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Viewing all matching posts in topic with one click after search

The search result pages only quote the most recent matching post to your search criteria, for each topic listed. Yes, EVEN though there may be dozens of relevant posts that you’d like to read in that topic.
With just one click, you are able to view all matching posts in that topic, in full message:


After clicked on the link, we were viewing all matching posts in that topic (as shown below).

What’s more?! Have a look at "Adjust Your Search Parameters box", isn't it effortless now to further adjust parameters to search even deeper into the topic?  ;)


Expand/fold-able result summary
Are you getting tired of having to scroll up and down long search result pages to find topics that interest you?

Just hit on “Show/hide result summary” to list the subjects of topics on the current result page, with your keywords highlighted.

Now simply click on a subject in the summary area to instantly jump to the corresponding topic below.

Also it's hassle-free to navigate result pages in the summary area, once you click on a page index in there, the summary area will automatically expand and focus itself after the page is loaded. Now you get to view search results without even having to scroll the page at all!


Go to Top

Did I just tell you that you don't have to scroll your mouse on result pages? ;)

Now it just cannot get easier to "Go to Top".

In the (usual) Linked Excerpt mode:

Just click on any date on the right of the page to go to top.


In the Full Message mode:

Click on "Top" (as shown)



So how do these features help me? Pretty straightforward -- when your search generates many matches (let's say over 2 result pages), these functions will save you time and energy (no more mouse scrolling) dramatically:

View result summary -> find a topic that interests you -> directly jump to that topic and read excerpts from it -> Immediately Go to Top and look for another interesting topic...

Adjust your search parameters after initial search

If you got a typo in your search terms, or the initial search failed to return meaningful results, it’s now very easy to modify your search keywords and options without starting a new search.


Site/Forum Features / Part 2: Advanced Search
« on: August 01, 2007, 05:29 PM »
Advanced Search

Use advanced criteria to take more control of your search, that is, to search more specifically for information on forum.

To use Advanced Search on forum:


Click on the word Search found between Downloads and Unread Posts in the dark blue bar in the upper portion of the window of your browser (indicated by red arrow here). The advanced search form will appear.

Options that are available to you in the Advanced Search include:

1.  Search terms

Choosing the right search terms is the key to finding the information you need. It's often advisable to use multiple search terms, each with 4 letters or more, and avoid cliches like "best, good, nice, tool ...", to achieve best results.

Phrase search:

If you only want results that include an exact phrase, simply put quotation marks around your search terms.
For example: “death and taxes”, “it’s worth it”

Keyword Exclusion:

Sometimes your search term will have more than one meaning, and thus generating more search results than desired. You can narrow down your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid.
Note: Be sure to include a space before the minus sign, otherwise it will be regarded as a ("-") dash sign that connects two words -- “anti-virus” is not same as “anti –virus”.

2.  Match all words/Match any words

For search terms: alpha version

“match all words” will find posts that contain both “alpha” and “version”, while “match any words” will find those contain either “alpha” or “version”.

"Match any words" tends to find posts that are NOT relevant enough to your search, as such it's not recommended.

3.  Search by Username

Enter the username of a member to limiting your search to what that individual member has posted.

At this moment, searching for posts by multiple users (except in the case of all users) is not supported.

4.  Show results as messages

When checked, posts that match your search criteria will be displayed in full instead of in excerpt, and will naturally result in much larger results pages which might be significant if you are searching for a popular word or phrase.

5.  Search in topic subjects only

Narrow the search to only the subjects of topics for your keywords but does not search the keywords in the content of individual posts.

6.  Message age

Find in posts that were posted to the forum within a certain period of time.

(1) To find in posts from last week, fill in “between 0 and 7 days”.
(2) To find in posts from the week before last to the last week, fill in "between 7 and 14 days".

7.  Search order

How would you like search results to display in order? Choices:

(1) Most relevant results first

This is the default, and is, in most cases, the most effective option -- as search results on forum are ranked by our significantly improved algorithm.

(2) Largest/smallest topics first

Rank topics by the number of replies posted to it. Number of replies is an indicator of popularity of a topic.

(3) Most recent/oldest topics first

Rank topics by the date when they were started.

8.  Specific Topic id

Search within a specific topic. Topic id uniquely identifies each topic on the forum.

E.g. https://www.donation...dex.php?topic=9091.0

In this case, 9091 is the topic id.

9.  Match Mode

(1) Matching whole words only

Whole word matching, no more no less: "play" matches "play", and does not match “played” or anything else.

What you get: Least results, Least noise

(2) Smart matching (default)

"play" finds: playable, playground, played, playing, player, plays...

