Help talk:Extension:AdvancedSearch

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Feedback and discussion page for the AdvancedSearch feature. (talkcontribs)

Your new interface is very good! -livrewikier irice7350-

2A01:E0A:576:B560:E445:B3F7:A4E7:46F0 (talkcontribs)

no results : strange as people exist !! (talkcontribs)

I'm finding it crisper and easier to navigate

Reply to "Hmmmm."

Is it possible to modify the namespaces selected by default?

Summary by Christoph Jauera (WMDE)

Manual:$wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefault can be used to define the default namespace pre-selected in the search form. (talkcontribs)

I've tried the follow and various forms to add a namespace to the default selected list


Any help appreciated.

Christoph Jauera (WMDE) (talkcontribs)


The namespace selected by default ( as part of the default search name space ) is defined by this variable: Manual:$wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefault independent from the AdvancedSearch extension. If you change that ( e.g. by removing main and adding something else ) you should get what you need. :-) (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Is it possible to modify the namespaces selected by default?"

search function does not work

7 (talkcontribs)

does not work..., i only get the prompt "A database query error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software." please advise (talkcontribs)

Same problem! Search function does'nt work with any words other than headlines.

Christoph Jauera (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hej, AdvancedSearch only provides a better interface for the search. For most of its features it depends on the underlying Help:CirrusSearch extension. So please first make sure that CirrusSearch is setup and works. (talkcontribs)

Could you kindly explain how it works. I could not find it out

2603:7000:C00:7300:7D95:DAF:9EF6:6F38 (talkcontribs)

I have been using this for a year and suddenly the search function doesn't work. (talkcontribs)

For me the same problem. I have not understand the Cirrus extension. Christoph could you kindly explain

Christoph Jauera (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

General issues with the search results or errors showing when executing a search, like stated above, are very most likely not related to AdvancedSearch.

If your wiki has CirrusSearch set up it might be related to issues there. Please ask the maintainers there then onExtension talk:CirrusSearch. Otherwise you might also find help on the more general help page for the search feature Help talk:Searching.

Information on how to install CirrusSearch on your wiki and set it up correctly can you find here: Extension:CirrusSearch

Reply to "search function does not work" (talkcontribs)

Is it possible to sort by date desc?

Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Search" (talkcontribs)


This interface is working well for me. Thank you for your work on here.


Linda v.

Reply to "Interface Use"

How it's working for me in here.

1 (talkcontribs)

So far so good. Just have to remember where everything is and when I should use it. :-)

Thanx....... Lynder

Reply to "How it's working for me in here."

Why the heck do I keep getting redirect here from the tree Id website!!!

1 (talkcontribs)

All I want to do is find out what sort of tree I got sold by the wrong name. It's definitely not a ribbon wood!

Reply to "Why the heck do I keep getting redirect here from the tree Id website!!!"

would be nice to support negatives, hastemplate

קיפודנחש (talkcontribs)

specifically, for "incategory" and "deepcategory" (i.e., pages _not in_ category X)

also, would be nice to support "hastemplate"

often times, you want to find pages in category X which do not include template Y and vice versa.

as a side: we tried to build the "poor man's version" of this feature in hewiki years ago, and it didn't take. this implementation is way more usable, and i believe many users will find it very helpful. kudos!


Billinghurst (talkcontribs)

Good points. For the Wikisources where we more broadly utilise namespaces for content, and prescribe various templates for each namespace, this would be most useful.

For instance I was looking to identify pages in the Author: namespace that did not have the s:en:Template:Author, or not categorised into s:en:Category:Authors by alphabetical order. One would think that would be a reasonably easy query, I didn't find it so. [Yes, search is often more designed for reading and finding, not maintenance, that I understand.]

