QL Forum Search

Aren’t we blessed in having the wonderful QL Users email mailing list and QL Forum as ways for QL users old and new to keep in touch? QL Forum in particular keeps attracting new members (345 members at the time of writing, the latest user having the intriguing moniker of ‘StarshipUK’!). Every time a milestone figure comes around, 200, 250, 300… I keep wondering if we’ll make the next milestone – how long before we get to 350 members? Will we reach 400 by Christmas 2016 or sometime in 2017?

A tribute to its founders, Rob Heaton and Peter Scott and to the lower profile moderators such as Graeme Gregory and to those who contribute to the discussions regularly or occasionally.

Earlier today I was trying to find some information I knew had been on there last year sometime but just could not remember where or when I saw it. I was reluctant to ask the same thing today in case someone pointed out it was already staring me in the face somewhere!

QL Forum has a search box on its home page, circled in this picture:

The Search window (circled) on QL Forum home screen

The Search window (circled) on QL Forum home screen

In days gone by, this basic search function was quite restrictive. If you entered a common term like “QL” it would politely tell you it was too common a search term and likely to return too many results. The flip side of this was that so many common one or two word QL-related searches were simply rejected and I’d end up using Google to search for something on QL Forum!

Something like this in Google:
sites:www.qlforum.co.uk trump card

Some of us complained about this well intentioned restriction and improvements were made (Rob and Peter have always been prepared to listen to suggestions for improvements).

The astute have probably noticed the words ‘Advanced search’ in the circled (ellipsed?) part of the picture above. Click on that in QL Forum and you get a screen like this:

Picture of Advanced Search screen in QL Forum

Advanced Search screen in QL Forum

This contains some quite powerful and specific search features to help you control conditional keyword searches such as searching for words which must be found and words which must not be found (use of + and -, along with alternatives using a | bar and wildcards using *).

You can search by author, if you know who wrote the original post.

You can restrict a search to one specific area of the entire QL Forum if you wish, e.g. look for a post likely to be in the hardware forum by selecting the Hardware entry in the list of forum areas. And even more specific, you can restrict the search to post subjects, message text, topic titles etc.

There are options to control whether results are displayed as ‘posts’ or ‘topics’ and they can be sorted by time, author, etc.

You can force it to only search back a given amount of time if you know roughly when the posting was made – anything from a day, week, month etc up to a year back, or of course include all results. You can even tell it how many characters of the start of each post to return!

If you manage to confuse yourself with the sheer number of options (like I did), there’s a [Reset] button to restore normality!

I just wished I’d explored this Advanced Search before. The Forum says I’ve been a member since December 2010 so I feel a bit silly now having been on there for over 5 years without venturing to use this very useful search facility.

Oh, you don’t have to be a member to use this Advanced Search either.

QL Forum is at www.qlforum.co.uk – if you are not yet a member and are into Sinclair QLs and compatible systems I seriously recommend you join QL Forum as possibly the best way to keep in touch with fellow QL users.




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