Old 7th April 2010, 03:21   #1
MrSinatra
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punctuation not ignored in ML search

5.572

if i have:

KC & the Sunshine Band

and

K.C. & the Sunshine Band

in my ML and i do a search for:

KC & the Sunshine Band

i will NOT get:

K.C. & the Sunshine Band

in the search results. i think it is a bug, or at least undesired/unintended behavior to have search filter out a result due to punctuation alone. search ignores diacritics, as it should, and gives you both bjorks if you have both and enter bjork. i think it should be the same for puntuation like periods and apostrophes.

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Old 7th April 2010, 07:23   #2
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now you can call me stupid but K.C. & the Sunshine Band isn't KC & the Sunshine Band so if the punctuation is missed out in the query then i'd say it's working correctly.

ignoring diacritics is sensible and was right to be implemented for the search handlers but ignoring punctuation seems excessive and almost lazy if files have been incorrectly tagged but that's just my view.

-daz
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Old 7th April 2010, 07:50   #3
MrSinatra
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i'm not going to call you stupid, but i disagree. if its sensible to ignore diacritics for a given search query, and it is, as we both agree it is, then it is sensible to ignore punctuation as well.

the issue isn't that i don't want to change my tags, or that i want to allow incongruity in my ML/tags. in fact, its exactly the opposite... i want to get the "bigger" result set precisely b/c i want to edit them to be the same. (note that most people have tags from sources like gracenote, who notoriously are inconsistent themselves)

the problem of course is that i didn't expect K.C. to be omitted. i only noticed it by sheer luck. if not for that luck, i would never have known it existed, and the further problem is that no one can imagine all possible permutations even if they are aware of this behavior.

now interestingly, winamp ALREADY seems to ignore apostrophes, in some cases. if i put:

Rock 'n' Roll Suicide

i get the same results as if i put:

Rock n Roll Suicide

(i have it twice, both with the 'n')

however, if i put:

Dont Fence me in

i get no results, but if i put:

Don't fence me in

i get proper results. why does the ' matter with this song but not the suicide song?

AND if the apostrophe is at the end of the result, but not the query, it will show up in the result list regardless.

so it seems that winamp handles punctuation in a haphazard, inconsistent way.

to me, search is for finding the bigger result list, which is the argument for ignoring diacritics via a search. i think it should apply to most punctuation as well. no one entering "KC & the Sunshine Band" in a search wants or expects "K.C. & the Sunshine Band" to be excluded. Search isn't about exact matches, and is far less useful if it operates only with exact matches, which is why, once again, you don't need exact matches to get both bjorks.

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Old 7th April 2010, 08:40   #4
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well it's a good thing i'm not responsible for such things as i'd leave it as is - one for an official dev to decide upon what to do with this (and if altered then i'll just have to make a custom version for myself).

-daz
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Old 7th April 2010, 18:40   #5
MrSinatra
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i understand you disagree but i don't understand why? why do you not want exact matches for diacritics, but you do want exact matches for punctuation?

and regardless of that answer, surely you want winamp to be consistent in its handling of just punctuation?

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Old 8th April 2010, 08:06   #6
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ignoring diacritics is sensible when you're not able to easily input the required extra characters. however i just don't see the requirement to ignore punctuation when it's a valid part of a file's path/metadata as if there's punctuation in there then it's there for a reason and should be taken into account. and for me personally if i need to find something with punctuation in it's file/metadata i know which files have that and so know what to search for as there are so few files in that situation. if apostrophe's are being ignored then i'd even go as far to say that shouldn't be happening.

anyway it doesn't matter too much on what my view is about it all as it won't affect the code implementation.

