Searching the Site
This site uses Swish-e to provide search indexing functionality. While the precise configuration of the software is, of course, site-specific, additional information is available at swish-e.org.
Although Swish-e provides functionality similar to other search engines such as Google, it uses a different syntax for advanced operations. The details, along with some examples, are presented in the following sections. For simple searches, enter the terms in the search box found in the top-left corner of every page. If more than one word is entered, only documents that contain all terms will be shown. Search results are displayed with the best match first and the worst match last.
Four boolean operators are recognized by the
NEAR. By default — if no operator is
AND is assumed. Any specified
terms are joined, either explicitly or implicitly, by an
operator. For example, searching for “
bar” is identical to searching for “
and bar” — a list of documents containing
both “foo” and “bar” will be
returned. Note that in the first case, the
operator was implied.
In a similar fashion, the
operator may be used to return a list of documents containing
either one or both terms: “
As might be expected, the
operator is used to “invert” the results:
not foo” will list all documents that
do not contain “foo”.
NEAR operator is somewhat
more complicated; it succeeds only when the first parameter is
within a specified number of words of the second. For example,
foo near5 bar” will return a list of
files where the words “foo” and “bar”
occur within 5 words of each other. If
specified without a numeric parameter or with a parameter of 0,
the operator is equivalent to an
Operators are not
AND is equivalent
And. If you need to use an
operator in a search expression, put it in quotes:
foo "and" bar” will search for
documents containing “foo”, “bar”, and
Search terms are evaluated from left to
right. To specify a different order of evaluation, parentheses
may be used: “
foo AND (bar OR baz)”
will search for files that contain “foo” and
“bar” or “foo” and
“baz.”. If the parenthesis were omitted in this
example, it would match files containing either
“foo” and “bar” or “baz”
— a completely different search.
There are two wildcard characters: “*” and “?”. “*” is used to match zero or more characters. It can be used only at the end of a word. The “?” character is used to match a single character; it can occur anywhere but as the first character in a word. For example, “fo*” will match “fo”, “foo”, and “foobar”, while “fo?” will match “foo” but not “fo” or “foobar”. This is similar to what you may be familiar with when dealing with filenames.
In addition to the textual content of the indexed files, the search engine also tracks meta data embedded in the files. In the case of HTML files, this includes information contained in “meta tags.” Most of the content on this site has been created with the following tags to assist in searching:
A meta-tag search is specified by using the
category=help” will list all documents
tagged with “help” in the meta-data type
“category.” This, incidentally, is the way that
category and tag searches are implemented on the site.
The standard operators may be used in
conjunction with a meta data search, and meta data may be
searched for along with “normal” data:
tag=testing AND software”.
To search on a word that contains a
“=”, precede the “=” with a
“\” (backslash): “
tags\=3 AND x\=4 OR
Searching for a Phrase
To search for an exact phrase in a document
use double-quotes to delimit your search terms:
"search test"”. Note that you can
not use boolean search terms inside a phrase; everything
inside of the quotes is taken literally. The normal operators
can be used to construct compound search predicates that
include phrases, however.