Each match consists of:
- a score indicating match quality
- title line from matching file
- size for matching file's HTML
The score is an estimate of how well the query matched the file. This value varies between 1 and a 1,000 and is computed using -- to name a few rules -- the number of times the search query appears in the file, the total number of words in the file matched, and whether or not the query matches title or header tags.
The score is only an approximation, and may not always reflect the actual relevance of the page to the search query.
The search language supports searching using boolean operators or by individual words. The operators can be spelled out or symbols can be used instead. Wildcard matching is also supported. Case is not significant. Quoting of literal strings is not supported. The supported boolean operators are:
The boolean operators can be entered using the words or symbols shown in the table below:
Query Succeeds When
Both search term A and search term B are present
Either search term A is present, or search term B is present, or both are present
Search term is not present
Search term A is present and search term B is not present
Search term A is present or search term B is not present
Boolean Operators as Symbols or Words
The boolean operators can be spelled out, used as symbols, or used with a combination of the two. The following queries are all equivalent:
a and not b
a and ! b
a and ~ b
a & not b
a & ! b
a & ~ b
a &! b
a &~ b
Phrases uses quotes:
and allows you to match an exact phrase, such as "Ancestral Art". Remember that an unquoted string like:
is equivalent to:
Which is clearly not what is wanted.
Grouping uses parentheses:
and functions analogously to ordinary arithmetic. Just as
means "multiply five by twelve and then add three to the result" the query:
means "combine the result of finding all files containing term a and term b with the result of finding all files containing term c".
Individual words without any boolean operators are treated as a boolean "or
". This means that the query finds all files containing any of the words. So the query:
is equivalent to:
and matches all files containing either the word "pueblo
" or the word "anasazi
" or both words.
The star operator, "*
", matches any string of characters after that position in the word. For example:
matches the words
Boolean expressions allow you to create complex searches based on conjunction (both items must be present), disjunction (either item must be present), and negation (item must not be present).
A boolean or -- specified as "or" or "|" -- matches all files containing either of the search terms or both of them. Or, to use the complement, the result of a boolean or is the set of all files after those files not containing either term have been removed. The truth table is shown below:
A boolean and -- specified as "and" or "&" -- matches all files containing both search terms. The truth table is shown below:
A boolean not -- specified as "not" , "~", or "!", -- matches all files containing which do not contain the search term. Boolean negation inverts the logical truth of a term according to the table below:
Boolean negation is useful in narrowing searches because it excludes unwanted terms. Consider the query:
anasazi and not (navajo or mimbres)
which could also be expressed using symbols as:
anasazi &! (navajo | mimbres)
This query finds all files containing the word "anasazi" and then removes all files containing the words "navajo" or "mimbres". This kind of search may not always provide the desired results because a negated term may appear once in passing, and thereby cause the entire query to fail.
The search function is built on top of the free search engine utility SWISH-E
. The "Simple Web Indexing System For Humans - Enhanced" (SWISH-E) is a free search engine originally created by Kevin Hughes and enhanced (hence the "-e") by the Library of the University of California, Berkeley. Since Mr. Hughes was kind enough to release this useful package we felt we should thank him by adding a link so that others can make use of this handy tool.