Is it a possibility that full-text indexes will be eventually added to certain columns in the Data Explorer? I perfectly understand that SO servers are under a heavy load, and this would add significantly to disk use, but on the other hand, full-text queries are more efficient once the index is built and maintained. Text querying is a very powerful tool, and, given that, for one, regular SO search does not index comments, would be the to-go way for searching in them.

Currently, an attempt to use the CONTAINS() and FREETEXT() T-SQL predicates on comments.text results in an error:

select top(100) id [Comment Link], text
from comments
where freetext (text, 'attribute package')
order by score desc

Cannot use a CONTAINS or FREETEXT predicate on table or indexed view 'comments' because it is not full-text indexed.

Was this feature considered? And if it was, is it planned? A question about one of the predicates came up last time in 2014 (and was only incidental, stemming from an incorrect attempted use of CONTAINS instead of LIKE), so I think it would not be too much of a nuisance to ask about it specifically.


1 Answer 1


At this time, we have no plans to add full-text searching in SEDE. Full-text search is an expensive process. With the sizes of some of databases and since we refresh the public data explorer weekly, it would result in far too much overhead to put in place.

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