I was trying to search for topics regarding the toneAC library, but discovered that the search icon at the top of the page is (I think) equivalent to a Google search of the entire inet, as opposed to a search of just forum topics.
When I did a Google search for "arduino how to search forum topics", I found
but it doesn't return any results, and you can't seem to get there from anywhere in the forum.
topic searching seems to be such a basic feature of modern forums - am I missing something?
but it doesn't return any results
That hasn't worked for a long time. The Arduino Webmaster recently told us that they are working their way back to having the on-site search working again.
equivalent to a Google search of the entire inet
No, that's not correct. It adds "site:http://forum.arduino.cc" so you're only searching the forum. However, there isn't really a way to limit your search to a specific forum section with Google and that is something I've wished for at times so I think it will be nice if they get the forum search working again.
Is there something unique about the Arduino forums? Every other support forum on the planet has search tools - why not this one?
However, there isn't really a way to limit your search to a specific forum section...
...seems to work well for limiting the search to Arduino Forum > Using Arduino > Audio.
That sort of search will still find results in all forum sections as long as they happen to contain those keywords but that should narrow it down quite a bit even if you do get some results from other forum sections. I tried adding the specific forum path string (e.g. "Arduino Forum > Using Arduino > Audio") to the search but unfortunately there is some weird formatting of that path as displayed on the forum pages so I just get no results. I also tried skipping over the areas of weird formatting: (e.g. "> Using Arduino" "> Audio"). But Google loves to do a fuzzy search even when you have it set to "verbatim" mode so I still end up with results from other sections.
Well, I'm on several forums where common knowledge is "you're better off using google with the site option than trying to use the search option provided here."