Birgit Müller (WMDE) (talkcontribs)
Birgit Müller (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi @קיפודנחש, thank you very much for the encouraging feedback :-) Regarding your suggestion: Generally, we wanted to provide an interface that is not overloaded to make it easy to use. Especially representing both + and - in a way that the interface stays clean is quite tricky, though it sounds like a use case people would often have. During the beta feature phase, we hope to learn more about the searches people are especially interested in, and we might look into supporting negatives later in the course of the beta phase. Nethertheless, you can still use all specific search options by typing them manually into the search field - I hope that helps for now! Best, Birgit

Colin M (talkcontribs)

Not sure I follow this line of reasoning. The negation operators (-, ! and NOT) already exist and work with most search terms. Help:CirrusSearch says Truth-logic understands - or ! prefixed to a term to invert the usual meaning of the term from "match" to "exclude". and later A filter can have multiple instances, and negated instances. I would argue that making these operators work for deepcat and hastemplate makes search less complex, not more. There's less cognitive overhead in learning "I can put - before a search term to invert it" vs. "I can put - before most search terms to invert them, except for terms using the deepcat, and hastemplate filters".

קיפודנחש (talkcontribs)

thanks. i've been using the manual typing thing for a while now, and will probably continue to do so. one down-side of doing it manually is you miss cool new un-advertised features, like "deepcat", which i wanted for the longest time, and was not aware it was added (was it advertised somewhere, when i wasn't looking?)


Birgit Müller (WMDE) (talkcontribs)

Hi @קיפודנחש, you're right, that helps a lot to make the existing options more visible. Out of the same reason, we wanted to have info boxes next to the search fields, so that people can learn about the search syntax, and can find the Cirrus search help page for more information. About deepcategory: It is a fairly new keyword and still work in progress, this is why it only got announced via the discovery mailinglist. I think it would make sense to advertise it more broadly once more work is done, or announce it via the AdvancedSearch updates. About the work in progress: Not all category trees in the different wikis are indexed yet. That means that the "pages in these categories" field works for deep category searches on enWP, heWP, deWP ... among others, thereas it works like "incategory" on others. Category trees of more wikis are planned to be indexed soon, so that they can be searched within the given limits in more wikis (a hint about that will be added to the infobox for the keyword on AdvancedSearch with next week's software update). Regarding supporting negatives: I filed phabricator tickets so that we have it on our radar: T194449 and T194448. Thanks again for the suggestion :-)

קיפודנחש (talkcontribs)

one confusing term people often use is "category tree". the categorytree extension is nice and useful, but really, there is nothing in wiki categories that stipulates a tree structure. i'm not talking about the fact that people use the ward "tree" when they really mean DAG ("directional acyclic graph"), but about the fact that it's not even a DAG: there is no reason to assume the category graph is acyclic. directed cycles can, and sometimes do exist in the category directional graph.


This post was hidden by ToBeFree (history)
Colin M (talkcontribs)

Just to clarify, I want to point out that, contrary to the original post, negation does work for the incategory: filter. For example, on enWP incategory:"Musicals" -incategory:"Lists of musicals" correctly returns the 5 articles which are in category "Musicals" but not in category "Lists of musicals". Not sure if original poster was mistaken about this, or if it's been fixed in the 2 years since.

קיפודנחש (talkcontribs)

Thanks. to clarify: the request was to add the negation (which, as you noted, exists in the search logic itself) to the "advanced-search" feature. the advanced search is a gui, or "menu driven" tool that lets you use dialog boxes and menus to build the search pattern. this interface does not support the "not" modifier.

IOW, click on the magnifying glass icon, and then open the "advance-search" drop down. this request is to add support for "not" logic to this interface.

i think your statement "contrary to the original post", points to misunderstanding of the original post.

(btw: if you read the original request, you'll note that i asked, in addition to the "not" logic, to also add the "hastemplate" magic-search-phrase. note that this part of the request _was_ fulfilled, i believe long time ago).


Colin M (talkcontribs)

Ah, okay, yeah, in that case I totally misunderstood this post. I encountered an issue where negating a deepcat query (directly via the query syntax) wasn't working, and came across this thread when searching phabricator for related issues. Though after some more experimentation, it seems to be less an issue of "negation isn't working with deepcat" and more "deepcat is generally broken". I filed task T238686 with some examples.

Reply to "would be nice to support negatives, hastemplate"

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.

This post was hidden by Michael Schönitzer (WMDE) (history)
Reply to "I like the older Advanced Search feature better"

Hard to select namespaces

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"