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Advanced Search Answered

If this already exists and I just can't find it, please inform.  Otherwise please, please provide an advanced search feature.  What apparently exists is far too primitive for a site as diverse and and at the same time special interest as Instructables.

For starters I suggest the following simple and easily remembered scheme:

 - single word search terms
 - conjunction of terms using + to create multi-word atomic search terms
 - logical connections of terms and groupings using &, | and ~
 - grouping with ()
 - arbitrary prefix, suffix and infix using * as the last, first or both
 - escape of these search characters using \

For example (using " " for expository purposes only):

  raspberry+pi -- matches the two consecutive terms "raspberry pi"
  raspberry+(pi | pie) -- matches either "raspberry pi" or "raspberry pie"
  (raspberry+pi) & nas -- matches if the terms "raspberry pi" and "nas" appear anywhere
  (raspberry+pi) & (nas | server) -- you guess
  *dog -- matches words with "dog" as the last three characters
  dog* -- matches words with "dog" as the first three characters
  *dog* -- matches words with the three characters "dog" anywhere in them

A way, unspecified yet, to apply the query to title, summary or body of the project and some combination thereof.

Further suggestions invited.  This would make the site so much more useful for finding solutions.  Implementation of the suggested scheme would occupy a good coder for about half a day.  Great project for an intern.  :-)

As an advanced advanced search the use of full regular expressions would be incredible and there exist numerous public domain regex implementations (not sure about Javascript) that could be easily incorporated (wrote a complete one myself in C 30 years ago and it was surprisingly compact.)



The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

6 years ago

Thank you! I had created an informative reply on how to use the standard google search box for complex queries, which I had forgotten about, and some links to instruction but I must have clicked the wrong place to post it because this site threw it all away. Alas.


6 years ago

It would be useful if we at least had just one search tool, rather than three separate ones, and if it could also search for members & their profiles.


6 years ago

I suggest using http://www.google.com/advanced_search and putting instructables.com as the site. Search seems to be a perennial headache on this site, which is a little odd given the importance of external search to traffic here.