This article provides an overview of Wikipedia's search feature, as well as using external search engines to find information.
The searchbox provides an input field with two buttons:
- Go - the Go button (or Enter on the keyboard), will take you automatically to the best match for the entered keyword.
- Search - the Search button will return a list of matching results.
Here are some hints for using the native DrumCorpsWiki search feature effectively:
DrumCorpsWiki's default search mode will turn up results with any of the words in your query. For instance, search engine turns up many results containing only "drum" but not "drum" or only "corps" but not "drum" in addition to the ones you probably wanted, which contain both words.
To limit to results that include all words, put a "+" at the beginning of each word: +drum +corps returns only pages containing both words, like Google's default mode.
You can also do a phrase search by enclosing words in quotes: "drum corps" turns up a smaller set of results, which not only have both words but have them in order.
To exclude results that include some word, put a "-" at the beginning: drum -corps
Avoid short and common words
If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about") it will be ignored by the search system. If you're trying to do a phrase search or all-words-only search, this may result in returning nothing at all. Short numbers, and words that appear in half of all articles, will also not be found. In this case, drop those words and rerun the search.
See DrumCorpsWiki:Common words, searching for which is not possible for the stop words filtered out by the database. From there one can at least go to an article with a stop word as title. Searching for the combination of one or more words and the common word "not" gives a database query syntax error due to a bug in the software.
Search is always case-insensitive, so searches for "fortran", "Fortran" and "FORTRAN" all return the same results.
Go is always case-insensitive for the first character of the article title, and in most cases for the entire title. It tries to make a good guess of which article you are looking for. See Meta:Help:Go button for a description of how this works.
You can use some limited wildcards if you really want to. Look up "fulltext search" on http://www.mysql.com/ and look down under 'boolean search' for the details. However, wildcard searches are slower, so go easy on the poor server.
Words with special characters
In a search for a word with a diaeresis, such as Sint Odiliënberg, it depends whether this ë is stored as one character or as "ë". In the first case one can simply search for Odilienberg (or Odiliënberg); in the second case it can only be found by searching for Odili, euml and/or nberg. This is actually a bug that should be fixed -- the entities should be folded into their raw character equivalents so all searches on them are equivalent. See also DrumCorpsWiki:Special characters.
Words in single quotes
If a word appears in an article with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with quotes. Since this is rarely desirable it is better to use double quotes in articles, for which this problem does not arise. See the manual of style for more info.
An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, therefore Mu'ammar can be found searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.
Namespaces searched by default
The search only applies to the namespaces selected in the user's preferences. To search the other namespaces check or uncheck the tickboxes in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page. Depending on the browser, a box may still be checked from a previous search, but without being effective any longer! To make sure, uncheck and recheck it.
Searching the image namespace means searching the image descriptions, i.e. the first parts of the image description pages.
Redirects can be excluded
Check or uncheck the tickbox "List redirects" in "Search in namespaces" box found at the bottom of a search results page.
The source text is searched
The source text (what one sees in the edit box, also called wiki text) is searched. This distinction is relevant for piped links, special characters (if ê is coded as ê it is found searching for ecirc), etc.
External search engines
Various search engines can provide domain-specific searches, which lets you search DrumCorpsWiki specifically. Searches are based on the text as shown by the browser, so wiki markup is irrelevant.
In general, external search engines are faster than a DrumCorpsWiki search. However, because the search engine's cache is based on when the site was indexed, the search may not return newly created pages. Similarly, the search engine's cached version of the page will not be as up-to-date as the link to DrumCorpsWiki itself.
By following the link below, you can use the Google search engine to search DrumCorpsWiki.
If you frequently search via Google, consider installing the Google Toolbar. Using the "search this site" button allows you to quickly search DrumCorpsWiki. The official Google Toolbar is for Internet Explorer (Windows only) and for Firefox (works on all operating system platforms for which Firefox is available, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X).
If you cannot find an appropriate page on Wikipedia
If there is no appropriate page on Wikipedia, consider creating a page, since you can edit DrumCorpsWiki right now. Or consider adding what you were looking for to the Requested articles page. Or if you have a question, then see Where to ask questions.