I search for "hit" and I get 1688 matches. I search for "sprite hit" (with search for all terms checked) and get the same number of matches. The system's explanation is that it helpfully omitted "sprite" because it's such a common word and would therefore cause excessive matches. Except that as you say, this is a narrowing search, and thus it would reduce the number of matches. Total retardation.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101305)
Exactly. And your example is perfect: it's practically impossible to search for info on sprite hits.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101325)
I'm not sure what can be done about this, honestly. Expecting a piece of forum software to have the same logic and "smarts" as a major search engine is unreasonable, though I do understand where you're coming from (re: usability).

We're limited to what you see in the below screenshot. There's absolutely nothing else we can adjust/change. That's just how phpBB is.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101326)
Near the bottom is a "Common word threshold". Perhaps a certain soft drink made by Coca-Cola is in the top 5 percent, and the value needs to be lowered and the index rebuilt.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101327)
tepples wrote:
Near the bottom is a "Common word threshold". Perhaps a certain soft drink made by Coca-Cola is in the top 5 percent, and the value needs to be lowered and the index rebuilt.

Or set the value to 0 (may or may not need rebuilding of the index), and see if there's really a performance hit big enough to warrant changing it back to value greater than 0.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101337)
Tepples et all are welcome to change this if they want. I have no idea of what the repercussions performance-wise or database-wise (e.g. craploads of rows resulting in a gigantic table, SELECT queries taking a long time (no idea if they use INDEXes), etc...).
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101343)
Ah, so the common words are automatically detected by the software... This is kinda stupid, some of these common words are crucial to make searches meaningful.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101345)
sprite sprite sprite sprite sprite!

Now you'll never find them! MUA HA HA HA HA HA! :twisted:
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101353)
Quote:
No posts were found because the word ciclone is not contained in any post.
No posts were found because the word 10nes is not contained in any post.
No posts were found because the word 3195 is not contained in any post.

This can't be right either.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101356)
I cleared the index, set the stopword threshold to 1%, and rebuilt the index. It may take a few hours, or it may have been killed by a max_execution_time restriction on the web server. WhoaMan might be the best one to troubleshoot this.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101358)
tepples wrote:
I cleared the index, set the stopword threshold to 1%, and rebuilt the index. It may take a few hours, or it may have been killed by a max_execution_time restriction on the web server. WhoaMan might be the best one to troubleshoot this.

Hmm, shouldn't it actually be set to a higher value? If I understand the wording right, the meaning is "if the word is contained in over 5% of all posts, it will be regarded as common (and ignored)", so 1% would actually regard more words as common.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101359)
My bad, I thought it was the top 5 percent of words, not words in over 5 percent of posts. I was confused by "Set to zero to disable". I'll rebuild the table again.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101367)
Tepples -- don't feel bad. I read the description of the option the exact same way you did. :-)
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101369)
I finally figured out how to get the indexing to continue. Everything through 2009 is indexed, and I see 2542 matches for sprite. That's more than even a Neo Geo can push.

EDIT: Reindexing using words that appear in fewer than 25% of posts is complete.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101409)
Thanks, tepples. I'm sure the search feature will be much more useful now.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101428)
Maybe a new post to announce that search is more useful, in case people had encountered its limitations before and subconsciously decided to not bother searching as much as they could? Could give a few useful searches as examples of finding things already discussed.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101431)
PM me some ideas and I might use them in such an announcement.
Re: Ignored words when searching
by on (#101434)
blargg wrote:
Maybe a new post to announce that search is more useful, in case people had encountered its limitations before and subconsciously decided to not bother searching as much as they could? Could give a few useful searches as examples of finding things already discussed.


IMO (and this is just me), it should probably be added to the bullet list of things fixed/improved below, which is already an announcement thing:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9181