-daz
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Old 8th April 2010, 19:45   #7
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the reason diacritics are ignored has nothing to do with what a user inputs, or how hard it is. it has to do with the logic of wanting to find ALL "bjorks" regardless of if you use bjork or Björk as your query. (notice case is ignored too, and also note that some countries natively use diacritics and wouldn't find it hard at all to input)

similarly, if i want to find all instances of "YMCA" so i can delete the dupes, i should get back both "YMCA" and "Y.M.C.A." and "Y.M.C.A" and whatever other permutations there are.

your logic contradicts itself, b/c if you "know which files have that" then you wouldn't need search functions to begin with.

i have over 40,000 tracks, and many of the CDs i rip are from VA titles. so to me, search is important to group all the possible related titles together.

lets say i wanted to see all the "Dr.Dre" related tracks. (in his case, albumartist, artist, composer, etc all are possible) if i query "Dr Dre" i won't get files that have only "Dr.Dre" in the composer field as an example. i think this is obviously problematic.

can we first agree that winamp should handle all punctuation, one way or another, consistently? meaning, regardless of how its handled, it should be consistent for all punctuation?

if we can agree to that first, then i think the solution here is simple. create a pref that allows one to specify if punctuation should, or should not, be respected via a search query. i have no beef at all in giving the user the option to decide themselves how winamp should handle the situation.

thoughts?

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Old 8th April 2010, 20:56   #8
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my thought is that Winamp tries to cater for too many people's needs and fails on them in a too many cases. just adding more options then causes more confusion (as i've been accussed of over the years trying to keep everyone happy) and Winamp cannot keep everyone happy as some of your 'heated' threads have shown.

i still hold with a conversation i had with one of the original dev team members where really Winamp should have been killed off at the early 5.0x stage & with some of the changes to the player i still feel that is the case but then again my needs are different from the iTunesesque market that Winamp was being forced into.


with the case of punctuation i'm not going to agree to anything as i'm not responsible for such design changes and will not be making them (even though i seem to end up fixing part completed features of late like the rating handling when i really should just say no to it). that is something you will need to convince the dev team to consider (assuming anyone reads this). the only part that i do agree is true is the lack of consistency but that is something present throughout the whole of the player & maybe following a design ideal like fb2k does should be adopted to Winamp.

i'm working against my own user scenario (as i said 'that's just my view' in my first response) so if that appears to be contradictory then so be it but i have a few tracks which benefit from the diacritic handling which i could enter the extended character directly but i'm not going to learn those whereas punctuation is easy to enter and so isn't an issue in my case as i know what has punctuation in it & know when i need to enter it. how i search for things obviously has different needs to what you need/require and if that contradicts itself then that's just my cackhanded way of doing things.

-daz
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Old 8th April 2010, 21:19   #9
MrSinatra
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can you give an example of your usage? i'd really like to know when / what / how / why you find yourself looking for 'KC and the Sunshine Band' but NOT 'K.C. and the Sunshine Band'

please provide a query and what results you want and which results you are looking to exclude. i'm not trying to be argumentative, i just can't imagine your usage case, and so an example using your actual ML entries would make it obvious to me.

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Old 8th April 2010, 23:09   #10
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winamp searchs each word as different string.
Let's say you search "Dr Dre". Any files that contain both, "Dr" and "Dre" will appear including "Dr. Dre" songs.
I would just search "K C & the sunshine band". Problem solved.
As for diacritics, it doesn't matter what it is since it's the same letter. é is still and e.
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Old 8th April 2010, 23:13   #11
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the problem is not solved. lets say you want YMCA. your suggestion says input/query Y M C A

well, try it, doesn't work.

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Old 8th April 2010, 23:22   #12
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pointed taken. however, i don't see this as a bug.
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Old 8th April 2010, 23:33   #13
MrSinatra
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i keep hearing that, but i have shown 2 issues:

inconsistent behavior
unexpectedly narrow result sets

if you use google, [king of search] it will give you the bigger result set, unless you specify your query with quotes. this is pretty much a universal search standard. (try KC or K.C. in google. ...either one gives the same results)

moreover, i can not imagine the usage case that DrO insists exists? i would be most grateful to know the case where exact matches of punctuation are necessary/desirable in winamp search results. but even if DrO, or you, can produce such an example, it still would be the minority case; and other than the google-like universal standard most users have come to expect from a query.

jmho. hope this comes across as cool, not "heated."

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