Allow unregistered users to search

Someone on raif pointed out that unregistered users are not able to search this forum. I’m not sure if that’s by design or a configuration issue. Google indexes the forum pretty thoroughly so I expect it’s more of an oversight in the Search settings.

My guess is this is set to zero and should be something else (like 5) to open it up for guests.

phpBB’s search is practically useless anyway, so I’d just direct people to use Google (adding searches only this site) or install a custom Google search widget.

I disagree on the uselessness of the search; I use it pretty often. For instance, if I search for “noses” through the site widget, it returns the 16 posts that contain “noses,” with the author and thread for each one. Google gives you the thread but not the author, and gives you a misleading number of results (it says “about 98” but only displays 14). If allowing guests to search every second or so doesn’t cause a big slowdown, and I can’t imagine we have that much volume, I think it’d be a good idea to let them search.

I also find the search very useful. Google can’t restrict to a particular date range, or search content excluding the topic for example.

I think guest searches are disabled intentionally, but I don’t remember why. I think it had something to do with bots, but I don’t recall. I can try turning it on and see if there’s any kind of issue as a result.

This is to prevent DOS attacks by bots. Too many simultaneous searches will hog the database, slowing the forum to a crawl. This is usually a concern for large sites with lots of enemies. I’d say isn’t in anybody’s KOS list :stuck_out_tongue:

I set the guest search limit to 2 seconds, and there’s a setting to disable searching if the Linux load average gets too high. I set this to 1.5 (150%) which probably won’t matter given that only 1 guest search is allowed every 2 seconds.

I’ve been getting a “Sorry but you cannot use search at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.” message a couple of times when I’ve tried to reach Is this a side effect of the setting changes? I’ve never seen that message before.

I’m having the same problem, which is unfortunate since “View unread posts” is my main view. (This also affects “View new posts” and “View your posts”.)

I guess it would have to be related if it didn’t used to do that before. But I didn’t change anything except for “guest” users, and I’m not reproducing the same problem myself (nor when I switch to a different user’s permissions). Is this still happening?

I haven’t noticed it anymore. It happened a lot for a day or two, but it seems to be working now since yesterday.

I expect it’s probably a result of your second change - disabling search when the load gets too high.

Actually it may be better this way, if it avoids the “out of memory” errors that used to crop up from time to time. Functional but limited is preferable to completely offline.

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