[Wasabi Proposal] End user search language

Jean-Francois Dockes jean-francois.dockes at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 30 00:46:45 PST 2007

Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen writes:
 > Thinking more about this operator precedence issue... What about
 > || type:music jimi hendrix or beatles
 > If OR had precedence over AND that search would not yield the expected
 > results...

Yes, but this is actually a phrase search which should be expressed as
type:music "jimi hendrix" or beatles

 > A totally other approach would be to have AND take precedence and use "," to
 > separate expressions that should be ANDed together. Example:
 > || type:music, jimi hendrix or beatles
 > || type:music, jimi hendrix or beatles, filetype:mp3 or filetype:ogg
 > The last example translates to: (type:music) AND ((jimi AND hendrix) OR
 > beatles) AND (filetype:mp3 OR filetype:ogg)
 > I actually kinda like that. It keeps the conventional AND precedence and
 > allows simple grouping of expressions.

If we are going to have any kind of explicit grouping let's use the
universal standard for this: bracketing with parenthesis.

 > > In our case, I think that you are right and that it makes more sense to
 > > have OR take precedence, this has my vote.
 > Are you still of the same opinion?

Yes for a simple reason: the natural way that the OR thing gets into
searching is through synonyms. That is, you are searching for 
[beatles AND live] and get to thinking about expanding to 
[(beatles OR lennon) AND (live OR unplugged)]. 
This is very common and made easier if OR has precedence.

But the decision will always be a split one, there are reasons on each
side, you just have to decide something.


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