Improve the search function, add boolean values

dracowhale 8 years ago updated by Artex 8 years ago 20 6 duplicates

It's an old suggestion, but with more users coming in, i feel it would be good to resubmit this suggestion. The original can be sound here, suggested by Conicaw( http://support.furrynetwork.com/topics/315-proposed-search-improvements/ )

Original Suggestion text:

The current search is incredibly basic and not great. It only shows results that match ALL of the specified tags. Here are some features that could make the search much better:

  • Ability to search by other metadata (title, date, number of favorites, number of views, etc.)
  • Ability to sort by date, number of views, number of favorites, etc.
  • Boolean logic in searches

It would be amazing if I could do these searches:

  • cute || snuggles || hugs
  • sfw && (cuddles || kissing)
  • gay && !(nsfw || suggestive)

For some fields like number of favorites, number of views, and date, it would also be great to have numeric range queries (high/low/band pass filters):

  • Let's say I wanted to get images of tigers that had greater than 100 likes. It would be great to be able to have a query like this:
    • tigers && favorites.gt:100
  • Let's say I wanted to have look at images with the cute tag that have less than 500 views:
    • cute && views.lt:500

Derpibooru has one of the best searches I have seen (https://derpibooru.org/search/syntax). It has all these features (boolean searching, metadata searching) and more (fuzzy queries, some regex features). They use Elasticsearch which is an open source project used by many big names like Netflix, Wikimedia, Stack Exchange, GitHub, and SoundCloud.

I know that the features I am proposing may require a lot of coding and testing, especially for query parsing, but I just wanted to let you know what you could do to make the search the best it can possibly be.

Duplicates 6

What's funny about this is that e621's tag system does allow for things like this. Varka, who owns FurryNetwork, also owns e621. e621's tag system is probably the best in the fandom if you know how to use it. I was wondering why it hadn't been fully implemented here. I would make a new request thingy asking for that specifically.

There was one thing you mentioned about not wanting to use certain terms. e621's tag system solves that problem by converting variations of certain words to one common word. For example, if there are three images of a penis, and for one the user writes the tag "penis," another gets the tag "dick," and the third gets "cock," e621 reads "dick" and "cock" and, instead of using those words, adds the tag "penis" to all three images.


...The main reason we haven't implemented as extensive a tag-searching system on Furry Network is because we've found very few people actually use it.

Part of this is because it's very complex to use - and our statistics indicate that the vast majority of users simply search using a handful of words (and none of the advanced operators, like favcounts, viewcounts, resolution, negative tags and so on). However, I also think that having tools appropriate to each userbase is important. e621 is a power-user's toolset; it's one of the most powerful furry art search engines on the internet, and is very good at what it does (digging out content and having great keywords). Furry Network is more about the overall user experience and community - and so, while we try to get to launch, we've elected to prioritize other features.

Of course, just because 'nobody uses it' doesn't mean that advanced search isn't useful to power-users - so I'd be interested in seeing how voting for this feature goes :)

I am one of those "very few people", at least on FA, which is a massive site. Rather than browse every day, which I don't really have time to do, I tend to catch up about once a month; and the only way to reduce a full month's submissions to a manageable number is to run several dedicated searches - for instance, [bovine | bull | tauren | minotaur] using the "or" function, or [(equine | horse | donkey | zebra | stallion) & solo] using both "or" and "and". This makes the site much more user-friendly for me - and I hardly consider myself a "power user"!

I can understand not putting it on the front burner if not many people want or need it, but I would hope that it would eventually be implemented. People have talked about Furry Network as an alternative to FA, but if it's ever going to grow beyond a small "boutique" site, you ought to have good ways to deal with large numbers of submissions - and lots of users, particularly new ones, who may want to look through your entire site, but only for certain things.

Varka, may I suggest making the tag system a little more graphical? My guess is that people don't use it because they don't know how more than because they don't want to or aren't interested in it. Displaying some of the options available to them with buttons (e.g. click the - button to toggle it, and then any tags typed while toggled are excluded), a dropdown, or tag suggestions (for example: type "anal" and get a "-" and "+" suggestion based on your tags marked as interests; someone interested in gay male art might get a "-female" suggestion) could increase the amount of use. That tag searching system is fantastic if you understand it, and if it's made a little less textual, a little more user-friendly, and perhaps stripped of some of the extra bits that people don't use, it could be a boon to the site. It may be that there just needs to be a bit more clarity for the user on what he or she can do with it.


