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J. L. HUDSON, SEEDSMAN, BOX 337, LA HONDA, CALIFORNIA 94020-0337 USA

Match term(s) in J.L. Hudson Search Index:

Guidelines for Successful Searches
By Mike Olds

Some general information about performing a successful search. These tips will help your searches with most search engines on the web.

Contents:
Just click on the links to jump to these sections.
Basic Search Rules

Using "ANY" or "ALL"

Use Boolean Logic

"+", Boolean "AND"

"|", Boolean "OR"

"-"
, Boolean "NOT"

Using Quote marks to Search for Phrases

Using Wild-Cards "*"

Other ways to search

Basic Search Rules

This search engine helps you find documents on this website that contain information you wish to research. You tell the search engine what you're looking for by typing in key words, or phrases in the search form. The search engine responds by giving you a list of all the Web pages in the index relating to those topics. The most relevant content will appear at the top of your results. My personal belief is that these search engines do not yet really serve us well in that they do not take one to the exact spot in a file where the citation occurs. Until the time that they do, I suggest that after you have gone to a page that was listed by the search engine as containing the word or phrase you are searching for, you may use the "Find" function, under the "Edit" button of your browser, to seek out the exact spot of your reference on the page.

The Three Types of Searches:
ANY, ALL, and a limited, modified form of Boolean.
But first: This search engine is case-insensitive and accent insensitive (and the operators "AND", "NOT" and "OR" MUST be typed in as "+" for AND, "-" for NOT and "|" for "OR"; there is no recognition of parenthesis for nested search criteria). All words are mapped to lower case on indexing AND in the query parser, so you can't match the case style or accents used in the document. You can use spaces, numbers, punctuation marks, dashes, underscore lines, and slashes.

Using "ANY" or "ALL"
Use "ALL" when you want your search results to cite pages in which each and every single word listed is found somewhere on the page cited.
Use "ANY" when you want your search results to cite pages in which any OR all of the words listed are found somewhere on the page cited.
The operators "+", "-" and "|" can be used with, and take precedence over either the "ALL" or "ANY" type search. A word without an operator in an "ANY" search will revert to the "|" ("OR") that is the meaning of the "ANY" setting.
Use "ANY" without any operators when a search using "ALL", or "ANY" with operators, has failed to produce results.

Use Boolean Logic (limited!) to narrow a search.
A little technical history: Boolean Logic is a symbolic logic system named after the Englishman, Afaik Boole, who wrote an article called "An Investigation in the Laws of Thought" (1854), which dealt with "classes" which was the basis for the work of Dr. Claude Elwood Shannon, an American mathematician and computer scientist, which proved that Boole's logic could be used with relays and switches, which is only a short hop, skip and a jump to linking words together in various ways to sharpen the focus of searches.

The Fluid Dynamics search engine uses a simple parser (a set of rules for recognizing types of items in a document—words, numbers, HTML tags, URLs, etc—and sorts them into units that a program is able to manipulate) that knows how to deal with "+", "-", "|", wild cards "*", and quotation marks"""" (use quotes to require full phrase search and very limited approximation of a nested search criteria). The result of the parser is one match criterion.

If you are going to use the modified "Boolean" logic available on this search engine, place the operator ("+"...) in front of and adjacent to the word it is modifying (e.g.: +word +word = Boolean "word AND word"). (And note that "+" in this instance means "this word MUST appear on the page" whereas the "-" means "this word MUST NOT appear on the page"—examples of several basic search criteria types follow.)

"+", Boolean "AND"
+word +word = both words must appear in the document
Examples: +San +Francisco, +First +Lastname, +Boolean +Logic
Example: +sunflower +red

"|" Boolean "OR" (or use ANY without operators)
word |word = use this to find variations on or expansions of a word or concept, documents with either word will appear in the search results
Examples: cooks |chefs; cooks |recipes; recipes |cookies
Example: firewood |fuelwood |charcoal

"-", Boolean "NOT"
word -word = Note that the operator "-" is used as the word 'without' and requires a search-word on either end: You cannot write "cat +-dog" but you can write "cat -dog".
Examples: stocks -soups; bonds -bail; bail -hay
Example: name -address;

Using Quote marks to Search for Phrases
Use double quote marks "word phrase" for full phrase searches. For example use "finely divided leaves" to find any case where all three words occur together in that order where without the quotation marks the results would be of any instance of the occurrence of any one, or two, or three of the words separately or together and in any order.
Use quote marks to form groups with other words or phrase-groups.
Example: +"fast growing" +"impenetrable hedge". The words "fast growing" must be found together, and together (on the same page) with the phrase "impenetrable hedge". But this will include any page where they occur - this means that one plant on the page may say "fast growing" and another will be "impenetrable hedge", so it won't necessarily find just one plant with both these qualities, a limitation of the search engine.
Example: +"San Francisco" -Fran; "Los Angeles" |LA +smog

Using Wild-Cards "*"
Use wildcards to search for words where portions of the word are variable or unknown. Any word with the known letters plus any other letters will be included in the results.
Example: shrub* = will find shrub, shrubby, shrublet, shrublets, etc.
Example: germ* = will find germ, germs, germaine, German, Germany, germinates, germination, etc.

Other ways to search

Searching for web addresses:
If your search term is a URL, like " http://www.econbot.org ", this search engine will redirect you directly to the URL. To avoid this behavior, and do an actual search with the URL as the search term, to find where that URL is mentioned on this site, enclose the URL in double-quotes.

text:yourwordshere

Finds pages that contain the specified text in any part of the page other than an image tag, link, or URL. The search text:ultraviolet would find all pages with the term "ultraviolet" in them.

title:yourwordshere

Finds pages that contain the specified word or phrase in the page title (which appears in the title bar of most browsers). The search title:perishable would find pages with "perishable" in the title.

url:yourwordshere

Finds pages with a specific word or phrase in the URL (good for searching Forum topics). Use url:"Leg Muscles and Attachment" to find all pages that have that phrase in the path, or filename - the complete URL, in other words.


Many thanks to Michael Olds for these search tips.


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