View Full Version : Strange result in Search


KlondikeGeoff
08-17-2007, 06:07 PM
I know I'll go "duh" when I get an answer, but tell me what I'm doing wrong, please.

I wanted to see if anybody has uploaded "A Tale of Two Cities" (by you know whom). No matter how many or how few words I entered, I got the following message:

"The search term you specified (of) is under the minimum word length (3) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer."

I certain ly did not enter under three words (they should have written "less than (3) words, eh?), so what does this mean?

Also, as long as I'm posting, anybody know if that book has been uploaded here, and how I can find it without a search? I did get all of Dicken's listings and it does not seem to be there, but what the heck, I may easily have missed it.

Thanks.

Nate the great
08-17-2007, 06:16 PM
The search usually doesn't work (at least for me).

RWood
08-17-2007, 06:40 PM
Translation: No words are considered search terms that are under three (3) letters long. Therefore the search criteria should have been "tale two cities" Hope that this helps.

monkeywrench
08-17-2007, 06:41 PM
I know I'll go "duh" when I get an answer, but tell me what I'm doing wrong, please.

I wanted to see if anybody has uploaded "A Tale of Two Cities" (by you know whom). No matter how many or how few words I entered, I got the following message:

"The search term you specified (of) is under the minimum word length (3) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer."

I certain ly did not enter under three words (they should have written "less than (3) words, eh?), so what does this mean?

Also, as long as I'm posting, anybody know if that book has been uploaded here, and how I can find it without a search? I did get all of Dicken's listings and it does not seem to be there, but what the heck, I may easily have missed it.

Thanks.

Hey KlondikeGeoff,

When you search the application is actually searching for each term that you have entered individually. It is giving you that error because "of" is one of the words that you searched for. If you want to search for the entire string, in this case the title of a book you can put your search in quotes. I was unable to find The Tale of Two Cities but you can try this search instead just to see that it works:

"The House on the Borderland"

The thing to remember with this is that it is going to look for the exact string that you have put in the quotes. If you use the example above but say you can't remember if its "on the" or "by the" you can do something like this:

"The House" + Borderland

This will cause it to search for anything that has the string "The House" plus the word Borderland.

There are some things that are common to most search engines. Click this link (http://www.google.com/help/basics.html) to see what Google has to say about search basics.

Hope this helps.

~Marty

NatCh
08-17-2007, 06:58 PM
I don't think the search here recognizes quote marks as indicating a literal string, but rather just boolean ands each term, so '"The House" Borderland' would get searched for as "The AND House" AND Borderland. I could easily be wrong on that, though. :shrug:

In this case, it's probably easiest to go to the e-books section and look at the D's for Dickens.

Bleak House and David Copperfield are the only ones that show up that way. :shrug:

monkeywrench
08-17-2007, 07:42 PM
I don't think the search here recognizes quote marks as indicating a literal string, but rather just boolean ands each term, so '"The House" Borderland' would get searched for as "The AND House" AND Borderland. I could easily be wrong on that, though. :shrug:

I did some testing on this and I don't think the search does a boolean and within quotes. If it were doing a boolean and would there be a point in using quotes at all? My understanding is if you just type in the the words, in this case 'the house borderland' it would do a boolean and with the three words 'the AND house AND Borderland' giving you no reason to use quotes. One of my tests was on Master Humphrey's Clock I tried

"Master Clock"

This did not return any results.

but if I try

"Master Humphrey's"

I do get a result

This test leads me to believe that the search is not just a boolean and but is in fact a literal string.

I looked on the vbulletin site but their documentation does not get into search in this much detail.

Is there a site admin that would care to jump in?

P.S. Reading back through my post before posting I thought that it may come across as argumentative. I don't mean this to be the case at all. I am not positive I am correct and may not be. So if it comes across as argumentative please forgive me as I don't intend it to be so.

