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Mixing full-text and like... a good idea?
Posted by: Nicola RomanĂ²
Date: July 07, 2009 01:15AM

Hi everyone,

I'm currently developing a search engine for a science website.
I have implemented fulltext search and it's sweet, but our host limits the fulltext index to 4 letter words.
As our users are very likely to search for 3-letter words (lots of 3-letter acronyms in science...) I need some alternative solution.

We're on a shared hosting and we cannot change the fulltext limit, nor override the max and min variables... so I thought to use a mixed system: use FULLTEXT for normal searches and fall back to LIKE in the cases when 3-letter words are present.

Do you think this would be a good idea? And how to get search relevance in the LIKE case? I found this article: http://r937.com/keyword_relevance.html which doesn't seem to bad, but I'd like to hear your opinion before starting developing all of this.

So, would I be better to drop fulltext completely and do it all with like? Or is the mixed idea better? Or ... do you have any other alternative?

Thank you in advance
nico

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