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Re: Apropos commands and regexps

From: Miles Bader
Subject: Re: Apropos commands and regexps
Date: 17 May 2002 06:58:32 +0900

address@hidden (Kim F. Storm) writes:
> > `and' is the defautl for all search engines that I've used, and has the
> > advantage of being simple and easy to understand.
> A quick test shows that Google, Yahoo, Lycos uses AND
> while Altavista, Excite, AskJeeves uses OR.
> For WEB search engines, I think AND does make sense -- since there
> are SOOOO many pages to match.  But for a limited universe like
> emacs -- which doesn't always use the most obvious terms --
> using AND doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

`or' is clearly wrong; even in emacs' `limited' universe, it generates
way too many hits.

E.g., (apropos "\\(find.*file\\|file.*find\\)") gets about 50 hits,
whereas (apropos "\\(find\\|file\\)") gets over 700!

Maybe your idea of `at least N matches' is a good compromise.

> > No, but it's common practice in writing lists.
> I don't see the relevance, sorry.  But of course, we could ignore
> commas in case people use them...

That's the point.  I wasn't suggesting that they be required.

> We could put a "button bar" at the top of the apropos output with
> the following buttons:
>  [Match all words]  [anchored match]  [search documentation]

That seems like a good idea in general; I'd even like the ability to do
other sorts of apropos searches, e.g., in a command-apropos buffer,
have a button that does a variable-apropos on the same search terms.

Saa, shall we dance?  (from a dance-class advertisement)

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