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  Search for user doesn't quite work properly

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

If I click users at the top right, then search for a user profile by putting their name in the search box, I get another page with another search user box with no results returned. However, if I again put in the user name, I get the correct profile.

This is a little confusing because the first page returned gives the impression that a profile for that user doesn't exist.

Also, it would be nice if I can type in one word, and get back user names that contain the name either in the Christian or surname. At the moment, I have to type in the whole name correctly, although it ignores capitals which is a step in the right direction.

asked Jul 11, 2014 in Feature Request by physicsnewbie (-20 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Jul 26, 2014 by dimension10

2 Answers

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

@physicsnewbie The best way to search for a user is the 'Search User' field at the left of the navigation bar, which starts our own plugin. Searching for a misspelled or incomplete name is a science itself. It is an additional difficulty, if also nicknames or even only numbers are used as usernames. Three algorithms are commonly used to compute the similarity between two names: Soundex, Levenshtein-distance and similar_text (PHP). The first one is a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound, developed originally for names, while the others are normally just used for text strings. I tired all of them, but only similar_text gave some useful but not yet satisfactory results. There exist improvements of the Soundex algorithm, one of them called Metaphone, but I did not yet try them because of lack of time. If anybody knows about better algorithms, please tell me.

answered Jul 20, 2014 by polarkernel (0 points) [ no revision ]
+ 1 like - 0 dislike

I have fixed the first problem by changing the widget to a simple link styled like a textbox.

The second requested feature already exists, If I understand what it means (I don't know what a "Chirstian name" is). It searches for "similar names".

answered Jul 18, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]

A great improvement, but why when I do a search for "dimension", I'm offered "wittensdog" as a close match as well as dimension10?

In the West, people have names like John Smith, where John is the Christian part, Smith the surname part. So if I did a search on "motl", I should get back users names like "motl lubos" or "lubos motl"

I think it already does that.

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