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I just noticed, that when I click 'Unanswered' the search box is filled by a search for questions that have all of my favourite tags.

Precisely it is:

[c++11] [theory] [math] [python] [scala] [git] [vim] [boost] [boost-asio] [boost-thread] [c++] [c++11]

There are two problems with that query:

  • [c++11] is duplicated and I don't see a reason for this. I've added that tag only once, not a long time ago and it is displayed once in the sidebar at the right side.
  • I expect the search box to be filled with a query corresponding to the page I currently see, that means searching for questions with one, not all of the tags given.

Probably it also lacks of the predicate which says, that questions should have no upvoted answer.

If it is not possible, then why the search box is being filled with anything?

Update: As I discovered I have [c++0x] and [c++11] tags which are synonyms. After invoking search [c++0x] is translated to its synonym.

I see empty search results, when I expect to see list of questions belonging to one or more tags in search query. For the proof:

empty search list

Steps to replicate:

  1. Click on the "Unanswered"
  2. Click on the search box and press enter
  3. You see the empty page, because search box, was filled by a query, that doesn't make sense.
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I'm sorry, I don't understand what this question means. Specifically, what do you mean by this: "When I click on the search bar expecting to see questions included in my tags I see empty search results, because the given search string matches questions, which are in all of the given tags." When I click the "Unanswered" tab, the search box is indeed filled with my favorite tags, but I see a list of unanswered questions that have at least one of those tags. Is that not what you see? Or not what you expect? What were you expecting different to happen? –  Cody Gray Feb 22 '12 at 8:38
Yes, "Unanswered" works correctly. The search box behaviour is incorrect, because when you do a search using your favourite tags list you get the empty result. –  Rafał Rawicki Feb 22 '12 at 8:41
What? You're aware that that's an And search? So SO is searching for questions tagged with all these tags. –  Time Traveling Bobby Feb 22 '12 at 11:39
Yes, I am. And that's my point - And search in this place doesn't make sense. –  Rafał Rawicki Feb 22 '12 at 12:02
To clairfy: see step 2 in @rafal 's question: Here you see questions (you expect this), but you also see a filled search box. It is expected to get an empty result from that query (step 3), but why is that query there? It isn't what you were looking at in step 2, nor is it anything you'd ever want to search (because it is 'and') –  Nanne Feb 22 '12 at 13:45

1 Answer 1

It sounds like your question is really

"Why does Stack Overflow use AND operations instead of OR operations to search for tagged questions?"

I honestly don't understand this behavior myself. However, I can offer you a few workarounds.

  1. Create a Stack Exchange filter with the tags you need. This may be a bit of overkill for a one-off search, but it would definitely be the most convenient way to keep an updated list of questions that match any of your tags. I actually created a sample filter for you to try.
  2. Add an "or" between each tag in the search URL. In your case, this URL would be http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/c++11 or theory or math or python or scala or git or vim or boost or boost-asio or boost-thread or c++
  3. Place [or] between each tag in your search query. For you, this would be

    [c++11] [or] [theory] [or] [math] [or] [python] [or] [scala] [or] [git] [or] [vim] [or] [boost] [or] [boost-asio] [or] [boost-thread] [or] [c++]

    Of course, this last solution is a bit of a hack and doesn't work in your case anyway because queries have a maximum length of 140 characters.

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