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    Post How to search the fedora forums

    How to search the fedora forums


    Got a question about fedora? Don't know where to start?

    Just got hit with this?



    Or perhaps you found and used the forum search engine ... and got exactly ... zip ...

    ... or you got so many returns it'll take you a month to sort through it all?

    Fear not! Help is here!

    First, please understand that we already know the built-in forum search engine is a device that only a hyper-geek or a mother blinded by love could possibly learn to appreciate.

    That being said, a little understanding of how a forum like this works can save you a ton of time and trouble. So, read on, and I'll try to take some of the mystery out of searching for answers here on the fedora forums.

    Section one. "How does the forum work?")
    To get an overview of how this whole thing is taped together, you need to start at this page, and explore the general layout. (See Figure 1.) The categories here are labeled as clearly as we can get them. We understand that we get all types of users and members, from the uber-geek with digital implants, to the first time techno-granny, (sorry, Elide) to international users for whom English is not a first, nor perhaps a second language. <....>

    Figure 1.



    ***

    So, when you find a section that looks promising to your particular interest, click on its name. You are now in that forum. At the top of each forum section, (the one you just clicked into) you will see some thread titles, with push-pin icons beside them. (See Figure 2.) Those are our "Stickies." 99% of what you are going to need to know will be in those threads. That's why we made 'em Stickies. Some of the best fedora/Linux life-lines are the ones with labels like, "Where to find answers!"
    (I highly recommend reading this one first.)
    (See figure 2.)

    Figure 2.


    Some of our sharpest people have taken the time to write these things up, and they deserve a tip of the hat, if not a full blown bow. (or curtsey, if you are so inclined.)

    Section two. "How does the search engine work, and where is it?")Here's the Search Beast. (See Figure 3.) It really is a powerful tool, but it's kind of cranky and likes very specific input. It can be accessed from any forum page by looking on the blue toolbar at the top of the page just below the header art. It will have a little triangle next to the word, "Search." If you have javascript enabled, it will drop down an input box containing an "Advanced" link. From sad experience, I recommend ignoring the input box, and just click the "advanced" link.

    You will then be taken to the search engine input page. (See Figure 3.) Here, details, spelling and typing accuracy are important. Enter your search terms in the "Key words" box. If you have an idea of who might have posted the information you are looking for, enter their username in the username field. Be as specific as you can, and enter only the search terms you believe are most likely to show up in a thread that might do you some good. If you are working on a recent release, I recommend limiting results to within the last six to eight months. Any results from farther back will only add to the confusion. Note that small or common words are going to get ignored, so specific nouns/verbs will help a lot. If your returns list a lot of choices, first look for any that have a Stickie, or are marked, "[SOLVED]." Those are your best bet.

    Figure 3.

    ***


    Section three. "I've read that Google is better for searching the fedora forums. Is that so?") You bet! Try as we might to be all things, there's just nothing like asking a professional to do a bang up professional job, and in the search business, Google well qualifies for that!

    Here's how to get the best results. From a Google search box, enter the term you are looking for, then a space, and add this. "site:www.fedoraforum.org" (See Figure 4.) So, if you were looking for Compiz-fusion, your search terms would look like this. (See Figure 4.)

    Figure 4.



    You will likely get a whole raft of results, but you'll get them very fast! Use the advanced page tools in Google to narrow things down a bit, just like you would in the fedora search page.

    ***

    From here, you should be able to narrow down the vast quantity of knowledge contributed by our members to something that will help you solve the problem you came in with. But don't limit yourself to one search or answer once you are here. Many solutions to not yet encountered problems and other unrealized gems of knowledge can be picked up by just digging in and reading for a while. Those gems of discovery gleaned by serendipity are often the most fun and the most valuable.

    An added note.)
    Hint: A bit of reading around can give you an idea of who on the forum has brought which specialties to the table, and then you can use that knowledge to refine the data entered into the search tools

    So ... I hope this helped some ... happy searching!


    Dan


    EDIT: How to add fedora forums to your firefox search box.

    A tip of the hat to Wayne for pointing out this little gem.

    In order to add the fedora forum to your firefox search box, simply surf to this page, and click the fedora link. It will ask you if you really want to do this. Seems a little silly, but they had to ask. We didn't come this far just to back out now, so click "ok," and it will automatically add the fedora search to your browser.

    It really is just that easy.

    Thanks Wayne!


    Dan
    Last edited by Dan; 14th December 2008 at 06:49 PM.

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