Why can't the wiki recognise and prioritise search strings properly?

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15 Apr 2018, 11:16

This is something I've noticed forever ago, but I figured I'd finally just ask.

So suppose I want to look up the, whatever, Chicony KB-5161. So, I type "chicony kb-5161" in the search box, and it gives me, in order;

Chicony KB-5181
Chicony KB-5182
Chicony KB-5160
Chicony KB-5591
Chicony KB-5191
Chicony KB-5581
Chicony KB-5582
Chicony KB-5192
Chicony KB-9600
Chicony KB-5331
Chicony KB-5981
Chicony KB-5161

It's the twelfth search result. Let's try the Focus FK-9000:

Focus FK-5001
Focus FK-2001
Focus FK-3001
Focus FK-8000
Focus FK-9200
Focus FK-9000

Number six. Ortek MCK-101:

Ortek MCK-18
Ortek MCK-84FX
Ortek MCK-84SX
Ortek MCK-84
Ortek MCK-22
Ortek MCK-101

Again, number six. This basically happens every time there's a lot of strings that look like each other.

It's weird, there's clearly strings that conform better to the search string than the ones preceding, but it doesn't seem to prioritise them. Is there a reason for this?

User avatar
Wild Duck

15 Apr 2018, 11:31

It's just a bit shit and simple and seems to do not assign extra weight when the search words are in the title. It looks for both search words, and finds both "chicony" and "kb-5161" in all those articles. It works a bit better when you search for a phrase and enclose it in quotes, but then you'd need to know the exact phrase. All we can hope for is for mediawiki to improve over versions.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

15 Apr 2018, 12:55

The search box at the top right provides autocomplete on page titles, but it is case-sensitive from the second character onwards (i.e. you can type "chicony KB-5161" or "Chicony KB-5161" but not "chicony kb-5161"). I generally use that box, rather than run full searches.

You can use quotes around search, but then you get:

Create the page ""chicony kb-5161"" on this wiki!

Note the double double quotes, i.e. it thinks that the quotes are part of the page title. I have a feeling I did once create a page with quotes in the name after I missed that.

Searching for images is even worse!

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