It decides the best matching mode based on its analysis of individual search terms.

What you get: absolute most of all potential matches, some noise

(3) Match any sequence

"play" finds: display, byplay, foreplay, downplay, playable, ...

What you get: most results, most noise.

10.  Choose a board to search in, or search all

Check/uncheck the boards that you’d like to search in.


Now, of course, when you are all done, click "Search" button to sets the whole thing in motion, but hitting 'Enter' directly from any of the search fields is sometimes more convenient.

Site/Forum Features / Part 1: Quick Search
« on: August 01, 2007, 05:28 PM »
Quick Search -- the most straightforward way of searching the forum.[/i]

To use Quick Search on forum:

1.   Find Quick Search box near the top-right of the browser window.


2.   Type in keywords to search

3.   Limit the scope of your search in the drop-down menu, if necessary.

Entire Forum: Searches in all boards and posts on the forum that you are entitled to view. It is the default choice.

This board: searches only within the board you are currently browsing. Sometimes forum search returns more results than desired from your search and in such cases it might be a good idea to isolate your search*.

This choice only becomes available when you are browsing a specific board or topic.

This topic: searches only within the topic you are currently viewing.

This choice only becomes available when you viewing a specific topic.

Members: searches forum member list, this comes in handy when you are looking for a member to donate to. ;)

Help Desk: searches Help Desk -- great place to find help on forum and specific programs hosted on DonationCoder.

Entire Site: searches entire site with Google site search.

Forum search doesn't find anything outside the forum (obviously), Google site search will help you search our release programs, reviews, specials, member blog, etc.

Note: Google is not particularly good at indexing our forum posts, so I recommend using our native forum search function for finding topics.

4.   Click on the Search button to activate the search.  :P

* forum employs active board ranking heuristic, which ranks higher (not necessarily all on the top) matching topics that are within the board you are viewing, thus it won't matter much if you search the specific board or entire forum.

Reason: most likely you will be more interested in relevant topics within the board you are currently browsing, as such we give "local" matching topics an edge over others to catch you eye.

Search with confidence, not frustration.

Introduction forum search (codename Zillarank) is, in our opinion, superior to that comes with the official SMF package, in numerous aspects including:

  • Completedness of results
  • Relevance ranking
  • (Irrelevant) noise reduction
  • Ease of use
  • Power user options
  • Productivity enhancements
  • Speed

We designed it with the hope to offer you the best forum search experience that you don’t get from other forums.

This guide is intended to introduce you to forum search system and ways to maximize your search effectiveness and productivity.

Part 1
Basic uses of search: Quick Search

Part 2
Narrow and refine: Advanced Search

Part 3
Effortlessly adjust search parameters

Part 4
Productivity enhancements

1. Expand/fold-able result summary
2. Viewing all matching posts in a topic with one click
3. Sort search results live

there is such a smiley, i've seen it.  anyone have a link?[/spoiler]

Search!!  8)


Supporting/honorary members you can always get the latest FARR from our Preview Software Releases board without having to PM mouser.  :)

Farr v2 is now v stable and fast, I use it daily as replacement for my slow vista start menu search.

Living Room / Re: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
« on: July 31, 2007, 08:40 PM »
How do I do that?
-cranioscopical (July 31, 2007, 08:38 PM)

 ;D ;D ;D ;D

Living Room / Re: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
« on: July 31, 2007, 08:10 PM »
Too bad the Google It You Moron site is sold, here's a cached version of their homepage from Internet Archive:

Living Room / Re: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
« on: July 31, 2007, 07:40 PM »
Another (similar) nice read: How to Report Bugs Effectively

Living Room / How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
« on: July 31, 2007, 07:33 PM »
I was writing an introduction to DC search when I came across this very well written guide.


In the world of hackers, the kind of answers you get to your technical questions depends as much on the way you ask the questions as on the difficulty of developing the answer. This guide will teach you how to ask questions in a way more likely to get you a satisfactory answer.

Now that use of open source has become widespread, you can often get as good answers from other, more experienced users as from hackers. This is a Good Thing; users tend to be just a little bit more tolerant of the kind of failures newbies often have. Still, treating experienced users like hackers in the ways we recommend here will generally be the most effective way to get useful answers out of them, too.

The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here. If you give us an interesting question to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus and a gift. Good questions help us develop our understanding, and often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about otherwise. Among hackers, “Good question!” is a strong and sincere compliment.


