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Search Problems

Conrad Lienhardt's profile picture
Posts: 127

13 January 2012, 10:56 AM


For a while some of my students could not be found by using the "Search User" search, although I can find them under Site Administration → User.  The number of users who are not listed by using "User Search" is increasing.

Another Search Problem. By using "Portfolio Search" (enabled) no results were shown.

But I don't know whether those two phenomena share the same bug.

I am using

Mahara 1.4.0
PHP 3.2.16
MySQL 5.1.52

Thanks and Regards

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3446

14 January 2012, 11:52 PM

Hello Conrad,

By "not be found" do you mean that too many results are shown? Mahara does not do exact searching but you can search for any partial string. E.g. when you search for John Doe, you also get John Adams, John Bone, John C etc. before you get to John Doe.

This is going to improve in Mahara 1.5 where you can turn on exact searches.

In regard to the portfolio search, I think this has not been working properly for some time. One way around it is to enable tags and allow students to search their portfolio by tags.



Conrad Lienhardt's profile picture
Posts: 127

15 January 2012, 5:45 AM

Hello Kristina,

thanks for replying. By "not be found" I meant, that no results are shown at all.  If I search with a partial string I get all Users with that string included in their names  - with the exception of some Users who also share that strings but aren't listed/ found. This is like they would be filtered out.

About 10 percent (increasing) of Users  -  who filled out their profiles as all others - could not be found by using "Search User".

The same happens when using "Profile Search". No results. The result list is empty and stays what string ever I use.

I wouldn't have opened that thread if the number of Users I can't find wouldn't increase steadily. And this causes also inconvenience by searching single Users to share pages with.

Hope there's a way to fix this. Would appreciate that ;-)

Thanks and Regards

Richard Mansfield's profile picture
Posts: 808

15 January 2012, 3:10 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that 'inactive' users are filtered out of the search results too.  These are users who have either been suspended, deleted, or expired.

Also, if you have set the "Default account inactivity time" in the admin area, users who have not logged in for a while may also have been marked as 'inactive', and they'll be missing from search results too.  (Contrary to what it says in the admin help, in 1.4 those users can still log in - see

Conrad Lienhardt's profile picture
Posts: 127

16 January 2012, 3:39 AM

Hi Richard!  Thanks; you solved the problem with "User Search". I set all user active MySQL values back to "1" . (I had to perfom it in the database, because the list "Suspended Users" was empty.)  Now each user can be found by using "Search Users" again.
In addition I set the "Default account inactivity time" to 4 years ;-) and hope, that the system doesn't  mark users as "inactive" before. :)

The other challenge - get an output by using "Profile Search" - is not touched by that. No results are listed.

Thanks and Regards,

Ruslan Kabalin's profile picture
Posts: 146

13 February 2012, 10:19 AM

Hi Conrad,

> The other challenge - get an output by using "Profile Search" - is not touched by that. No results are listed.

I have created an upstream bug for this and pushed the fix for revision.

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