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Searching The Archives

Searching is pretty straightforward: usually you can just type the words you're looking for in the box above. This site used to use a rather odd search mechanism, but it's now changed to what you would expect most search engines like Google to accept. So you may just want to follow your nose. But here are some notes for those who want to do complex searches or still haven't found what they're looking for, just like poor Bono, who should have paid more attention to detail instead of just moaning about his lack of ability with search engines.

There are several different types of queries Bono could have done to achieve desired results, if only he'd been a bit cleverer:

Single term query

This query type specifies only one term for retrieving all documents which contain the term. e.g.,

cats

Dead simple.

AND query

This query type specifies two or more terms for retrieving all documents which contain both terms. You can insert the and operator between the terms. e.g.,

cat and kaboodle

You can omit the and operator as it's assumed. Terms which are separated by one ore more spaces is assumed to be an AND query anyhow.

OR query

This query type specifies two or more terms for retrieving all documents which contain either term. You should insert the or operator between the terms. e.g.,

cat or dog

If you want to search for the word or, you can put it and other terms below in quotes - see the bottom of the page.

NOT query

This query type specifies two or more terms for retrieving all documents which contain a first term but don't contain the following terms. You insert the not operator between the terms to do NOT look for something. e.g.,

cat not dog

Grouping

You can group queries by surrounding them by parentheses. The parentheses should be separated by one or more spaces. e.g.,

( cat or dog ) and meow not woof

Phrase searching

You can search for a phrase which consists of two or more terms by surrounding them with double quotes like "..." or with braces like {...}. This nearly always works. e.g.,

{maine coon cat}

or

"maine coon cat"

Substring matching

There are three types of substring matching searching.

Prefix matching
cat* (terms which begin with cat)
Inside matching
*fight* (terms which contain fight)
Suffix matching
*dog (terms which terminated with dog)

Regular expressions

If you know what a regexp is, you should be ashamed of yourself, but if you do... you can use regular expressions for pattern matching. The regular expressions must be surrounded by slashes like /.../. Namazu uses Ruby's regular regular expressions engine. It offers generally Perl compatible flavor. e.g.,

/cat(food|egorie)s?/

Field-specified searching

You can limit your search to specific fields such as Subject:, From:, Message-Id:. It's especially convenient for Mail/News documents. e.g.,

Notes


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