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From:Daevid Vincent Date:May 4 2007 8:36pm
Subject:RE: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Baron Schwartz [mailto:baron@stripped] 
> 
> Daevid Vincent wrote:
> > I'm having trouble figuring out the logic/query I want.
> > I know that all those "OR"s are not right.
> > I'm doing this in PHP and mySQL (of course), 
> > so if it can't be done with a single query, I can split it up.
> > 
> > Here's the challenge, given a text field search box, someone enters:
> > 
> > 	Sony 20" TV
> > 
> > How do I search for that, not knowing which fields are which?
> > For example, they could have also entered:
> > 
> > 	20" Sony TV
> 
> I think you're describing full-text indexing.  MySQL supports 
> it but only on MyISAM 
> tables.  If you don't want to use MyISAM, full-text search 
> engines like Lucene or Sphinx may be worth looking at.

I don't think I am. While full-text indexing might help since 
the indexes would be faster. I think this is a logic issue.

The full-text index would be useful on a TEXT or BLOB or some 
long varchar field, but it doesn't solve that I'm trying to 
pull from two different tables, Product and Company and mapping 
the free-form string to fields that could be one of several.

I think my first attempt is close, but it's something to do with 
all the AND and OR combinations that's not right.

My version gives many results because it matches ("SONY" OR "TV" OR "20"). 
I need it to match ("SONY" AND "TV" AND "20")

But this isn't it either (returns 0 results) because some fields, 
like the categories.name, products.upc and products.model don't match 
so the entire condition fails.

SELECT products.*, companies.name AS company_name, categories.name AS category_name 
FROM 	 products 
	 LEFT JOIN companies ON company_id = companies.id 
	 LEFT JOIN categories ON category_id = categories.id 
WHERE  products.enabled = 1 
	AND( 
	     (products.model LIKE 'sony%'   OR products.model LIKE '20%'  OR products.model LIKE
'tv%') 
	 AND (products.upc LIKE 'sony'      OR products.upc LIKE '20'     OR products.upc LIKE
'tv') 
	 AND (products.name LIKE '%sony%'   OR products.name LIKE '20%'   OR products.name LIKE
'%tv%') 
	 AND (companies.name LIKE 'sony%'   OR companies.name LIKE '20%'  OR companies.name LIKE
'tv%') 
	 AND (categories.name LIKE '%sony%' OR categories.name LIKE '20%' OR categories.name LIKE
'%tv%') 
	) 
ORDER BY categories.name DESC, products.name ASC, companies.name ASC;

Also, the 'SONY' is really the companies.name, 
while the '20"' _AND_ 'TV' together form '20" TV' to make the products.name.

+------------------+--------------+--------------+--------------+
| name             | model        | upc          | company_name |
+------------------+--------------+--------------+--------------+
| 20" TV           | STV20-KVR-HD | 097855008633 | Sony         | 
| 36" TV           | STV36-KVR-HD | 087452047023 | Sony         | 
....
+------------------+--------------+--------------+--------------+

One way might be to do three separate queries, one for each word.
Then store them in an array and compare the overlaps, removing
any that aren't shared. Then a final query where product.id IN(array)

That seems extremely inefficient and hackish though.

Thread
How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Daevid Vincent4 May
  • Re: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Mogens Melander4 May
  • Re: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Baron Schwartz4 May
    • RE: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Daevid Vincent4 May
      • Re: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Baron Schwartz4 May
      • Re: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Mayssam Sayyadian7 May
  • Re: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Iain Alexander10 May
    • RE: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'?Daevid Vincent10 May
  • RE: How do I find products when a user types freeform strings like 'Sony 20" TV' or '20" Sony TV'? [SOLVED]Daevid Vincent11 May