[Xapian-discuss] Search queries with wildcards

Olly Betts olly at survex.com
Tue Dec 14 15:34:27 GMT 2004

On Tue, Dec 14, 2004 at 03:33:27PM +0100, Timo Haberkern wrote:
> i'm looking for a search engine for a new web appliaction that we are 
> developing at the moment. I took a first look at xapian and it looks 
> very promising. The only thing i need are searches with wildcards or 
> matchin subpatterns. I test it with the index of the xapian online page.
> - If i use "install" as search query i get 1 match
> - if i use "installing" as search query i get 3 matches

Um, I get 14 matches for both "install" and "installing".

But anyway, it's easy enough to implement a wildcarded search if you
wish.  Generally though, when people ask about wildcarded searching
it's because they want to be able to search for different forms of
the same word.  This is what stemming offers, and stemming is a better
choice in general, since it understands the rules of the language.
In some languages the base word changes as well as an ending being
added, and wildcarding doesn't help you there.

Wildcarding also often conflates totally unrelated words.  For example,
a search "ball*" looking for information about balls will match "ballad",
"ballet", and "ballyhoo" as well.


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