How to search the Avlis Forum

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by Tissa

To help support Velvet's great idea I thought I would toy with the search and start a thread listing what I find. Hopefully this can be a point to gather ideas, hints, and tips from other users of the Avlis search tools. Also we could post things that we have tried to search for (along with any options we used) and had undesirable results


Avlis Forum Search Hints and Tips

Basic Search of Avlis Forums

From any page on the Avlis web site, under the banner you should have a list of options:

 Portal | Board Index | FAQ | Wiki | Bug Tracker | Search | Members | New messages | Log out [ username ]

Click Search, it will take you to the avlis forum Search page. If you have a specific single word to describe exactly what you're looking for type it into the Search Query : Search for Keywords : field and hit the |Search| button (near the bottom of the page). This will take you to a results page listing all the threads containing your word in the topic or at least in the body of one of the posts. At the top of the page it will display the total matches found. The list will be sorted by post time, the thread with the most resent post being first (note the most resent post may have nothing to do with what you are searching for.)

Important things to note about Avlis forum search engine:

  • The search engine ignores all capitalization.
  • The search engine ignores the order and location of the words in the post when you give it more than one, so it can't find specific phrases.
  • Without wildcards the search engine only finds exact matches. For example the search engine treats "dryads" and "dryad" as different words.
  • You can give it part of a word with a wildcard.

Controlling your Search

Choosing Keywords :

  • Avlis forum searches are NOT case sensitive.
  • For example, searches for "dryad", "Dryad", and "dRyAd" will all return the same results.
  • The order of the key words is not relevant
  • There is no way to search for a phase
  • All the words must appear in a single post
  • Try the obvious first. If you're looking for information on Gorethar, enter "gorethar" rather than "deities ".
  • Use specific words to describe exactly what you're looking for. More general terms will give a larger number of results.
  • Use words likely to appear on a post with the information you want. "inn elysia" gets better results than "available places to spend the night in Elysia"
  • Make sure to watch for words with more than one meaning. If you're looking for information on modeling, make sure you specify "fashion" or "clay."


Making sure you find everything you are looking for (Using Wildcards):

It is important to note the search will match whole words. So dryad will not match dryads. To make it match both enter dryad* as the keyword. This will match dryad followed by zero or more characters. Also dryad will not match half-dryad we could do *dryad but having the wildcard at the front of the word seems to make the search take a lot longer and it might be faster to do with multiple keywords. You can also input *dryad* to get dryad no matter how it is imbedded in the message, but again doing this is very slow. Other uses of wildcards could be to allow alternate spellings and forms such matching ?Gorethar?, ?Gorethan?, and ?Gorethite? in which case you could use ?Goreth*?.

Using multiple keywords:

First off lets look at trying to find a specific phrase, for example say we want to find out if there is any information on a drangonari language. If we enter Drangonari language into the keyword field and hit the search button we will match every post that has either word in it (in my last search this was 483 matches). Now what we want

If we enter deities family relations and hit the search button we will find every topic that containing just one of the words deities, family or relations any where in them (which in my last search was 871). If we click the radio button ?search for all terms? we will only match those topics that contain all three words in a single post or topic heading. (there was only one when I did the search) So to do the half-dryad* dryad*

Limiting your search to a specific Forum or group of Forums:

Using the forums and the ten forum categories provides another way to target the exact results you're looking for.

  • The Avlis Project [NwN]
  • Avlis News
  • The Avlis Project: General Discusion
  • The Avlis Project: World Information
  • The Avlis Project: Information
  • The Avlis Project: In Character
  • Avlis Taverns
  • Avlis Marketplace
  • Journal
  • The Avlis Project: Private Discussions
  • Avlis Classes and Styles
  • Avlis Guilds and Groups
  • Avlis Armies and Fiefdoms
  • The Avlis Project: Development
  • The Avlis Project Development
  • Avlis Polls
  • The Avlis Project: Ask the Team
  • General Forums
  • NWN General Discusion
  • NWN Scripting
  • Random Discussions
  • Rants & Raves

If you are getting too much information try focusing on a single forum that might be best suited for you query. Say you want to find all the wedding announcement that have been posted in Elysia. You could enter wed* announcement* and ?

For example let us say we want to look at all the times something has been attacked and there was a call to take up arms. We could enter the keywords attacked arms and then since we want to look at the actual in character posts lets focus on the Taverns by clicking on the drop down box Category: and select Avlis Taverns

Limiting you search based on time of last post

This is a very good thing to do if you know what you are looking for didn?t exists before some time.

Arranging the output

Google Search of Avlis Froum

Logo_40wht.gif Basic Search

Go here http://www.google.com and enter what you wish to search for followed by "site:avlis.org" and click Google Search. For example

"Cha'reth" site:avlis.org

Logo_40wht.gif Advanced Search

Click here and enter avlis.org in the Domain field.

Look here for tips and help on using Google advanced search.


How to set up a Google Avlis Forum Search Firefox Quicksearch Bookmark

Although this is more about Firefox than Avlis search, this is a very useful feature.

Go to "Manage Bookmarks," create a new bookmark, name it something useful, paste this line as Loaction (Without quotes):

"http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&as_qdr=all&q=%s+site%3Aavlis.org&btnG=Search"

Under keyword, assign something useful and short to it. Example: asearch; avlis;

Now, you can type your keyword into the adress bar, followed by a space, then your search.

For example, if my keyword was "avlis," if I typed "avlis Ghost Elves," this page this page would show.