Help talk:Extension:AdvancedSearch

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Feedback and discussion page for the AdvancedSearch feature.

I like the older Advanced Search feature better

George Ho (talkcontribs)

I see that the newer Advanced Search feature will become default to many other wikis on November 28. However, 18,000+ enwiki users enabling the feature is not tremendous as another Beta Feature enabled by 80,000+ enwiki users. Also, the namespace selection window in the newer version is very small, making the scrolling more time-consuming than the older one. Moreover, I can simply type any -word OR something NOT anything, so I guess I'm a bit more advanced user than others probably.

Can the "Hide the improved version of the Advanced Search" be made please? Or what about asking the communities whether to enable the feature by default?

TheDJ (talkcontribs)

You can organise a vote in advance and create a ticket linking to consensus that you dont want it. As always.

George Ho (talkcontribs)

At en-WP's Village Pump, right? Or what about meta-wiki's central forum? Or where else?

Wargo (talkcontribs)

If for one wiki only - locally.

George Ho (talkcontribs)

However, the change would affect most users of all of the local wikis, so I was thinking every wiki.

Wargo (talkcontribs)

If you want to start discussion to affect only on enwiki you can start it on enwiki.

Wargo (talkcontribs)

Yes, communities will kill developers after they notice the change! And what Tech Ambassadors should say then? Will be possible to restore old interface in individual preferences?

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi George Ho! Thank you for your feedback to this extension. The feature can be very useful for new or not so tech-savvy users, which is something that test with users and feedback has shown repeatedly. But we understand that some more experienced users would prefer the previous interface. That’s why there will be an option to allow every user to disable the feature in their settings. Beside that the new interface also allows to use keywords in the main search-bar as before.

George Ho (talkcontribs)

I see the option "Don’t show the Advanced Search interface". I find it somewhat confusing or misleading; there is the "Advanced" button when the feature is opted-out. Can it be rephrased or something?

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

We are considering alternative names for the option, but are not sure yet about what it could be called. If you have ideas feel free to share with us.

George Ho (talkcontribs)

How about either "Hide the improved version of the Advanced Search interface" (similar to other "Hide the improved version of..." options) or "Revert back to old version of the Advanced Search interface"?

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

I created a phabricator-task for that: T213274 – this way it's on our radar. (talkcontribs)

I see some potential with the new search method, but am so used to old version I don't see need for change. However, is there not some way to give option to familysearch user to choose their direction of research up front and use the one they like, or are used to.

Reply to "I like the older Advanced Search feature better"
2601:680:C300:7D70:C406:BB0E:A9CB:D08E (talkcontribs)

Can't figure out how to use it. I'm hoping you return to the previous version...Soon.

2600:1700:FF90:D640:997E:253A:9E15:FD7A (talkcontribs)

This is impossible for me to find anything I"m looking for.

Reply to "I don't care for this new version."

This is terrible! Please go back to the previous version!

2600:1702:43B0:48A0:ED00:8A4F:7FBA:D5A5 (talkcontribs)

This is terrible!  Please go back to the previous version!

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Please describe the problem(s) you are encountering, otherwise we have no way to help you or others with any issues. Thanks.

Reply to "This is terrible! Please go back to the previous version!"
2601:603:4A7F:B9E8:8104:3041:4EA9:807A (talkcontribs)

I feel that information was more formatted in the old version; but made it easier because the format was so similar on all location I just feel lost....

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, can you describe which part of the search page do you mean? (talkcontribs)

Please put it back the way it was!!!

Last week I did a quick search, selected something to explore, followed the page references, and opened a book which I very much wanted to read. Had an internet/computer problem which made it necessary to start over -- and now I have spent over 2 hours trying to find what popped up in the first page of listings from my original search term.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, I'm not sure I understand your problem. Do you have a problem with the user interface or with the search results? We didn't change anything about the result of the search but only the graphical interface. (talkcontribs)

Oh good grief. I cannot even describe how much I hate this new version. Everything is harder to find and no longer "at a glance". (talkcontribs)

@Michael Schönitzer (WMDE), these users are all reporting "feedback" because the developers of this Advancedsearch extension added a "feedback" link to the special page, and so wikis that installed the version that included the feedback link, are coming here and providing feedback on third-party non-wikimedia wikis.

