#2282 [4030] Advanced Search

v4.1.5
open
nobody
None
5
2008-11-17
2008-10-07
kiwi_pgv
No

Not sure if I'm using this correctly (presumably it will get on-screen instructions plus help screen text before 4.1.6 is released?), but the results seem 'strange'

1) I entered 'zena' in the Given name field and clicked 'Search'. It came back with 548 results. That given name only occurs twice in my GEDCOM. It also added 'zena' to the Father box on the right, which seems a strange thing to do. If it copied the surname that 'might' make more sense.

2) if I click on "add more fields" a drop down box appears. It is positioned between Death Date and Death Place. Surely it should be below both? The drop-down is aslo empty. Is that a development not yet complete? Also, clicking that 'add more fields' button takes me to the top of the scrrem. If I have a previous search result on view I can no longer see the search box. I have to scroll back down to the bottom of the page.

3) will this use wildcard searches? If so will it need regexp expressions, or easier to understand '*' and '?' characters?

Discussion

  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2008-10-08

    1) Searching on names uses the DM soundex search. So you should get the same results if you searched for that Given Name on the soundex page. This works for me when I just search for 'john' on both pages. I don't see the name being copied to the father's box. This used to happen a few revisions ago though. There has been talk of adding the option to search "exact" name matches, but that will require some db changes which cannot be pushed out until the next major release.

    2) I am not seeing any of this behavior, except the jumping to the top. What browser are you using? I admit I haven't done much testing in IE. I'll have the jumping to the top fixed with my next commit.

    3) I don't imagine the need for wild cards. It is already a "contains" search for any of the fields. Though regular expressions should already be supported on the non-name fields since they use regular expressions to perform the search already.

    --John

     
  • kiwi_pgv
    kiwi_pgv
    2008-10-08

    Thanks John.

    1a - I wasn't expecting it to use soundex. That would not have been my choice. I agree, if I use DM in the normal soundex search screen I get the same result. I didn't notice because I never use it for exactly the reason displayed here. Getting 548 results for a name like 'zena' that only appears twice in my gedcom doesn't help much. I totally support at least an option for 'exact' searches.

    1b - the name appearing in Father field. I can replicate this every time, but only by clicking "Search" a second time, after the first results first appear. Doesn't seem to happen in FF3, only IE7

    2 - add more fields box. Yes, all these problems are in IE7. FF3 does seem to work fine. Would it be easiest to fix the jumping to the top by placing the results below the search box?

    3 - Sounds good, subject to having an option to not use soundex.

    My only other concern is that we now have 5 different search options on the menu. Perhaps time for a tidy up and consolidation? Search & Replace could possibly be dropped now that we have the batch update facility that includes the same function. My personal choice would be a single search screen that offers all the options in one place.

     
  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2008-10-08

    1a - I could easily switch to the standard soundex instead of DM which would give fewer results. Our international friends would want some way to specify which to use though. I defaulted to soundex because that is what most genealogy search sites do (ancestry, familysearch, etc). I'll add an option to choose the soundex type and default it to russell. Then I can just uncomment the "exact" option as soon as the DB can support it correctly.

    1b - I'll do more testing in IE7 and commit the fixes tomorrow.

    2 - it is easy to fix the jumping problem. All it requires is the adding of "return false;" to the link. I just didn't want to commit only that change :)

    << My personal choice would be a single search screen that offers all the options in one place. >>

    I dislike the notion of consolodation. Everytime we have done that in the past it has only made the UI convoluted and harder to use and it makes the code harder to maintain. Look at the current search.php code and the uploadgedcom.php and editconfig_gedocm.php as examples. Most users find all of the options on the pages confusing. Also development on all of those pages has not kept up. All of them probably need to scrapped and rewritten from scratch. This is what led to rewriting the search and replace instead of maintaining the existing functionality. I speculate that about 50% of the code in search_ctrl.php gets run, but adds no value to the final output. In the move towards simplicity and modularity, separation is better.

    Anyway, I can add links on the form like the other search pages have, but then I think "what's the point" since the links are already right there in the menus and by not putting them on the page, the UI's are more independent and thus easier to modularize.

    As you say, we can probably get rid of the search and replace. I haven't tried the new batch feature yet so I don't know if it matches all of the existing features. This new advanced search pretty much replaces the soundex search, so we can just drop it as well. The only feature missing is the "Associates" option, which I'm not sure really adds value.

     
  • Greg Roach
    Greg Roach
    2008-10-09

    <<I haven't tried the new batch feature yet so I don't know if it matches all of the existing features.>>

    It might be best to treat the batch-update's search/replace feature as "temporary". Whilst it works, the performance can only be described as "quicker than downloading your gedcom, using a text editor, then reuploading" ;-)

    It's something I threw together quickly for my own site, and thought I'd share. It's not really ready for the masses, which is why it is hidden away on the manage gedcoms page.

     
  • Greg Roach
    Greg Roach
    2008-11-17

    • milestone: --> v4.1.5
     
  • Greg Roach
    Greg Roach
    2008-11-20

    Part 3 is fixed. You can now use SQL wildcards. "_" is a single character and "%" is zero or more characters. Hence

    M_CDONALD matches MCDONALD and MACDONALD
    SMITH% matches SMITH and SMITHERS

     
  • Greg Roach
    Greg Roach
    2008-11-20

    Um. Ignore my first example..... Of course it won't.