Search doesn't work

I was reading a post today about USB (this one "Decoding the NZRI data (USB SNIFFER)").

It was started today.

I switched PCs, and wanted to find it again so I could reply. So I brought up the "search" feature and entered "usb" in the "search for" field and "search order" of "most recent topics first". I thought that would show me the correct thread.

Not only did it not appear on the first page, but the first page lists the most recent topic as January 2011 (3 months ago) and then drops back to entries in 2010, 2008 etc.

How come a thread started today does not appear at the top of the list, or indeed at all on the first page? The word USB not only appears in the topic heading, but multiple times inside the posts.

Can I ask that the search bar have a selectbox for "in this topic" / "in all topics".

I am looking into this, there is a mod for the current forum that should allow doing this in a quite straight forward way. If it works I should have rolled out the change by the end of the day.


Just to keep all of the search-interested people in tune with the work I am doing:

  • I am adding a mod that allows selecting a scope for the search to be performed: "topic", "board", "forum", "google"
  • I am trying to optimize the search procedures by making a custom index table
  • I will experiment with the weights for the different types of searches

I am doing this on the development area of our site, which means you cannot see it on the production site. However, once I have a reliable installation of points 1) and 2), I will bring it up for discussion and I will ask for you help in the process of fine tunning the weights. For those not up-to-date with internal SMF search mechanisms, it gives the following weights to the searches:

  • Relative search weight for number of matching messages within a topic (?): 30%
  • Relative search weight for age of last matching message (?): 25%
  • Relative search weight for topic length (?): 20%
  • Relative search weight for a matching subject (?): 15%
  • Relative search weight for a first message match (?): 10%
  • Relative search weight for a sticky topic (?): 0%

Those are the values for the default configuration. I think it doesn't really make much sense having a long talk about how to weight things until we can test things out. This is going to be a long process as it takes over a day to generate a reliable index table of our database, due to the size of it. We cannot run that process by itself as it would be too CPU intensive and would affect the overall browsing experience, therefore we have to use a script that makes it slowly.