Advanced and Simple Search with OR

2007-06-21
2013-05-28
  • Knut Krüger

    Knut Krüger - 2007-06-21

    Hi Matthias
    Is there a possibility to add the choice between OR and AND search in simple and advanced Search.
    Just now I must change the AND search for our user to OR search with edit search.

    In your demo databse f.e are 34 records with the word polar in Title or keyword or Abstract

    24 Records of them have "polar" in the title
    one of them hase also "polar" in the keywords,

    11 records have "polar" in the abstract

    Its difficult for Newbies to find them all

    .. or didn't I found the option :-;  ...
    Regards Knut

     
    • Matthias Steffens

      Hi Knut,

      I agree that OR-search capabilities vai the GUI would be useful. We have plans to redesign the search pages so that users could customize these pages (e.g. to specify individually which fields would be displayed on search pages). The redesigned search pages would also allow for OR searches. However, currently other features are considered to be of higher priority so it may take some time until this gets implemented. That said, I'll look into it whether I can provide a "quick fix".

      In addition, I thought of renaming the "Search within Results" functionality to "Refine Results" (or something like that), and then offer an additional option to *add* found records to the existing search result set, i.e. expand the search results (currently, you can only narrow the existing result set). This would essentially allow to perform an OR search in an incremental manner.

      If you (or your users) happen to execute the same OR searches often, then you could also provide 'show.php' links such as these:

      http://demo.refbase.net/show.php?title=polar&keywords=polar&abstract=polar&queryType=or&showRows=50

      You may also use the "save query" functionality to save an OR search for easy later retrieval.

      Matthias

       
    • Knut Krüger

      Knut Krüger - 2007-07-13

      Hi MaTthias,
      Three specialized "feature requests if you have time to reorganise the search engine:
      1.
      Maybe you could omnit the blanks in the search for example if you searach for "Name " you will not find "Name"
      but the blank is often coied with copy and past via double cklick in the text.

      2.
      It would be nice to add the possibility tho separate them wiht "OR" or "AND" or & and +
      The default option
      "tearm1" "tearm2" should be searched as "tearm1" or "tearm2"  
      to find "tearm1-tearm2" as well as "tearm1" "tearm2".

      3. A input field for Title, Keyword and Abstract  "AND" and "OR" search in simple search. maybe a Radio button to switch between "AND" and "OR"

      I published the forum url in a equine newsgroup and the got problems to find records with two keywords

      Regards Knut

       
      • Matthias Steffens

        > Maybe you could omnit the blanks in the search

        I've added this to my ToDo list for the next revision.

        > It would be nice to add the possibility tho separate them wiht "OR" or "AND" or & and +

        We've discussed this thoroughly on the developer list a while ago, and generally, we agreed that it would be better for many users (especially novice users) to offer a Google-like search syntax by default. Personally, I greatly favour the existing search syntax (mainly due to its RegEx powers) so it'll probably remain as an user-configurable option.

        We agreed that the switch towards a Google-like search syntax is an important one, so it has some priority on our ToDo list. However, it's a major change which probably will require a lot of work (and especially testing), so it won't come soon.

        > A input field for Title, Keyword and Abstract "AND" and "OR" search in simple search

        Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly here, but how is this different from what we've discussed already in this thread? The updated search pages will feature an option to specify an OR search.

        However, we'll *not* offer AND/OR switches for every field (maybe this is what you're requesting?), since (IMHO) this is more confusing then helpful. Having multiple AND/OR switches without proper bracketing, there's no way to tell how the different fields will be combined and which operator takes precedence. Complex searching is possible via SQL searches and people who demand this should be encouraged to learn the easy English-like syntax of the SQL WHERE clause.

        In addition, the new "Search within Results" functionality (proposed earlier in this thread) will allow for a lot of complex searching in a very easy manner. In other words, "Simple Search" should remain *simple* (in fact, it has already too many options and we should strive to make it simpler, not more complex). Since users will be able to customize the search pages, they could always add more options to these pages if they really desire so.

        Matthias

         
        • Knut Krüger

          Knut Krüger - 2007-07-13

          A input field for Title, Keyword and Abstract "AND" and "OR" search in simple search

          >Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly here, but how is this different from what we've discussed already in this thread? The >updated search pages will feature an option to specify an OR search.

          I suggested *one* input filed that does an "OR" search over Title, Keywords, and Abstracts ("OR" for the keywords and the three fields)
          (Thinkg about a second time I decidet that a "And" search over the three fields does not make sense.)
          After that it is helpul to use search in results.

          I do not need this, but others who are not willing to learn SQL queries are often talking to me that they did found too less records about a topic. Just now I am building "recall my queries" for them using their account.

          Mostly the or search over this three fields, and this is mostly just the problem for novice users.

          Regards Knut

           
          • Matthias Steffens

            Thanks Knut, I understand now. IMHO, novice users should not even be required to use "Simple Search", instead the "Quick Search" form should be all that's needed. To facilitate this, we decided to provide an "all fields" (or probably better "main fields") option at the top of the dropdown field menus. This will allow people to search across the major fields ('title', 'author', 'keywords', 'abstract', etc) in one go from the main page. And we could allow users to specify on their options page which fields are included in this search option.

            Matthias

             
            • Matthias Steffens

              This is just to let people know that the aforementioned "main fields" search option is now available in the bleeding-edge branch of the refbase SVN repository.

              A "main fields" search option has been added to the "Quick Search" form which allows users to search across all of the "main fields" at once using an "OR" search. Users can specify individually on their options page which fields will be included by the "main fields" search option. The fields that were designated by a user as "main fields" will be also listed individually in the drop-down menu of the "Quick Search" form.

              Matthias

               

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