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Search UI Overhaul
Currently the search function is severely limited. Right now you can:
- Match all keywords, one of a selection of keywords, or an exact search for a phrase, with wildcards, weighted keywords, and negations supported
- Match score, votes, or age requirement
What isn't supported that strongly needs to be:
- Activity requirement: Show all posts which have/have not been active within a given time range, regardless of when they were created
- Tags: These really really need to be supported. Suppose I want to see all
[feature-request]questions, giving priority to the ones not tagged
[status-*]and ignoring the ones tagged
[status-completed], and only ones which mention the words
Codidactyl. There's currently no way to do that; browsing by tag doesn't allow you to add other restrictions on top.
- Category: If you search for a term which returns results from multiple categories on the same site, all results are mixed together, with no way to differentiate between category from the search results page.
- Post Type: If a query matches multiple post types, there's a note beneath all search results displaying the post type (question, answer, or article). There should be a search query option for
In addition to the above (and I don't know if this is sufficiently its own suggestion to merit its own post, or whether it would make the above easier or harder to implement), the current syntax can be clunky at times. As with any coding language, it doesn't take too much for someone to get completely the wrong results, and then spend the next hour scratching his head wondering where he went wrong.
In addition to my requests above, I have a proposal: If you're just searching for keywords, have a regular search bar (while we're at it — maybe as a pop-up on the previous page, rather than navigating to a separate search page?), but instead of the current advanced search workflow, have it as a form. So there'd be a text box where you type in all your keywords, in order of priority (or click here to ignore precedence); a text box where you select the date range for post creation; a checklist for post type; etc. I feel this would greatly enhance the search feature and make it more accessible to as many users as possible.