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+ and - (Was: DOC-Properties)

From: Paul J. Lucas <pjl(at)not-real.ptolemy.arc.nasa.gov>
Date: Sat May 15 1999 - 16:25:56 GMT
	Note: His reply to my private correspondence was erroneously
	sent to the SWISH-E mailing list without my permission.

On Sat, 15 May 1999, Rainer Scherg wrote:

>   - Using '+' and '-' instead of AND, OR (Should be a simple config
>     directive...)
>     Altavista-Syntax, etc. is best known to "standard" users. (And not
>     everybody is speaking English)
> 
>     SEARCH_AND    '+'   (default: 'And')
>     SEARCH_OR      ' '    (default 'OR')
>     SEARCH_NOT    '-'    (default: 'NOT')

	IMHO, whoever thought of this "standard" syntax should be shot.
	My specific annoyances with it are:

	1. "or" is the default.  If I type MORE words to search on, I
	   am being MORE specific.  "and" should be the default.

	2. How would you explain to a user what the difference between
	   the query string:

		oatmeal

	   and:

		+oatmeal

	   is?  '+' is not equivalent to 'and'.

	- Paul
Received on Sat May 15 09:23:04 1999