[Wasabi Proposal] XML desktop query language

Jean-Francois Dockes jean-francois.dockes at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 16 23:44:56 PST 2007

Jos van den Oever writes:
 > 2007/1/17, Jean-Francois Dockes <jean-francois.dockes at wanadoo.fr>:
 > > I think that the default should be to let the engine use stemming or not
 > > (it will be ON in most cases). Users just expect it. It would be
 > > inconvenient, for example, no to find plurals. Google does it, Wikipedia
 > > does it, is there any example of an engine that has stemming off by
 > > default ?
 > >
 > > The user will want to turn it off in specific cases, and a clever engine
 > > may turn it off sometimes (ie: when searching an author field).
 > >
 > > Jos is right that this is a tricky area, but having to search for
 > > (example OR examples) would come as a bit of a surprise for most
 > > people.
 > I get  the feeling that this is a point on which people will always
 > disagree, so I'll just say that my experience is difference. If I want
 > to look for both 'example' and 'examples', I use example*. You're
 > right that since some time Google has enabled stemming, so I have to
 > use '+example' quite often when I want to search. So we could vote on
 > having it on per default or not.

Ok, and I see that after checking, and to my surprise, neither Apple Search
Kit nor MSN Search seem to use stemming, so I guess that we either need an
interface to let the user set this kind of preference, or let the
backend use its own default.

 > Because stemming can be turned on and off, the search index should not
 > stem the search terms stored in the index, but stem when searching.
 > This is an important difference if we want to have the same results
 > from the same queries.

Well, there wouldn't be much point in having different backends if they
returned the same answers ! Freedom to the free software authors ! :)


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