Greenkeys Search

Info on searching | Archive (2002 - Present) | Archive (1998 - 2002)

The Greenkeys search engine behaves very similarly to the basic functions of standard search engines like Google, though there are some minor differences that take some getting used to. Advanced functionality outside what is explained below does not exist at this time. Below are a few tips on how to do simple searches.

Basic Searching (AND)

The simplest way to search is to simply type in one or more keywords. The search engine views multiple keywords strung together like this as if there are AND operators between each word, meaning both words must appear in the document to appear as a search result, but they don't necessarily have to appear next to each other. Most relevant results will be sorted first with relevancy determined by a magical algorithm, though documents that contain the two words right next to each other or very close together will typically be shown at the top of the list. You can explicitly use the AND operator between keywords, but it is unnecessary.

Phrase Searching

In order to search for two or more words exactly in a specified order, surround them with quotes. Multiple phrases can be used as long as each is surrounded by quotes. For example, "Teletype Corporation" would return all documents with that exact phrase. "Teletype Corporation" "model 28" would return all documents with both exact phrases as long as each phrase is somewhere in the document.

Exclusive Searching (NOT)

You can filter out results containing certain words by prefacing each keyword you wish to filter out with the word NOT. Note that the word NOT must be uppercase for the search engine to recognize it as an operator instead of another keyword. Also note that adding a dash before words does not negate them like it does in popular search engines like Google. For example, teletype NOT corporation would return all documents containing just the word teletype and would filter out documents that contain both teletype and corporation.

Inclusive Non-restrictive Searching (OR)

You can use the OR operator between keywords to return all documents that contain one keyword or the other (or both). Note that the word OR must be uppercase for the search engine to recognize it as an operator instead of another keyword. For example, a search of teletype OR corporation would return more documents than teletype AND corporation because it will include all documents that mention either or both of those words.

Combined Searching

You can easily combine all operators above to make more advanced and selective searches. For example, "teletype corporation" AND "model 15" OR "model 28" NOT weather NOT manual would return all documents that contain the phrases teletype corporation and model 15 as well as documents that contain the phrase model 28 but don't necessarily have to contain the previous phrases. Any documents containing the word weather or manual would be filtered out. Note that it shouldn't really matter in which order the operators are used, nor does it matter whether AND is specified explicitly-- for example, the following search would yield the exact same results: NOT weather "teletype corporation" OR "model 28" NOT manual "model 15".

Finding All Items in a Thread

Since this exclusively searches a mailing list archive, very often all the information you may be looking for will exist across several messages in a single thread. While most if not all of the thread's messages will probably appear in your search results, it may be easier to manually sort through them by starting at the beginning of the thread to get the full context. The easiest way to do this is to open one of the desired search results, then click on the "Messages sorted by [thread]" link near the top or bottom of the message. This will display all messages for the given month arranged by thread. Use your browser (CTRL+F or Command+F) to search for the title of the thread to easily find the thread's messages. If the thread crossed into another month, which is fairly common, you may need to check that next month's messages by thread as well.

Meta Information

This search engine indexes the entirety of the Greenkeys archives from 1998 to the present. While the Greenkeys archive has a restrictive robots.txt that disallows all respectable indexers from crawling the content there, I've obtained explicit permission to ignore these restrictions from the moderator of Greenkeys as well as the person who runs QTH.net, the supporting site behind Greenkeys and many other amateur radio-related mailing lists.

The indexer runs on a regular basis. Any new posts should be indexed and searchable within six hours maximum.

The indexer and search engine both run within the Open Search Server (OSS) suite, an open-source and full-featured engine. The original plan was to leverage Apache Nutch and Apache Solr, but OSS is a more complete (though arguably less powerful) solution with less setup, customization, and maintenance overhead.