Add search synonyms

I have been reading a lot here lately and see that ‘post’ and ‘reply’ seem to be used somewhat interchangeably.

If this were done, it would result in fewer bothersome questions when someone uses the wrong one of the two for their searching before they ask a question with a new topic (LOL it just happened to me, ‘delete post after’ did not produce the same results as ‘delete reply after’…)

Hence my topic question…

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Reply and post are not 100% interchangeable. In most usage we see here on Meta they are, but not always.

I’d suggest reviewing Discourse New User Guide, which describes what a post is. A reply is any post that is not the OP.


But I would rather find what I am searching for even if I do not know the correct terminology.

For those more ‘in the know’, would they not still have the option of doing explicit searches with quotes around their explicit term of interest, for example “reply” :question:

Thanks, I will read that but do many other people read that before they make new topics here?

So, I read the ‘Discourse New User Guide’ and I am unable to find any explicit definition of ‘reply’.

But as I have quoted you above, a ‘reply’ is necessarily a ‘post’, so when someone searches for ‘post’ all ‘reply’ matches should also be presented…

Whether, a search for ‘reply’ should bring up all ‘post’ entries is also unknown after reading that guide.

So, I would still like to have the request of this topics’ title, acted upon. (but again, that is only my opinion)

A reply is necessarily a post but some posts are not replies so searching on post should not automatically add the reply search term.

If your preference is satisfied then it will annoy other users like myself who are only searching for post and not reply.


But you are obviously ‘in the know’ and would likely just use an explicit search term without bothering people here with a new topic about why so many search results for ‘post’ are showing up in your ‘reply’ searches.

Regardless of the semantics of post/reply — adding synonyms to search isn’t something that can be configured in Discourse at the moment.


Ok, that shuts me up :wink: but perhaps there should be a way to add them, I predict it could lessen the burden on the good people who respond to newbies on this great forum :slight_smile:

Actually, I do general searches and then follow relevant links that have some overlap with what I’m searching for.

Search engines have an idea of which links are followed. Discourse has something similar. “Suggested messages” at the end of the topic are a fruitful source of relevant topics not directly related to the specific search terms.

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I am recategorizing it as #feature the feature request is pretty clear to me. It is asking for a place in the UX to define custom synonyms.

Postgres technically supports synonyms per:

So if you wanted to get your gloves off and be mega technical you could wire something today, but I agree that some time in the future adding a UI to allow mods to define this may be interesting.

Not putting a #pr-welcome on this cause it is complicated and would take quite a while to get right with possible limited benefit.

Timeframe wise I would say this is something I expect not to get to in the next year and probably to get to within the next 5 years.


Congratulations Dale :partying_face:


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