Search has many issues, but I want to specifically mention the fact that it utterly fails to manage quotes properly.
Here are some queries that return 0 results here on Meta:
" " + stackoverflow + " "
" " stack overflow " "
"" + stack overflow + ""
"" + stackoverflow + ""
Meanwhile, another search shows that there are plenty of results for the phrase "stack overflow".
Note that the original question on MSE is slightly inaccurate because the bug seems to be unrelated to C# or its keywords. I have replicated this bug on several different SE sites and, as far as I know, it affects every site in the network, even non-English sites.
With this bug, quotes are added to the front and end of the query. An example. Note that this may be affected by the number of results:
Could not find any results for "bug close" votes; showing 58 results for ""bug close" votes",
It also affects tags in a bizarre way. For this search, notice that it interprets the tag as both a tag (in this case a negated tag) and also as a search word:
If I search for just the negated tag, it has similar behavior. But, if I take that same query and run it again, with the surrounding quotes, the term is only counted as a key word, not a tag. This means that the tag parser isn't inherently broken; I suspect that tags are parsed first and then quotes are added.
Strangely enough, if the original query is altered to include a "dummy" parameter, such as
score:.., then it fails to display the bug altogether.
Here are some instances that I found (either look at the URL encoding or type them in yourself to see what I mean):
- Meta Stack Overflow:
- Stack Overflow:
[c++]classes "pointers found at"
- Coffee Beta:
[caffeine] "dark light"
- Science Fiction and Fantasy:
[movie] "potter and harry"
- スタック・オーバーフロー (Japanese SO):
[php] "controller default"
Yes, some of these searches are dumb, but I did once try to search for
-[feature-request], only to be met with disappointment. There are numerous other instances that I have run into accidentally, but it's not like I have kept track of all of them. There are just too many.
This may also be related to the symbol bug.
*This seems to be an utter failure of the "stripping the not operator"