How can I search this forum effectively when searches ignore Boolean AND?
I am at my wit's end trying to find anything in this forum. Most of my questions require more than one word to define, as I imagine most people's do. Yet the search mechanism seems stuck on Boolean OR. Any way I formulate a question I get results that have at least one of my terms, but often only one. I add terms because I need articles that refer to ALL of them. Adding terms is supposed to give you a smaller, more relevant set of results, not a bigger one full of stuff that has no relation to what you need. The more complex a system is, especially when it lacks any useful detailed structure or browseable index, the more important it is to make searching precise.
Example: I want to know about selecting tabs. Not selecting text, or bookmarks, or anything else except tabs. Not how to bookmark, or close, or move tabs, or do anything except select them. I need pages that have BOTH terms, which calls for Boolean AND. But no matter how I formulate the search it works as OR, returning many pages with only one of the two terms. If these were working correctly, the multi-word searches would return fewer hits than either of the first two. Instead we have
search expression hits
select 874 tabs 962 select tabs 1408 "select tabs" 1408 select AND tabs 1408 select & tabs 1408 select + tabs 1408
The best option I'm given is to look through 874 articles with the word "select" for any that have to do with tabs. This is absolutely no way to manage any kind of database. How does anybody find anything using it? How do you forum volunteers find the information you need to help the rest of us? Implementing proper Boolean searching isn't rocket science--it's been a fundamental part of database management for more than 40 years. Surely you know somebody who can make this work.
All Replies (2)
Thanks--I'm very glad to know that this exists and have bookmarked it for the future.
1) How is anyone supposed to find it? There's no link that I can see on the main support page.
2) The implied OR search on the main page is still counterproductive. Especially when people can't see how to get to advanced search, I imagine a lot of people just give up after they can't narrow the results to anything approaching relevance. Can anyone give me a good reason it should work that way?