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Word search

The search is a bit simplistic because the weblog is running on a version of MySql which does not offer binary searches and I can’t be bothered trying to write my own. At the moment anyway.

Enter a series of words into the search box and the server will look for all entries containing at least one of those words.

Select one of Previews, Whole articles or Titles only to indicate how much detail you want to be shown in the search results.

If more than one entry is found then if Sort by date is unchecked the results will be ranked according to relevance with the most relevant at the top. If Sort by date is checked the results will be sorted by date published with the latest at the top.

The server will ignore any search words which are three letters or less. In addition, there are a number of words, known as ‘stop words’, which cannot be searched for as they are either common or add no meaning to the search. If your search returns no results and yet you know that the entry you’re looking for exists then try different words.

The search is rather literal. It searches for whole words only and these must be an exact match except that it is not case sensitive and words with accents are treated as words without accents. This means that if you’re looking for all entries mentioning Iraq it will not find entries only containing Iraqi. There is also no way to search for phrases.

Until the people who host this site upgrade to a later version of MySql there is not a lot I can do about this. In practise it works reasonably well though.

If you enter nothing in the Search for box then you’ll be redirected to the current weblog, taking into account the settings of the Previews, Whole articles or Titles only buttons.

Keywords

Some articles have keywords associated with them. These are not displayed. The search will look at the keywords too. For example, I don’t think I have any article which includes the word musing but if you search for it you’ll find articles which I’ve marked as being musings. One day I’ll make them into categories; just as soon as I’ve sorted out what categories to use.

Month or day search

It is possible to search for all articles from a particular month or day.

Enter, for example, 200406 into the search box and you will be redirected to the articles for June 2004. Entering 20040608 will redirect you to the articles for 8 June 2004.

The Sort by date check box is ignored when doing this kind of search.

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