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Clearly, Jon Skeet is a Stack Overflow user, but why doesn't this user name appear when typing "Skeet" on the users page (illustrated below)?


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2  
psst, dont tell anyone: he is a ghost... –  Adnan Dec 3 '10 at 14:42
18  
I bet it works when Jon Skeet tries it. –  Andy E Dec 3 '10 at 14:48
    
possible duplicate of User search results are incomplete –  Ether Dec 3 '10 at 15:59
    
I don't know what changed, but now typing Skeet does show Jon. –  Gilles Aug 27 '11 at 12:29
    
Is this post off-topic.......? –  gloomy.penguin Nov 14 '13 at 22:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I was originally going to link some of the earlier posts which explain some of the oddities of the User Search (which prioritizes exact matches, like shown here).

However, it turns out that the algorithm was changed for Stack Overflow at some point. Search now only checks for strings that begin with the specified string. So for example, I won't find myself if I search for "comet".

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9  
No, the difference is just SO <-> everywhere else; this isn't new. %string% searches aren't indexable, and with a userbase as large as SO, that makes a huge difference. –  balpha Dec 3 '10 at 14:56
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@balpha Ah, so this is by design? Interesting. It makes sense, though. –  Grace Note Dec 3 '10 at 14:56
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See this answer by Jeff explaining that SO's user table has become too large to allow to support searching within the name. –  sepp2k Dec 3 '10 at 15:41
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@sepp2k Interesting. August is actually quite a while back, but then again, June is even further back, so... –  Grace Note Dec 3 '10 at 15:48
    
umm, then what is full text search for? –  quantum Jul 7 '12 at 23:47

Probably because the search is:

select username from users where username like '<search_string>%'

not

select username from users where username like '%<search_string>%'
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A picture's worth a thousand words, right?

alt text

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