V660-Searching and Filtering
Searching and Filtering in Newsbin
Newsbin provides great features for searching and filtering for what you want from Usenet. You’ll be most effective after you learned some Regular Expressions syntax, but Newsbin has keyword searching as well to make finding stuff easier.
There are two ways you can search for content in Newsbin: External Internet based search of a Usenet Index database or Local search of posts headers that you have downloaded from newsgroups on your news service. Both types of searches can be done from the Search tab. You may also do Keyword searching in an open Post list as described in Newsgroup Browsing.
Filters are created independent of other processes and applied at several levels to limit what you download or what you view after you download. You may use filters on the Search and Post list tabs when viewing content.
Newsbin has an [integrated search] engine that accesses a database of the most popular content on Usenet. We refer to that as Internet Searching since it goes out to our database using the internet. We do not currently include picture groups in our search database, but most of the other binary newsgroups are included. A [subscription] is required to download any reference information that points to the articles that should be available from your News Service provider, the basic search results are free.
The Search tab allows you to do keyword searches to find stuff. This is the most convenient way to locate content that may show up on any of many different groups. This database resides on our servers, not your News Service provider. The advantage of this type of search is that your query is performed across newsgroup boundaries to help you find content that may have been posted in one of several similar groups.
Once the search tab has retrieved a list of posts, the list behaves like a Post List in that you may double-click the post to begin downloading. You may also access any other Right-Click Menu Options associated with posts.
The list can be further filtered by using the same text box where your original keywords were entered to enter more keywords or regular expression style matching. Real time filtering of the result list occurs as you type. For example, typing MELONS would filter for posts with the term MELONS in the subject. Or typing [.]jpg would filter for files with the .jpg file extension.
There are various options to entering search criteria. Keyword matching on the subject of the post, the age of post, the size of post and the groups where the post resides can all be part of your search criteria. See Search tab and Search techniques documentation.
Search Local headers
Newsbin also allows you to search post headers that you have already downloaded, searching across groups with keywords or with configurable Filters. We call that Local Searching when using keywords and Profile Searching when using a filter. A drop down on the Search dialog lets you choose which type of search you wish. Using the Search tab allows you to search across newsgroup boundaries for the groups that you subscribe to.
The same search techniques apply when using the search of local headers as when searching the Internet Usenet index.
Local Stored Search - This search type allows the same keyword and other criteria available for internet searching but searches your locally stored headers. Newsbin will create an index of this data the first time the headers are searched so subsequent searches become faster than your initial search.
Local Profile Search - This search type allows you to run filter profiles that you create in the Filter Profiles dialog under the Utilities menu. This search is on local headers. A filter profile allows you to store the criteria that you regularly use. This feature is like using a filter on a post list. It differs in these ways:
- it does not honor the display age Setup option, but has a Search age drop down.
- it does not perform a download latest headers as when you open a post list. It looks at the current stored post headers.
- After search results are returned, you may type Regular Expressions in the Search text box to further filter search results in real time.
Newsbin has filtering techniques that allow you to focus on the items in a newsgroup that you are most interested in (and to keep spam out of your way). When you are new to a group, you may want to review all (well, lots of) headers for items of interest. Once you are familiar, you will see how you can set filters to focus on your interests. This allows you to optimize your computing power and spend your time enjoying the content.
Filters can be applied at three different places between your news service and your view of what’s available:
- Filter Downloads - a Filter Profile may be applied to a group of groups to limit what post headers are downloaded from your news service to your headers database.
- Filter Load to lists - A Filter Profile may be applied to a group or group of groups to limit what post headers are retrieved from your headers database and displayed in your Search or Post list screens.
- Filter Display Lists - Dynamic display filter fields and Filter Profiles can be applied to the Post lists or Search Tab on the fly to limit the list viewed in those tabs.
There are three types of filtering techniques available:
- Dynamic Filter Fields – there are several controls (eg. Size and Age) that dynamically filter the display list.
- Filter Profiles – allow for criteria to be stored under a profile name and used in any of the three places stated above.
- Poster Lock out – you can mark posters as spammers and Newsbin will filter out posts with the specific poster name from all Post lists or Search result lists.
The Global filter is a special Filter Profile that always applies to all displays. On initial install this filter contains no criteria. Different users tend to focus on differnet content. You will find your own use for this special filter after some practice.
The default install of Newsbin comes with several example (and useful) filters. These are provided to illustrate the syntax and get you started.
Filter Reference documentation
- Filters setup and usage - Using filters
- Add Filter dialog - Adding and modifying filters
- Group Properties dialog - Associating filters to Groups
- Regex Cheat Sheet - A cheat sheet of Regular Expression syntax use in searching and flitering