Meafilter Search option missing options July 19, 2002 12:13 AM   Subscribe

The MetaFilter Search option is initially only showing options (2)threads only, and (4)users, but the results page has all four options. Change, bug, already covered?
posted by mikhail to Bugs at 12:13 AM (10 comments total)


I was just going to limit stuff to threads and users only. The comment searches are really intense, and even with the new hardware, I didn't think it was smart to have people grepping through 300,000 comments anymore.

Also, I am aware of the messed up search result output, and will be working on that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:33 AM on July 19, 2002

You're eliminating comment searches? Aieee. I hope the reduced server load really makes up for the incredible utility of that function. It's something I use a lot.
posted by Marquis at 7:42 AM on July 19, 2002

How about limiting comment searches to one month? Google should have anything older than that.
posted by timeistight at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2002

I don't understand, you guys don't use Google for all your MeFi searching needs?
posted by bshort at 8:35 AM on July 19, 2002

i'm not really sure why comment searches would seem so useful. wouldn't thread searches be better? that way, you could focus on topics. but to answer your question marquis, yes, comment searches are really bad -- the search is linear, meaning every word in every comment is potentially searched. that's a lot of stuff. to be fair, the search function in use now was developed at a time when there wasn't a lot of content on the site and thus no need to spend time on something more complex.
posted by moz at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2002

I use comment searches for three things that I don't know how to do with Google:

1) When I want a chronologically-ordered search, not a 'relevance' search. (And, as a regular MeFi user who often intuits/remembers what he's looking for, the chronological ranking is often more useful than the relevance one.)

2) When I'm looking for posts that use HTML code of some sort (invisible comments, etc.)

3) When it's less than a couple of months old.
posted by Marquis at 9:37 AM on July 19, 2002

4) [related to 2] You can't search for in-comment links using Google.
posted by Marquis at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2002

i'm wondering, marquis, and i think someone else mentioned this (maybe tamim) -- would it be useful to have a URL search? like, if you were searching for a topic on mefi, but you only wanted links mentioned in the threads and comments?
posted by moz at 11:08 AM on July 19, 2002

Arr, it'd be pretty necessary (or desirable) if comment searches were removed. Is it that much more streamlined than a comment search, though? (Examine word, check if it's a link tag... examine next word...)
posted by Marquis at 11:15 AM on July 19, 2002


yah, i think it could be easier. the algorithm would be simple (at first blush):

- is this an a-href tag?
- if so, continue.
- is this a relative link, or a link back to metafilter? if so, ignore it.
- if not, the link should be archived as something searchable.

there's more text to go through with a search like this, but the pattern we're matching is much more infrequent than the way things work now (matching each word) keeping things somewhat speedy. that's assuming there is a need for this sort of application. there's an argument to be made that if the link you're looking for isn't in a thread, then its relevance may likely be marginal. maintaining a database according to comment would still be tedious, since there are many comments being posted in a day.
posted by moz at 11:37 AM on July 19, 2002

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