KlondikeGeoff
08-17-2007, 07:50 PM
OK, guys, thanks. I had tried it with and with quotes (I'm a long-time Google searcher) and had no luck. I see now it is a mystery. :D

In any case, I guess the next step is to go to PG and get it there (I hope). Haven't read it for many years, and in the mood for a good cry.

monkeywrench
08-17-2007, 09:45 PM
Hey Geoff,

Might want to try manybooks.net. You can choose to download a Sony formatted version that might be a bit better than a straight PG version. That is unless you want to format it really nice and contribute your formatted version at mobileread. ;)

Here's the direct link (http://manybooks.net/titles/dickenscetext942city12.html) to the book at manybooks.net.

RWood
08-17-2007, 10:14 PM
ManyBooks.net is one of the reasons I started formatting my own books for the Sony Reader. Their mechanical conversions do leave a bit to be desired.

JSWolf
08-17-2007, 10:47 PM
I typed in... tale two cities and got this thread as one of the results. Meaning it works fine.

HarryT
08-18-2007, 04:19 AM
I'm (slowly) doing the complete works of Dickens, but haven't yet reached "A Tale of Two Cities". I'll try and do it shortly.

NatCh
08-18-2007, 10:46 AM
This test leads me to believe that the search is not just a boolean and but is in fact a literal string.Well, that's good to know. I think the only one who could give us a definite answer is probably Alexander, since he's the one who gets his arms into the site's guts up to the elbows. :nice:

P.S. Reading back through my post before posting I thought that it may come across as argumentative. I don't mean this to be the case at all. I am not positive I am correct and may not be. So if it comes across as argumentative please forgive me as I don't intend it to be so.I didn't take it that way at all, but I admire your concern for courtesy. :yes:

We've tried to create a community here that's respectful of all the members (an anomaly in the cyberword, I know), so anything that supports or encourages that is a good thing. :pleased:

coleman
08-18-2007, 03:40 PM
you could also try it from google doing something like this as the search:
"tale of two cities" site:www.mobileread.com/forums

chenjian1227
08-18-2007, 11:12 PM
I am enthusiastic to provide a search service for this forum. I see people got frustrated about search function from time to time. I hope to help in this regard.

An example is www.coolposting.com, it is currently only for hot deals, but, could be expanded to other discussion forums.

HarryT
08-19-2007, 02:59 AM
The forum search engine works just fine for me!

Alexander Turcic
08-19-2007, 06:14 AM
Our search feature relies on the underlying fulltext search engine of our database. For performance reasons, this engine uses a list of "stopwords" that it happily ignores during searches. You find the list here: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/fulltext-stopwords.html
Boolean search is supported. When doing boolean searches make sure it is sorted by relevancy in a descending order. The default is by date in descending order.
Whole sentences may give a poor results due to MySQL's fulltext algorithm.
Search keywords must contain at least three characters unless they are part of a quote (a literal string).


KlondikeGeoff, in your particular case, searching for "A Tale of Two Cities" (including the quotes) would search for the exact phrase. Without the quotes, the search would reveal all posts that contain all of the keywords. Since two keywords are less than three characters, A and of, your search is aborted. I could, if desired, apply some changes to our search algorithm to not abort the search but simply ignore those two keywords and to continue the search with the remaining two. ;)

Nat mentioned the search "The House" Borderland. This would search for the literal string "The House" with the boolean AND Borderland.

Leaping Gnome
08-19-2007, 10:48 AM
I could, if desired, apply some changes to our search algorithm to not abort the search but simply ignore those two keywords and to continue the search with the remaining two.

I understood what the original error meant, but doing this would probably be more user-friendly than aborting the whole search Alex. Sounds like a good idea.

NatCh
08-20-2007, 11:15 AM
I like that idea too, proceeding with the search without the 'too short' terms. :yes:

Alexander Turcic
08-20-2007, 11:19 AM
I understood what the original error meant, but doing this would probably be more user-friendly than aborting the whole search Alex. Sounds like a good idea.

I like that idea too, proceeding with the search without the 'too short' terms. :yes:

Done. :smash:

Feedback appreciated.