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0 votes

The syntax for Boolean searches in AR2014 (build 822) is not intuitive and has significant inconsistencies between file searches, content searches and FLP searches.

For instance, criteria / search results for the file readme.txt are:

  • me read - no match (yet FLP results
    in match)
  • me:read - match (FLP -
    no match)
  • me;read - matches all
    instances of me or read (FLP - no
  • me AND read - no match
    (FLP - match)

Search criteria / results for contents of a file containing the words installing and following are:

  • ing follow - matches the "ing" in
    installing as well as the "follow" in
    following (same in FLP)
  • ing:follow - no matches (same in FLP)
  • ing;follow - no matches (same in FLP)

So whilst ":" sometimes means "AND" and ";" sometimes means "OR" (and can be used interchangeably with those operators), their use is not consistent. (BTW the comparison above is not exhaustive.)

Are there plans to fix this?

Could you, as a minimum, update the AR & FLP Boolean Expression help pages (links below) to clarify syntax usage, since the only mention appears to be in blog entries and in answers on this support board.

The fact that AR searches are Boolean by default (which is not obvious from the interface or the help page) rather than plain text, yet a different type of Boolean depending on context (file or content) or application (AR or FLP), makes alternating between AR and FLP more difficult than it should be.


by (955 points)

1 Answer

0 votes

It sounds like your inconsistencies are probably due to using different expression types. Agent Ransack and FileLocator Pro both default to using DOS Expressions for file name matching. However, FileLocator Pro can be switched to using Boolean expressions on file name searching, which is what it appears you have set. Agent Ransack doesn't have this option.

Please try setting File Name expressions in FileLocator Pro to DOS Expressions and re-try your tests.

by (31.3k points)


That explains my confusion. I'd assumed File and Content searches in AR were both boolean.

It wouldn't hurt to add some of the DOS expression help from the [FLP help page][1] to the [AR help page][2], particularly as AR's functionality has improved since 2010.
[1]: http://www.mythicsoft.com/filelocatorpro/help/en/index.html?other_extensions.htm
[2]: http://www.mythicsoft.com/agentransack/help/index.html?expressiontypes.htm

@bobm Yes, AR 2014 introduced quite a lot of extra functionality to DOS expressions. I'll make sure the online help is updated.