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peterfmartin

mac (Archived) BUG: Search problems occurring since at least 3.1.0 beta 1

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I mentioned one example of this in passing in another conversation, and I've already started a ticket, but I now see the problem(s) are far larger than I noticed at first. Additionally, the recent Mac versions have had so many search failures, I want to start a thread just for problems we encounter in the 3.1.0 beta 1.

A recent search for "spare time" returned numerous errors:

1. Words appear together in note, but are not highlighted by Mac client. Examples:

http://dl.dropbox.co.../Spare time.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co... time again.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co...time search.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co...e time fail.jpg

2. A note returned by the search, when selected, is blank, as if there is no search being performed:

http://dl.dropbox.co...time Yale 1.jpg

It is a correct hit, though, as shown by a Cmd+F search:

http://dl.dropbox.co...time Yale 2.jpg

3. "Time" or "spare" returned as results when they are not actually words, but just character strings within words

http://dl.dropbox.co...Transparent.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co...0/Sometimes.jpg

4. A note returned by the search has no highlighted words, and then a Cmd+F search says one of the words isn't in the note:

http://dl.dropbox.co...pare time x.jpg

5. The Mac search returns 27 notes. The web search (which I've been told represents The Truth for Evernote) returns 29 notes, suggesting the Mac search is missing two. However, the Mac search returns a note that the web search does not, and the Mac search actually misses three notes that the web search returns. Here are images of where the words appear in the three notes the Mac client does not return:

http://dl.dropbox.co... time Elmer.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co... time about.jpg

http://dl.dropbox.co...Brett Kelly.jpg (yes, that's "Evernote Essentials," by Brett Kelly)

Has anyone else experienced any of these problems?

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Am I really the only one who has had any of these problems? Boy, some luck I have. Especially since, almost 36 hours after I submitted my support ticket about this, I still haven't heard back. (I just replied to the confirmation email to ask what happened to my ticket.)

Anyway, here's another search problem I'm having on Mac. I asked about this a month ago, when I was using 3.0.6, but no one responded and I'm still having the problem in 3.1.0 beta 1, so I'm raising the question again. Here's the issue:

On the web, if I search [how* -"how"] (where brackets show the beginning and end of the search string), the search does what I expect it to do: return notes that contain words beginning with "how" but not the word "how" itself, so only notes containing words like "however" and "Howard," but not "how." The search yields 721 notes in my account.

On Mac, however, the same search includes all notes with "how," ignoring the negation of that search term. Here's an example of a note with lots of hows and no howevers, Howards, or anything else like that. As you can see, that search on Mac yields 6032 notes.

Is this a bug in the Mac client? Is this a known and intended unsupported search on the client? If so, why? Is there any documentation about this differences in the searches across clients—or about any differences in the searches across clients?

(By the way, I assumed the Mac search was just giving me the results for [how*]—but that search yields 6754 notes, meaning that the additions of [-"how"] is eliminating 722 notes from the results, but not a lot of notes that contain "how." I wish I had any idea what was going on here.)

EDIT: Wow, this is even more confusing that I thought. Some things I now see:

  • Searching Mac for [how*] yields 6754 hits. Searching web for [how*] yields 6759. Mac is therefore failing to catch five notes with this search.
  • The example note I gave above actually includes "however." So the search is doing literally the opposite of what it's supposed to: Not only is it showing me a note with "how" in it; it's highlighting the term that's supposed to be excluded and failing to highlight the term that should be highlighted.

I'd think I should delete my database and re-sync to re-index my notes again, but I did that less than two weeks ago, and already I'm having all these problems. How many times do I have to re-index my database to have it searched correctly on my computer? Or is the Mac client just broken (for me or for everyone)?

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On the web, if I search [how* -"how"] (where brackets show the beginning and end of the search string), the search does what I expect it to do: return notes that contain words beginning with "how" but not the word "how" itself, so only notes containing words like "however" and "Howard," but not "how." The search yields 721 notes in my account.

On Mac, however, the same search includes all notes with "how," ignoring the negation of that search term. Here's an example of a note with lots of hows and no howevers, Howards, or anything else like that. As you can see, that search on Mac yields 6032 notes.

Is this a bug in the Mac client? Is this a known and intended unsupported search on the client? If so, why? Is there any documentation about this differences in the searches across clients—or about any differences in the searches across clients?

