Old 09-02-2009, 02:56 AM #1
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Default 3 char search limit

I'm growing increasingly frustrated with the 3 character limit for searches...

I'm sure there's a good reason for it, I'm guessing if someone searched for "the" it'd bring up too many results, putting a burden on the server, but seriously, there are a LOT of 3 letter search terms I'd like to find... The search "new loc lpc 22x red diy kit" for a made-up example, returns no results because all the search terms are too short.

Most of the things I end up trying to search for are eaten by the search filter, I can't even begin to name all the things I've wanted to look for but have been forced to use google's site search (which is severely un-indexed), but it's really common laser type words like "650", "532", "blu ray", etc. I was trying to find info on a specific DVD drive today but soon realized any single term I could enter would be filtered "LG DVD RW GSA 20N" is filtered because all the terms are too short, yet virtually no one has used "GSA20N" as the model number because that'd be incorrect.


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Old 09-02-2009, 03:11 AM #2
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

"wtb diy 8x blu ray"
"diy how to"
"o-like mod"
"dx 100 mw 532 nm"
"jay rob diy kit"
"how to mod dx 5mw"
"wtf is this I don't even"

Yes, none of these pull up *any* search results.
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:04 AM #3
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

You can always try google search for the shorter terms
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:26 AM #4
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by potatorage View Post
You can always try google search for the shorter terms
Yeah, that doesn't usually work too well... Google only searches a couple links deep, so it never has more than the first couple pages worth of info, usually only indexing thread titles, not thread contents... For example "laser show software" returns 56 hits on LPF's search, whereas google only shows 16 results... "dilda" shows *over* 500 hits on LPF's search, whereas google only has 345 instances indexed...

Most of the good things to search for on the forum are 3 characters or less... OEM, CNI, RPL, co2, gas, I could go on all day. Unfortunately google will never be able to index the whole site, at least without making unusable for humans, so as it stands there's thousands upon thousands of threads no one will ever be able to find because their keywords are too short and google will never dig that far back in the archives.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:03 AM #5
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Yes I have the same problem, someone said to add * after but that doesn't really help. Can we offer the 3 character limit to members and not guest or what?
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:47 PM #6
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

There is a thread about this.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:54 PM #7
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
There is a thread about this.
Oops, my bad... Didn't see it there. Should have used a more descriptive title.

Anyways, to respond to some of the issues brought up in the other thread, the search is already configured to show a max of 500 results, so searching for a 3-letter commonly used term is no worse than searching for "dilda" or "scanner" or "laser" or any of the other common terms that display 500 results... Considering the site has an SQL backend and considering searching for "dilda" etc still takes less than a tenth of a second to complete, I doubt searching for "RPL" or "LOC" etc would put much strain on the server.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:12 PM #8
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

That's quite ironic isn't it? To make a thread complaining about the search function only to find out that there already is a thread pertaining to this matter but you couldn't find it cause of the unreliable search function.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:13 PM #9
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

I'm not trying to poke fun, i just found it interesting is all....
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:46 PM #10
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Welcome to the "the search function sucks" club.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:51 PM #11
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Its a mysql thing really, the fulltext search function takes only terms of 4 characters or more as valid input. It is possible to include 3 letter words in the system, but it'll probably take rebuilding mysql on the server to get it to work.

In general excluding 3 letter words isnt such a bad idea, since many 'small' words are stopwords that add little to relevance. They would increase strain on the server though, since the indices become much larger.

Some longer words are also excluded, there is a complete list of these stopwords, and it includings terms like 'this' and 'that'.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:17 PM #12
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

Whats "mysql"? I'm not too computer savvy
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:29 PM #13
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

mysql is an open-source relational database that supports the SQL query language. The 3-char limit is not due to the DB itself, but to the forum SW (and a rather common limit to any text search system). Reducing the limit to 2 would have the main effect of considerably increasing the space required for storing the data (as the number of words positions to be indexed would increase greatly); this in turn would negatively affect search time, backup space & time et al. It's unfortunate that so many acronyms nowadays are 3 letters.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:10 AM #14
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Default Re: 3 char search limit

I managed to catch most of that It does bug me that we do use a lot of acronyms and most searchs will turn up with nothing when you use them
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