Help File

This file assumes that you have read the quick help file which will not be repeated here.

This program may be used for very simple or reasonably complex searches.

For very simple searches, only the first field (String 1) need be used. In general this may not be particularly satisfactory. For more complex searches one or more of the remaining fields may be used.

The program allows searches of the complete ISRG database matching text containing one, two or three specified strings. (Each string may contain spaces). Text containing an optional specified string, String 4, may be excluded.

The significant power of the search engine can really only be utilised by mastering the use of multiple string fields AND especially the use of the "|" character, all discussed below.

The following examples should make clear the use of this program:

Ensure that "Search Text" has been selected with the radio button and in the first field (String 1) type "faber" without the quotes and click on "Search". All references to messages containing the string "faber" are returned from the database.
(In fact, since "faber" is a special word, all articles containing "faber", "castell", "f-c" etc., are also returned. see below)

The search is deliberately not case-sensitive and for ease of use it is suggested that all input is in lower-case.

The matches are returned in lines of the form:

Number    Subject    Name   Date

An article may be read by clicking on its number whereupon all references to the
search string(s) are highlighted in red. Note that we are overwhelmed with hits.

Now insert "lubricant" in the second field (String 2) and click on "Search".
Here we are requesting that only references to text containing "faber" AND "lubricant" is displayed.

Notice that the alternative "faber lubricant" using only String 1 will return references to articles which match this exact string only - currently none.

Now click "Clear Form" to reset the fields and in String 1 type "fuller" and then click "Search". Now we get all references to articles containing the string "fuller".

Now type "fullerton" in String 4 and on clicking "Search" notice that we get all references to "fuller" but not to "fullerton" etc.

It is best to avoid searching for words (or subsets of words) used by HTML, e.g. "link" or "ink" etc.
All references are returned correctly but on clicking an article number the search strings are not highlighted in red.

The first field (String 1) is also special in that it recognizes common slide rule alternatives and deals with them differently to fields two (String 2)and three (String 3). This is now discussed:

    (a)  "versalog" OR "post" entered in the first field will match all text containing 
	 "versalog" AND all text containing "post". (As usual fields two, three and four 
	  may be used to modify this output.)

    (b)	 "hemmi" or "sun" entered in the first field will match all text containing
	 "hemmi" and all text containing "sun".

    (c)	 "faber" or "castell" or "f-c" in the first field will match all text containing
	 "faber" and all text containing "castell" and all text containing "f-c".

    (d)	 "pickett" or "eckel" in the first field will match all text containing
	 "picket" and all lines containing "eckel".

    (e)  "thacher" or "thatcher" in the first field will match all text containing
	 "thacher" and all text containing "thatcher".

    (f)	 "keuffel" or "keufel" or "esser" or "k&e" or "k & e" or "k+e" or "k + e" or 
	 "k-e" or "k - e" or "k and e" will match all text containing "keuffel" and 
	 "keufel" and "esser" and "k&e" and "k & e" and "k+e" and "k + e" and "k-e"
	 and "k - e" and "k and e".
In the first four fields it is advised that the first character should be alphanumeric only.

Some characters such as '+', '*' etc which would cause a failure of the search are trapped with the output of an appropriate message.

Some characters such as ':', '{' are not trapped and give the expected result.

Some characters such as '$', '^' are not trapped and will probably not give the expected result.

Multiple consecutive characters (such as '**' etc.) anywhere in a string will cause the program to hang.

Such single characters used anywhere but in the first character position are accepted but the affect may not be as expected.

It is safer not to use them.

HOWEVER, if you REALLY do want to search for a string containing a special character then you may precede the special character
with a backslash, '\'. Thus, if you wanted to search for the string 0^0, say, then use 0\^0.


The '.' can be used to match ANY single character. Thus "rot.rule" will match both "rotarule" and "rotorule".

It follows that "." as the only character in String 1 will match the entire database. Not very useful although it does demonstrate that some messages are mysteriously missing, e.g. 23, 70, 71 etc.

Any number of "."'s may be used in any field.

The '|' can be used to request alternatives.

(In general this character can be found on the lower left of the keyboard NOT the upper left.)

Thus, "7|seven" will match text containing "7" OR text containing "seven".

Thus the search mentioned above could also be written "rotarule|rotorule".

Care should be taken using the '|'. All characters in the string are significant including spaces.

Thus: "rotarule | rotorule" will match text containing "rotarule" followed by a space OR text containing "rotorule" preceded by a space.

Thus if we had in String 1 "faber", in String 2 "2/83|2/84" and in String 4 "2/83n|2/84n"

we would find all articles containing "faber" and "2/83" OR "faber" and 2/84" BUT would exclude articles containing "2/83n" and "2/84n".

Any number of "|" may be used in any field.

Users, familiar with Unix and/or DOS commands should note that the "*" CANNOT be used to match 'anything'. Thus '97*' will NOT match 97 followed by any sequence of characters.

In general, of course, searches on Authors and Titles will use much simpler strings than those discussed above.

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