Here are my results searching in EN Mac 3.1.0 Beta 1 (Lion)


how 1111
how* 1111
"how" 897
how -"how" 897
-"how" 897

It is clear that the negation symbol has no effect on the Mac.

I'm not sure what the designed behavior is supposed to be.

Can someone from Evernote please provide the answer.

Thanks.

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The negation symbol works for me, but the types of problems peterfmartin is describing are ones I've been complaining about for *many* versions of Evernote, but they never get fixed (they still exist in v.3.1.0 beta 1). For example, when I search tag:tax tag:2011, I get fewer results in the Mac client than the Web client. When I search -tag:* to find untagged notes, I get the same number of results in the Mac and Web clients (137 notes), but the actual notes aren't the same! Many of the results in the Mac client do, in fact, have tags assigned. So the Mac client knows there are 137 matching notes, but it just randomly shows me notes that may or may not match the search parameters. But if the negation symbol weren't working at all, I would get thousands more notes in the Mac client.

Evernote has acknowledged this bug to me many times, and they always say they're working on it, but I don't see any evidence of it. I even had an Evernote employee in this forum tell me it hasn't been a priority yet, but they intend to get to it soon. That tells me they're more concerned with adding new features than having the core functionality working. Can you imagine gathering all your tax documents for your accountant in Evernote, not realizing that it omitted 20% of the documents from the search results?!

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In response to the support ticket that contained my first post on this topic:

We apologize for the inconvenience, however it appears there is currently a bug causing this.

We appreciate you taking the time to send us this error. We have filed an internal bug report with the QA team lead. She will classify and fix the bugs in the order determined by the project Lead.

Unfortunately this is not something I can fix for you at this time.

Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Thanks for making Evernote a better product,

Sigh. I wish I understood how "a" bug could cause so many totally different problems at once.

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Sigh. I wish I understood how "a" bug could cause so many totally different problems at once.

Never done programming, eh? :)

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Been a bit focused on some stability issues lately, will try to throw resources towards search.

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Search has been unreliable at best for me for a while now. It's frustrating, so I've basically gotten to the point that I don't use it, which is really too bad.

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In the last few days I've turned to the web client for searches, since almost every Mac search I check against the web has at least one error. A search just now for "radical" turned up 465 hits on Mac and 475 on web. I have several tickets open, reporting as much as I have time to so as to help the developers fix whatever's going on. Sigh.

Whatever you and the team can do on this, dlu, will be greatly appreciated. Currently, the Mac search is totally unreliable for at least a few of us, it seems.

EDIT: More examples, already submitted to support, with the results I get for the search on each client:

—"hungry": Mac 169, web 177

—"apple": Mac 573, web 587

—"spain": Mac 389, web 392

—"blowout": Mac 30, web 32

—"project": Mac 2060, web 2066

—"happiness": Mac 160, web 163

—"band": Mac 573, web 584

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Nope. Seriously, I wish I understood.

Let's put it this way -- one single wrong bit can wreak havoc with everything/anything, if you're really unlucky. And it may not manifest itself until much, much later, in a completely different part of your program, making it really hard to track down.

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I'm still experiencing the same problems peterfmartin has described as of 3.1.2.

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I'm still experiencing the same problems peterfmartin has described as of 3.1.2.

Me too. I've pretty much given up on searching with the Mac client (I use the web instead), but that's obviously quite disappointing and not ideal.

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I'll post a link there, but cjdeheer's problems (now my problems too) far predate any of these specific builds.

EDIT: Sorry, I think that's unclear. I mean, these are problems Evernote has known about for a while and hasn't fixed yet. They're not a 3.1.2-specific problems. I think it's generally clearer to keep long-running issue on their own topics so they can be tracked over time and versions. I'll rename this topic to make clear the problem is ongoing.

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I'll post a link there, but cjdeheer's problems (now my problems too) far predate any of these specific builds.

EDIT: Sorry, I think that's unclear. I mean, these are problems Evernote has known about for a while and hasn't fixed yet. They're not a 3.1.2-specific problems. I think it's generally clearer to keep long-running issue on their own topics so they can be tracked over time and versions. I'll rename this topic to make clear the problem is ongoing.

Yeah, this thread title is specific to "3.1.0 Beta 1". So, to your point, maybe this issue and your posts need to be in a thread not associated with any specific ver.

Having said that, it may also be useful to make a post in each to Beta for those issues/bugs that are still outstanding.

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Thanks for the report - ticket #7037 & #7038 have been filed.

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