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Can we have some date-related advanced super ninja search options please? Something along the lines of

maxage:30               find posts less than 30 days old
from:yyyy-mm-dd         find posts no older than yyyy-mm-dd
to:yyyy-mm-dd           find posts no newer than yyyy-mm-dd

or, more explicitly (as suggested by Jon Seigel):

postedbefore:<timestamp>
postedafter:<timestamp>
modifiedbefore:<timestamp>
modifiedafter:<timestamp>

The other day I was trying to find a question to refer to but I couldn't find it in the sea of "relevant" search results. Maybe date ranges would speed up some queries too?

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7  
Admit it - you just asked this questions so you could create the "ninjas" tag. –  Grace Note Jun 25 '10 at 16:47
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@Grace: I was actually surprised it didn't appear in the auto-complete suggestions as I was typing it ;-) –  Andy E Jun 25 '10 at 17:13
    
I would like to see filtering by dates or age. I use sorting by votes and I want to see only questions which are within a number of previous months. Some topics get old & obsolete pretty quickly. –  Tony_Henrich Feb 28 '11 at 1:10
    
@AndyE'shead, It was missing, but I retagged it for you –  smartcaveman Oct 3 '12 at 18:20
    
@smartcaveman: actually, I think the tag was nuked a while back :-) –  Andy E Oct 4 '12 at 8:37

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

This is now implemented, here are some examples:

  • created:2012 (created between 2012-01-01 and 2012-12-31)
  • created:2012-04 (created between 2012-04-01 and 2012-04-30)
  • created:2012-04-05 (created on 2012-04-05, 24 hr UTC range)

The above date formats can be applied to a range as well with .., like this:

  • created:2012..2012 (created between 2012-01-01 and 2012-12-31)
  • created:2012-03..2012-04 (created between 2012-03-01 and 2012-04-30)
  • created:2012-01-05..2012-01-10 (you get the idea)

Those are for when a question is created. For the last time it was active (same as the active tab) you can use lastactive: the same way as created: above.

I'll get some concise examples on the advanced search options menu soon, we'll still watching these to see if we need any last minute tweaks before calling them officially done.

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Nice one, Nick. Cheers :-) –  Andy E Jan 10 '13 at 13:15
    
Nice, but.. is there a way to search for a question created before X day ago? Or are only defined intervals available? –  SPArchaeologist Mar 14 '13 at 11:29
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@SPArchaeologist - only defined intervals are available, relational has a much smaller use case, so we didn't expand the syntax to support that (also there wasn't a way that didn't add confusion or overlap that we saw) –  Nick Craver Mar 14 '13 at 11:41

I think this needs to be a little more explicit. Are we going to allow searching for questions, answers, or both (the descriptions on the question imply both)? I think it should just apply to questions, as that makes the most logical sense. There's also the issue of asking, and editing. Do we want to search for when the question was asked, or when it was last edited?

There are many, many options we could add to specify the different set possibilities, but if we want any of this to be implemented, we should reduce the request to the essentials.

How about this:

askedbefore:<timestamp>
askedafter:<timestamp>
modifiedbefore:<timestamp>
modifiedafter:<timestamp>

That's maybe a bit verbose, but they cover every case (you could combine all 4 together if you wanted), and the parameter names are more explicitly about questions.

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1  
+1. I agree that it makes sense for it to be questions only, unless an answer-centric search option is also applied (e.g. isaccepted:0 or inquestion:1234). I had hoped that we could keep the option lengths down (because the search box is really small), but yours are more explicit and they make more sense than mine. I'll add them to the question so they're part of the actual request. –  Andy E Jul 26 '10 at 17:32
    
Maybe one way to keep lengths down would be to use duration rather than timestamps, as in 40d or 24h. The options would have to be named differently, though: maybe olderthan:<duration> and newerthan:<duration>. (I don't have good names to distinguish between asked date and edit date, so that example would be for asked date only.) –  Dave DuPlantis Apr 20 '11 at 15:55

A current workaround is to just isolate your search by pagination. Enter the rest of your search normally and then choose to sort by Newest. If you're really good, you can pick out the proper page off-hand and just enter it straight into the URL (add "page=X" to your query string, "pagesize=Y" as well if necessary). Otherwise, I'd start picking random pages based on how recent or old the target date is. Once you find a post from that date, just work backwards or forwards as you need.

This naturally doesn't work with any other sort order (but personally I've never found "relevant" to be as useful as "newest" or "active" have been), and it doesn't really change the number of results. But it can help for some points, at least for now.

Ironically, the times that I have actually used this workaround (which is twice), the target question I want was actually deleted so I never found anything.

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+1, I have done this a few times and even tried it on this occasion but failed. It does help most of the time, though, and it's possible I just didn't get the search terms close enough to find the post I was looking for. –  Andy E Jun 25 '10 at 17:59
    
@Andy Another consideration is that what you're looking for, you might be thinking of comments (which aren't caught by search). Past that, though, I do agree that time-based advanced search would be quite nice. After all, for a workaround, this can be quite tiresome. –  Grace Note Jun 25 '10 at 18:02

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