On the ServerFault user page (https://serverfault.com/users) there is a search box to search for users. There are 2 users with the name "Tom O'Connor" (https://serverfault.com/users/13650/tom-oconnor and https://serverfault.com/users/16732/tom-oconnor). If you type "tom o" into the box you get these two. If you add the next character, ', then both names disappear. It's almost like it doesn't handle ''s at all.

1 Answer 1


This was a result of the way SQL Server does full-text indexing, but since we don't use that for user search anymore, this now works!

@waffles implemented another algorithm/data store here that gives us both near-instant searching (we delay 500ms for typing, before your browser even asks) and a few other bonuses: we can do a "contains" search on all site (SO had too many users for this to be speedy with FTS), it's just more speedy in general (~10-15x), as well as edge cases with punctuation like this aren't an issue anymore, since we control the "indexing" happening here.

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