Complex Search Hints

Here are some hints for using the Complex Search Form. The purpose of the form is to combine several search methods into a single search. Before using this form, you should familiarize yourself with the following search methods:

Scoring Criteria

This portion of the form allows you to specify up to five search criteria in order to find the registration(s) of interest to you. A certain number of registrations will match each criterion. Usually, the result of a complex search consists of all registrations which match one or more of the criteria specified.

In a search with multiple criteria, you may only be interested in registrations which match all the criteria. These are, of course, included in the result. To make these registrations easy to locate, each item in the search result is given a score based on how many criteria it satisfied. Items matching all the criteria naturally have the highest score; when you sort the results by their score, you can easily locate these items.

Sometimes you may want to give some criteria more weight than others. For instance, suppose you are looking for a registration connected the name "Alaric" which probably contains a chief (but you're less certain of the charge). In this case, you want the search results to appear in the following order:

  1. registrations containing "Alaric" and a chief
  2. registrations containing "Alaric" but no chief
  3. other registrations
You can achieve this results by giving the name pattern criterion a weight of 20 and the armory-description search a weight of only 10.

There are currently four methods available for specifying criteria:

Maximum Number of Items to Display

You can control the size of your search result by typing a number of items (1-500) in this box. If you do not fill in the box, at most 25 items will be displayed. Note that there is a built-in limit of 500 items, which you cannot override.

Display Options

You can specify how you want your search results sorted. Currently there are two options: by name and by date. It is usually easiest to find names when they are sorted by name. You might want to sort by date if you know that the item you are looking for is particularly old.

You can also specify whether you want dates shown in modern style (Common Era year/A.D.) or SCA style (Anno Societatis). The SCA calendar marks time from the "First Tournament" (1 May 1966) and its years are traditionally noted in Roman numerals.

Submitting the Search

The button at the bottom of the form marked "search for items matching the name pattern" is used to launch the search. The server takes no action until you press the button.

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