I tried searching for this <?= to understand more about it, but unfortunately, the page results looks like this:

Empty page after searching for "<?="

Which is NOT what the 0 results looks like normally. Therefore, I think it's a bug.

More info: Tested in Google Chrome without extensions and in Firefox with Adblock Plus, both of them in Ubuntu. Other result pages are display normally, even the 0 results pages.

P.S. I hope this is not already posted, but, as you can understand from the nature of this, I was not able to search if this bug was already here. Google didn't find me any result either.

Edit after the fix, for the nature of the bug I can see how this yield to so many duplicates in the past:


  • 2
    Not a answer to fix this bug, but quoting helps in your case: "<?=".
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:06
  • Thanks, it does help to find more info, but as you said, there's still a bug out there. Jan 27, 2013 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


This is fixed in recent builds, we now do a second quoted search for symbol patterns so that you get the results you were after. Try it now, I hope you'll agree the behavior is much better.


It's not that there aren't any results, but that your search query got completely thrown out for being symbol-based. This is similar to searching for something like plural?, where the question mark isn't taken into consideration, so this seems like the correct behaviour.

I suppose the page could provide more direct feedback in this case, but you'll note that it did at least clear the search box accordingly.

Quoting the query works as expected, since you're being a bit more deliberate about what you want.

  • 1
    One difference: when typing plural? the search is preserved, though the results might be unexpected. When typing <?= the search page just shows up like one would have gone to it directly.
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:14
  • True, but I'm not sure if leaving something in the search box when nothing ended up being searched for would be the right feedback either.
    – Tim Stone
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:17
  • 1
    But following that logic, shouldn't the question mark be removed from plural? as well?
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:19
  • Yeah, I have mixed feelings there. The sidebar tells you that it only searched for "plural" in that case, so you can refine the search to look for "plural?" specifically by quoting it...but in this case there's no search to refine because no search was performed (but obviously it would have been helpful to have the text anyway to quote it).
    – Tim Stone
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:32
  • Oh, I guess you're on to something: adding some random text, like <?= hello, does preserve the full search string. And many searches for symbols without text will clear the search. (I figured the search handler could not handle the unquoted symbols, despite them being in the URL, but there's more at play here.)
    – Arjan
    Jan 27, 2013 at 17:45
  • Exactly. So, basically, my string is searched as just completely empty. I'm marking this as correct answer, although it's still a bug. Jan 27, 2013 at 19:56

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