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Search Problem - Is this a Bug?

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#1 Mardon

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:59 AM

I use search a lot and today is the first time that I've encountered a problem. 

 

The troublesome search is:
 "Any fact" + "source" + "ref# contains" + "0012" AND "Any fact" + "source" + "detail ref# is blank"

 

This search finds all of the facts with ref# 0012 regardless of whether or not a detail ref# is present or blank.  I tried changing the "detail ref# is blank" argument to "detail ref# contains" + "0001" and that works as it is supposed to.

 

Am I missing something here?  I can't see anything that I am doing wrong.  Is this a bug?

 



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 02:13 PM

I describe this problem as "broken as designed". The problem is that the AND condition of your search applies to the same person but not to the same fact for the same person. So if one fact for one person satisfies one part of the AND and a different fact for the same person satisfies the other part of the AND, then your search gets a match because both conditions are applied to the same person. Most typically, that is not the desired behavior. You really want both of your search conditions to be applied to the same fact for the same person, not just for the same person.

 

The search where I used to run into this problem on a regular basis was even simpler than yours. I would search for something like "census date equals 1850" AND "census place contains texas". I would get a match if for a person whose actual data was that their 1850 census was in Tennessee and their 1860 census was in Texas. This would give the same kind of false match as you got with your search.

 

I solved my problem by switching over from RM's built-in census fact to using census facts of my own design which are specific to census year - one fact type for the 1850 census, a different fact type for the 1860 census, etc. It's not the solution I would have preferred, but it does work quite well. The only possible problem I have with it is that I could still have a search problem if an individual was actually enumerated twice in the same census year. It's rare, but it does happen.

 

I really can't think of a good solution for your problem. There is a longstanding wish list item requesting that RM provide a way to for multiple search conditions to be applied to the same fact, and there is no way to know when or even if this wish will be fulfilled.

 

Jerry



#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 02:55 PM

P.S. I realized that I failed to mention that even if RM added support to apply multiple search conditions to the same fact, it still might not solve your problem. You really need multiple search conditions to be applied to the same citation and a single fact can have multiple citations. I don't know if there is an outstanding wish list item for applying multiple search conditions to the same citation, but if not perhaps Renee could add it.

 

Jerry



#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 08:53 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.


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#5 Mardon

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 01:12 PM

Jerry,  Thank you for a very clear explanation of what is happening and why.  Thanks also to Renee for confirming that the enhancement request is in the system. As Jerry points out, I hope this request will include searches with multiple citations for a given fact.  Mardon