I'd at least suggest trying to add "NOT" tag, if nothing else. "dragon, male, -penis" to search for images not containing naughty bits, but still getting dragons!

Ha ha, I can't help but feel like my suggestion prompted the use of "football" as a sample tag. :p

Nonetheless, I love this idea, and will give you a thumbs up. The search system on this site is something that needs a bit of improvement.

Haha, yeah, I saw your post on being able to block combinations of tags earlier, which I thumbs'd up. And I figured I'd just use a similar way of explaining it since I felt you did a good job on your post. :P

To sum it up, the ability to exclude certain terms, which can only be done by editing settings in your profile

There's a search button?

I completely support this.


It would be cool if we could search based on time, "Beginning of time" , 1 year, 1 month, 1 week etc..

as well the ability to remove a tag so it doesn't show up in that particular search

like what if you only want to see male characters. on post sites you type -female and then all the
items with female in the tag go away. it would be nice to have this basic function implimented onto FN

Merged two items, please let me know if I merged something I shouldn't have!

I don't know, I mean, I think that both Dracowhale and I have pretty similar ideas with regards to improving the search functionality, by allowing for more customizability and ease of use (albeit his ideas being more in-depth/advanced). But, the thing I worry about as far as merging our two posts, is the kind of language/terminology used in his post (ex: "boolean", "parsing", "metadata", etc.), which I think doesn't translate well to a general audience, which is what I was trying to avoid in my post. And I fear that because of that, it won't get as many upvotes/attention.

Also, I worry that because of the amount of features he wishes to add to the search function (all of which I like and would love to see implemented, mind you) that it would be harder for the development team to greenlight it. (To be completely fair though, I'm not aware of how hard it would be to implement those features, but I can't imagine it'd be easier than the suggestions I laid out.)

Anyways, those are just my thoughts on the matter, and I'd be interested to hear a response/feedback. :3

Granted just the ability to go -#tag would be good enough for me honestly. As for complex, it isn't really THAT hard unless your adding in like 12 or 13 tags. Boolean is just math with words.

Say your looking for a picture involving dogs and cats in an amusement park or waterpark. That search would be "(#Cats && #Dogs) && (#WaterPark || #Amusement_Park)". && meaning 'and' so the pic would require both tags to be present , while || means 'or' meaning it only has to have one of them. The parenthesis make it so you keep track of which equation is which and doesn't get mixed up.

Now let's say you want to avoid a certain tag, you could add at the end "!#Birds" to exclude birds. or "!(#Toucans && #Parrots)" to avoid certain types of birds, and "!(#Birds || #Avians || #FeatheredFriends)" to just block multiple words meaning bird.

So the final search would look like this: (#Cats && #Dogs) && (#WaterPark || #Amusement_Park) && !(#Birds || #Avians || #FeatheredFriends)

Normal search engines treat everything as "And" so this just allows you fine tune your searching better if you need something specific for an art reference or some pic you saw 2 days ago that you remember vague details about. It is possible to make it so regular searching is possible without the use of boolean too so this would be totally optional for people.

I already know how searching with boolean expressions works, it's what I outlined in my post (although in more simplified language), if you had taken the time to read my post, you would've noticed that I was arguing for those features. What I was trying to say in the post above isn't that I disagree or even have a different opinion than you on the things you want to implement, but rather that I felt the way that this post is phrased in terms of the language/terminology used makes it harder for someone who doesn't already know what those terms are to understand what they mean or why adding boolean values to the search functionality would be beneficial. Those terms aren't easily accessible to a broader audience who may have never heard of them, which only really leads to a lack of participation in voting for it.

We have the same ideas in terms of improvements, but the way you've outlined it in this post is my contention, as it doesn't garner as much attention/support (as evident by the fact that your post hadn't received as many upvotes preceding the merge of our topics, and by the fact that there has been little to no votes in the past 3 weeks since I wrote my last reply.)

Actually, what happened was i replied to the wrong post. Meant the one below by Karo >.>


These have to be simplified, as the OP explained it is too complex and no one gonna understand it.

I'd be happy with just simple search improvements such as minus tags and google like marking, these syntax suggestions looks a tad difficult to remember so I dont think I'd use them.

I do hope search functionality is revisited. It's usefulness is rather limited as is.

Like OP said Derpibooru does have a pretty great search, but I can do with less. Even of all things Furaffinity managed to make a pretty capable search (minus result number limitations and popular sort being rather odd).

AND, OR, and NOT operators are the most important to me, being able to group queries is a bonus. With that I can do things like: (horse & female) | (deer & female) giving results of female deer and horses.