Perhaps making the purpose of this page clearer on the board description would help reduce this confusion (I wouldn't bet on it, but it is better than nothing).

2600:8805:9880:273:F136:7B1A:2B12:E72 (talkcontribs)

I totally agree. Put it back to the old version, this one is terrible. !!! Why must you change what is working?

I have typed in the name DALE and it keeps responding, do you want DAYS?

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

This is not related to this product at all.

Reply to "Prefer the old version"
2601:18A:100:F5BF:E8ED:738D:E6A8:ACE9 (talkcontribs)

First, I'm told that I don't have an account when I do have one -- I, of course, can't find it either nor can I find the topics that once were so easy to find. Keyword search for kinship calculator turned up references to Native American languages -- not helpful. The other site was easy to use and provided the information desired -- why "fix" it? (talkcontribs)

You're in the wrong wiki, it is more sensible to report that to familysearch wiki (apparently admins here overzealously removed the helpful summary added to direct you there).

Reply to "web design feedback"

New Interface Not as Helpful as Before

2600:8800:2900:C56:689F:AB67:5E25:BF89 (talkcontribs)

Can't find what I want in new way. (talkcontribs)

. . . and why do I seem to have automatically exited the Family Search Wiki to some "Media Wiki' page???

2600:1702:4170:CB60:6C02:EE49:B59:4DFA (talkcontribs)

I have found this a waste of time.

Reply to "New Interface Not as Helpful as Before"

hard to find parish and farm names

2 (talkcontribs)

In the old version, I put the name of a parish in the search engine and a number of choices would appear and I could easily figure out which was the appropriate one for my use. Also, if I didn't know the name of the parish a farm was found in, I would get a listing of parishes that had that farm name in it and could go from there.

Today I was trying this and all I got was that there wasn't anything available for the names I was seeking.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi, we didn't change anything about that behavior. That bug must be an independent issue. Can you try with another Browser and examples?

Reply to "hard to find parish and farm names"
YBG (talkcontribs)

it is really hard to select namespaces. Two ideas for improvement:

  1. Put the [x] box on the left hand side of the namespace. That way, if you want to delete a consecutive bunch of namespaces, it is just a matter of clicking multiple times in the same position.
  2. Change the drop-down into a two-column table format so that all of the talk pages are on the same line as their non-talk partner. Then you could scan the list much easier.

Thanks for considering!

Gryllida (talkcontribs)

I like the second idea. It is really helpful.

MichaelSchoenitzer (talkcontribs)

I realised this by adding the following CSS to my common.css:

.mw-advancedSearch-ui-itemMenuOptionWidget {
    display: inline-block;
    width: 46%;
    border-top: none;
    border-bottom: 1px solid #c8ccd1;
Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Thank you for this feedback – it's very valuable for us! We will investigate possible improvements of the namespace-selector. Are there some combinations of namespaces that you use very often?

YBG (talkcontribs)

Can't think of any namespace combos. But I did think of another feature - it would be really nice to be able to exclude subpages, either in all selected namespaces or perhaps on a namespace-by-namespace basis. There may be a way to do it now, but I haven't been able to figure out how.

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

I think it's currently not possible to exclude subpages. You can propose this to the Wikimedia Search Platform. They build the search, we just build the user-interface.

Reply to "Hard to select namespaces"

Issue:Temporary flash of search text

1 (talkcontribs)


It seems the advancedsearch temporarily stores its search text in the text area and then quickly removes it. This creates a jarring experience.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Go to


Note that just before it loads the advanced search interface it shows "bots intitle:test" temporarily. Then a few seconds later the intitle part is hidden. See, .


It just shows "bots" within the input box.


This may yet be another drawback of not implementing a critical interface using html, and building it using javascript. Aside from the "jumpy" nature of the loading, it also feels as if pushes the text from the input box to the "advanced parameters" area.

Reply to "Issue:Temporary flash of search text"
Summary by Michael Schönitzer (WMDE)

Hi, thank you for the proposal. I created a phabricator-task for it, so that we have all proposed improvements in one place:

Wargo (talkcontribs)

Add possibility to clear namespace selection to start selecting from scratch. Current method: click "All" to select all, then again to select none.