View Full Version : the search feature?????
06-26-2007, 08:44 AM
i'm looking for a hvac person to re-charge my a/c unit. i looked thru the classifieds and then decided to do a search of the boards to see if anyone else had asked about it and what responses they got.
i typed in 'air conditioner' into the search box but got this message:
vBulletin Message The search term you specified (air) is under the minimum word length (4) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer.
why do i need to have at least 4 words? can this be changed? crazy!
06-26-2007, 08:46 AM
ps: i got the same 4 word minimum message when i tried this search:
'air conditioner recharge freon'
that is 4 words yet the message tells me its under the 4 word minimum?????
Don't worry it's not just you, I am unable to successfully search.
06-26-2007, 09:22 AM
There's a four word limit? I'm able to search the forums with just one word. I think it has to be longer than three characters. Maybe I'm missing something.
That search feature is a pain. I've gotten that same message before when using four words. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Any answers Mods??? :confused:
06-26-2007, 10:00 AM
It's not a 4 word min. it's a four letter min. if you search for "air" you'll get the error, but if you search "hvac" it will process the search.
I could be wrong, but I think the reason it won't search for 3 letter words is because those three letters could be used in many other words and will return with many non relevant options. (ie a search for air will also return fair, hair, nair, pair, Claire...)
hope that helps
06-26-2007, 10:24 AM
I had the same problem earlier this morning and thought it was me. Maybe our big "hoopa" will check it out for us. Anybody there?
Kallista is correct. Most forum software has a setting for minimum search word length, and it is typically set to 4 characters by default, for the reason Kallista mentioned as well as a way to block searches on certain words like 'the', 'and', etc. It's easier to make a 4 character minimum than to code in all those stop words that have three letters in them, that would literally result in thousands of irrelevant search results. I'm not too familiar with vBulletin specifically, but the minimum characters can probably be reduced. You likely wouldn't want it reduced though, as the relevance of your searches will likely be impacted negatively.
06-26-2007, 01:36 PM
Off subject, but not really, you may want to PM user coglehowell and ask her.
She referred me to the best HVAC person that I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He actually knew what he was doing, and had no problem explaining me the "why's" of it, like this is connected like this, because of...
I would definately use him again.
We're using an indexed search, which means each unique word is stored in a big table. This is a lot faster than having to search word by word through the entire database, and less strain on the server.
When the person wrote this version, they included variables for both minimum and maximum search lengths. But in a fit of economy which could be debated he set the default to 4 characters minimum, thus ensuring we all have to live with it for years to come.
It would be the vbulletin forum software that's got the technically accurate, but totally misleading, error message confusing the technical 'word' (a moving target!) with the English 'word'.
What it should do is perform the search (eg 'foo bar fubar'), then present results and simply inform you the words 'foo' and 'bar' were left out.
I'll look into alternate search methods. We'll have to watch the server load with the alternates though. I've also asked our host to decrease it to 3 but it would require our shared server be restarted, so I hold no great hope.
06-26-2007, 03:19 PM
thanks for the answers about the minimum. i just used the word 'conditioner; and found the threads i was looking for.
c2c... i did pm CH, yesterday. havent heard back yet and we're melting!
I've installed a mod that will at least make the search behave more reasonably. It still won't index <4 letter words, but at least it'll do the search and just tell you the short words were left out.
07-10-2007, 08:38 AM
I don't know "fu bar" from "poo bear", and I'm jut beginning to learn "word" from "word", but I'm glad you know, and in the mean time I'm still struggling with why I am unable to pick up some of my mail; nonetheless, thanks for helping with this topic. You're such a genius. :icon_reading_sm:
I completely forgot to mention you can always use the big search engines to search our forum for short words.
e.g. on Google, enter this line:
"air conditioner" site:shannondale.orgJust remember some of the stuff you see will be outdated, like old classified ads.
You may also use the Google search box on our home page at http://www.shannondale.org/ - simply select "www.shannondale.org" when searching.
Strangely, although Yahoo and MSN search seem to use the same syntax, they both only return a couple results. What the heck is Yahoo slurping us for all day???
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