[ THUNDERSTONE ]Webinator Search Help


Forming a query

The Webinator's search can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. Usually you will just need to enter a few words that best describe that which you are trying to locate. To perform more complicated searches you might use any combination of logic operators, special pattern matchers, concept expansion, or proximity operations.

Example: nature conservation organization

Query Rules of Thumb:

Overview of query abilities

The Webinator is an example Texis application and as such it shares its text query abilities with all of Thunderstone's products. Throughout our documentation you will see references to Metamorph or Texis, this is because all of our products share a common text query language. This document provides only a brief overview of this language.

If you'd like to know more see this document , and if you are really want the gory details, see the online manual


Using word forms

The Word forms options give you control over how many variations of your query terms will be sought in your search.
EXAMPLES:

 president 
    EXACT: president
    SOME : (above) + presidents president's
    MOST : (above) + presidential presidency preside presides presiding presided

 tight 
    EXACT: tight
    SOME : (above) + tights
    MOST : (above) + tightly tightening tightened tighter tightest

 program 
    EXACT: programs 
    SOME : (above) + programs program's
    MOST : (above) + programming programmatic programmed programmer programmable 
We call this morpheme processing, and it is generally smarter than a traditional "stemming" algorithm. It doesn't just rip the end off a word, it actually checks to see if it could be a valid form of the search term. click here for more info

Notes: Thesaurus terms are also treated in the same manner. Words smaller than 4-5 characters will not be processed.


Controlling proximity

The Within options give you control over the region in which a match must be found.


Interpreting search results

When a query is submitted it will come back with another query form and up to 10 matching documents. If there are more than 10 answers, a link at the bottom of the list will allow you to view the next 10 in sequence.

The input form at the top allows you further tailor your query to home-in on the desired answers, or to submit a completely new query without having to navigate back to the original input form.

Each answer in the result set will have a format similar to the following:

1: [View][More][Links] ********** THE DOCUMENT TITLE (hyperlink to original)
This is the document abstract. It consists of the first few hundred characters of text of the matching document. It is followed by the size of the document in parenthesis...(9K)

The components of each result are:

NOTE: The Webinator will automatically conduct a second search with relevancy-ranking enabled if nothing exactly matches your original query.


Viewing in context

This button will show you the context of your answers within the matching document. Matching words will be shown like this.

Clicking on any match term will take you to the next matching term. There are also hyperlinks at placed periodically at the left edge that will allow you to jump to the [top] and [bottom] of the in-context page. A summary at the top of the in-context view shows information about the document including the time it was last indexed by the Webinator.

Note:Several versions of Netscape have a bug that causes the browser to improperly process self-reference hyperlinks from CGI programs like the Webinator.


Finding similar documents

This button will find documents that are similar to the corresponding result. It does this by reading the original document to ascertain its main subject matter, and then conducting a relevance ranked search for those subjects.

Result documents are ordered from best to worst match. The bargraph display will indicate the overall quality of the match.

Note:The document you click on may not be ranked as the best match. This is because other documents may contain more information about the overall subject matter than the original.


Viewing document linkage

Often times it is difficult to navigate using a search engine because there is no back-link present on the matching document. The document linkage button solves this.

This button will show other documents that contain hyperlinks to the one you click on. In other words, it is an automated back button.

EXAMPLE:

2: [View][More][Links] ********** Why Is This Technology Important?
If you click on the document linkage button for the document above, it will display:

Which shows that Contents has a hyperlink to node3.html

Clicking on a document title within the list will take you to that document.