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Suggestions to Make Forum Search More Useful

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1. Turn down the severity of "flood control." 8 or 10 seconds between searches is too long. If a search doesn't work, let people make a new search right away. A setting of 3 or 4 seconds would surely be sufficient for whatever the perceived problem is.

2. Allow three-letter words to be part of the search (and, I presume, part of the indexing). I recently ran a search for the story title 'The Way You Say My Name' and discovered that the only thing searched on was the word "name."

3. Clean up the behavior when a search string is entered with quotation marks (i.e., looking for a literal match). At present the results are unpredictable.

Don't know whether any of these things are possible but I thought it would be worth mentioning.


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Items 2 and 3 are, I believe, built into the forum software and are not configurable. I don't know about item 1, but I don't usually do a lot of searches.

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From my research it appears that the flood control setting (in seconds) is here:

ACP > Member Groups > Manage User Groups

The number entered represents seconds. If it's blank or 0 is entered, flood control is disabled.

I would ask again whether there has been an actual problem with overzealous searching, and why flood control is activated at all. At a minimum it would be nice to reduce it to something like 2 or 3 seconds.


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The four-character minimum, I find, is imposed by the default search function of the mySQL database. See http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/fulltext-fine-tuning.html. This can be changed by modifying the configuration file for the mySQL installation, re-starting the database, and reindexing the content. However, apparently the superior answer is to switch to Sphinx as the search engine, something that requires a fair amount of sophistication and root access to the server.

Thus I presume that we're stuck with the four-character minimum.


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