Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Improved tag searching

I’ve improved the tag searching. You can now ask for things like:

  • birds, beasts — all books tagged both birds and beasts
  • +birds +beasts — another way to say the same thing
  • +birds -beasts — all books tagged birds but not tagged beasts
  • greek* — all book with tags starting with “greek” (eg., “greek”, “greek history,” etc.)
  • * history — all books ending with “history” (eg., “greek history,” “roman history”)
  • *dog*, -fiction — all books with the word “dog” somewhere in the tags, excluding fiction

Announcing a decent tag search for LibraryThing is a bit like announcing that I’m finally using deoderant under one arm. “What about the other arm?” Well, the regular search function is still quite suboptimal, but I’m working on it. I’ve got to fiddle with some internals to do it.

I’d love to hear people on the topic. It’s clear to me that there should be a link in the catalog view to search that catalog. That functionality is already there. But should the search tab do the same thing, displaying every matching book and user in the catalog view? This seems an admirable way of looking at your books, but pretty poor when looking at others. I’m thinking the search should go instead to a page like the tag or author pages, that “rolls up” all the copies under a single book title. Clicking on the book title on that page would take you to the book-detail pages, but there would also be a link to see the books in the catalog. Hmm…

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