EDIT: add link to the guide

I know nothing about Surfulater, but note that it is going to be on offer at a discount here soon (sorry - read about it this morning and cannot now find the link!).

https://www.donation...18.msg68253#msg68253   :)

Living Room / Re: IRC Channel
« on: July 30, 2007, 07:33 PM »
What is IRC? How to config/use it?...

Here's a well-written IRC tutorial to get you started  :)


"Show/Hide Subjects" work as an kind of index ... the full search result is still there ... fine work :Thmbsup:


I hope these will also come in handy for you:

Basically they save your trouble of scrolling up and down the search results page.  :)



Thank you!! Glad you like it.  :-*

How knows what "Smart matching" means ... if he didn't just read this thread...have he search first the docu's ? ;)

Would you consider to use smtg like:
1. Matching whole words only
2. Smart matching (default) ==> "Matching Word starts with" (default)
3. Matching any sequence ===> "Matching Word contains"

Yes it's always wrong to confuse users. :P

I personally like #3 but I was told that "Matching Word contains" could confuse as well. Gonna think about it and I'm open to suggestions.

With regard to #2:

The problem is that 'Smart matching' doesn't really just do "Matching Word starts with" at all times, in fact it will decide the best matching mode based on its analysis of individual search terms, as one size doesn't fit all.  :)


WTF, now you dont even need to scroll down to see if there are topics that interest you!  8)


I love screenshots, they explain everything, well... almost  ;)


Added new matching mode selection:

1. Matching whole words only

Perfect match: "play" = "play"

verbatim whole word matching, no more no less.

What you get: Least results, Least noise

2. Smart matching (default)

"play" finds: playable, playground, played, playing, player, plays...

What you get: absolute most of all potential matches, some noise

Note: actually smart matching is smarter than "just matching one side of the word" ;)

3. Matching any sequence

"play" finds: display, byplay, foreplay, downplay, playable, ...

What you get: everything! Hold on... are you crazy? :P



Update: some new features added

Firstly, lemme show off some snapshots ;)

Dropdown Quick Search


View all matching messages in a topic after search


Quick query adjustment


Search within a specific topic

search specific topic.png

what about
Only Threads subject containing: [REQ*    date time       ]

What does that mean?  :P

First: i like to find all post no matter what subject from the last three days to see what happens.
f.ex. i was online but had no time to read all ..... and next i went online i don't see the last posts any more.

I know there is the way via "Forum > Recent Posts" ... but i guess find Recent Posts by search function is more native?

Not a bad idea at all. :up:  It seems more intuitive to tell forum to "display unread message in the last XX days".

Second: i like to see the search result in an compressed form... the subject lines only.
Sometimes this would help to find the wanted thread, especially for the issue mentioned above.

That was exactly what I did with Zillarank when it was still an independent script (not integrated into SMF by then)! :D  Actually I've been meaning to implement this, thanks for reminding me!!  :Thmbsup:

Added to my to-do list.

    maybe we should have quick links on the advanced search page for:
    • Show recent topics.
    • Show unread posts  (since last visit).
    • Show recent posts (full text display).
    • Show new replies to your posts (unreplied topics).

    They are on my todo list :) Shouldn't be a problem adding those link

    Maybe, if possible? ... search for match words in hole thread?

    It's possible, although I believe it will hit hard on server. Potential server problem aside, I'm not sure if it's desirable. It seems to work well in this "Simpson fun" case (simpson is fun, after all ;)).

    We have too many topics here (with numerous replies) where people share different opinions or even wander off the topic for a while. Expanding the search to entire thread for each search term will, while return more results, suffer a whole lot in relevance -- when:

    We have 3 posts (1, 2, 3) in topic X, and 3 user search keywords A, B, C

    Now -

    Post 1 contains keyword A, but not B, C
    Post 2 contains keyword B, but not A, C    <-- it disagrees with Post 1
    Post 3 contains keyword C, but not A, B    <-- it wanders off the topic or is spam ;)

    If we go with the new 'entire thread' method, the topic would match even if it's not all what the user was looking for!  :P

    Additionally, it could allow those super-popular topics (with hundreds of replies) to become "catch all" since it's superabundant with mountainloads of keywords -- with none of the individual messages on its own relevant to the user search.

    one thing you could do is higher score to whole word matches..

    We do that already, the content keyword density analysis is primarily about awarding whole word matches. As such topics with whole word matches get ranked significantly higher than those without.

    regex and case sensitive seem a bit overkill to me, but whether to default to whole word searching seems worth considering.

    Read my reply above, if we set default to "whole word" matching it could ruin our search as too many relevant topics would be excluded simply due to its keywords being a little bit different from user query terms.

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