Search does not find a particular post (except when searching within topic)


(Christoph) #1

Nut sure if this is a bug, so I’m filing it as UX for the time being:

Consider this search: Search results for 'hubic' - Duplicati

The expected result is that the following post would at least be somewhere among the search results (Arguably, it should be among the top results, because it is probably the forum’s most liked post containing the search string, it definitely is the most liked post in its topic):

But the actual result is that this post does not come up in the search results at all. The post is obviously indexed with the search term because when I navigate to the Benchmarking different storage providers topic and search for “hubic” there, it is found.


(Mittineague) #2

Kind of, sort of. Perhaps not for a particular post within the topic, but the topic itself comes up.

You may not be seeing the topic for “relevance” but for “most viewed” it’s the third result and for “most liked” it’s the first.


(Christoph) #3

Good point. It didn’t occur to me that changing the sorting would yield different results. But I still don’t understand why the search yields the results it yields. So here’s my thinking:

To start with, I assume that the “sort by” field is for, well, sorting whatever was found in a particular order, i.e. that it does not change what was found.

I also understand that discourse limits the maximum number of (displayed?) search results to 500 (up until earlier this year it was 50). So, I can see that, in principle, the displayed search results can differ because the top 500 may differ depending on the sorting criteria.

But! This is only the case if there is an actual 501st post that is being cut off. If there are only a few posts that contain the search string (as is the case in my example), then the displayed search results should be identical regardless of the sorting order. Discourse clearly is not doing that because in the OP example, the number of hits actually differs, depending on the sort order. I don’t understand it.

To put it in more UX terms: discourse says at the end of maybe two dozen hits: “No more results found” which is either trivial (because we’re at the end of the results list) or wrong (because there clearly are more posts containing the search term).

In the old days, when discourse limited the total number of hits and cut off everything below the top whatever-it-was, I can see But


(Jeff Atwood) #4

That is not how search works — the most liked webpage with the most Facebook likes does not automatically get the highest search ranking. If you want ordering by likes, then select that in your search…


(Mittineague) #5

I think the difference is that between a “site” search and a “topic” search.

If I were searching for a particular post in a longer topic where “hubric” was in many of the posts, I would not want my site search to come up with only results from that topic.

Hopefully I would be able to recognize by the title or excerpts which topic I was interested in. Then I would go to that topic and do a topic search to find the post of interest.

I have a feeling what you’re expecting is that search will act more like Top but for posts.


(Christoph) #6

Why do you think that? Never mind how popular or well-liked the post in question is. And right now, I don’t care whether that post ranks high or low among the search results. I just want it to show up. Regardless of sorting order. Because there are just a few dozen posts containing the search term. Why not show all of them?

Let me make this explicit: out of the 5 ways of sorting search results, the post only shows up in two of them:

Relevance: not listed
Latest posts: listed
Most liked: listed
Most viewed: not listed
Latest topic: not listed


(Mittineague) #7

Only that I had the feeling you weren’t happy with the default sort order.

For experienced members, they could adjust the sort preference to better find what they’re looking for. But for a newer member that was searching for the “best” post, they might not think to try different sort filters and not see the result you hope they’d see.

If this is correct, I think there should be some way to have a default sort filter other than by relevance.


(Sam Saffron) #8

I think you were on to something here cause our search weighting definately needed a ton of love.

The new weighting and various search refinements made search far more accurate.

I am going to close this now since I can find your post and I think the underlying issue is resolved.


(Sam Saffron) #9