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TWiki Formatted Search Results

Inline search feature allows flexible formatting of search result

The %SEARCH{...}% variable documented in TWikiVariables has a fixed format for the search result, that is, a table consisting of topic names and topic summaries. Use the format="..." parameter to specify a customized format of the search result. The string of the format parameter is typically a bullet list or table row containing variables (such as %SEARCH{ "food" format="| $topic | $summary |" }%).

Syntax

Two parameters can be used to specify a customized search result:

1. header="..." parameter

Use the header parameter to specify the header of a search result. It should correspond to the format of the format parameter. This parameter is optional.
Example: header="| *Topic:* | *Summary:* |"

2. format="..." parameter

Use the format parameter to specify the format of one search hit.
Example: format="| $topic | $summary |"

Variables that can be used in the format string:

Name: up Expands To:
$wikiusername Wiki user name of last topic update, like Main.JohnSmith
$wikiname Wiki user name of last topic update, e.g. JohnSmith
$web Name of the web
$username Login name of last topic update, e.g. jsmith
$topic Topic name
$topic(40, ...) Topic name, shortended to 40 characters with "..." indication
$topic(30, -<br />) Topic name, hyphenated each 30 characters with separator "-<br />"
$topic(20) Topic name, "- " hyphenated each 20 characters
$text Formatted topic text. In case of a multiple="on" search, it is the line found for each search hit.
$summary Topic summary
$rev Number of last topic revision, e.g. 1.4
$quot Double quote ("). Alternatively write \" to escape it
$percnt Percent sign (%)
$pattern(reg-exp) A regular expression pattern to extract some text from a topic (does not search meta data; use $formfield instead). In case of a multiple="on" search, the pattern is applied to the line found in each search hit.
• Specify a RegularExpression that covers the whole text (topic or line), which typically starts with .*, and must end in .*
• Put text you want to keep in parenthesis, like $pattern(.*?(from here.*?to here).*)
• Example: $pattern(.*?\*.*?Email\:\s*([^\n\r]+).*) extracts the email address from a bullet of format * Email: ...
• This example has non-greedy .*? patterns to scan for the first occurance of the Email bullet; use greedy .* patterns to scan for the last occurance
• Limitation: Do not use .*) inside the pattern, e.g. $pattern(.*foo(.*)bar.*) does not work, but $pattern(.*foo(.*?)bar.*) does
• Note: Make sure that the integrity of a web page is not compromised; for example, if you include an HTML table make sure to include everything including the table end tag
$parent Name of parent topic; empty if not set
$parent(20) Name of parent topic, same hyphenation/shortening like $topic()
$nop or $nop() Is a "no operation". This variable gets removed; useful for nested search
$n or $n() New line
$locked LOCKED flag (if any)
$isodate Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 2014-10-25T05:50Z
$formname The name of the form attached to the topic; empty if none
$formfield(name, 30, ...) Form field value, shortended to 30 characters with "..." indication
$formfield(name, 20, -<br />) Form field value, hyphenated each 20 characters with separator "-<br />"
$formfield(name, 10) Form field value, "- " hyphenated each 10 characters
$formfield(name) The field value of a form field; for example, $formfield(TopicClassification) would get expanded to PublicFAQ. This applies only to topics that have a TWikiForm
$dollar Dollar sign ($)
$date Time stamp of last topic update, e.g. 25 Oct 2014 - 05:50
$createwikiusername Wiki user name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. Main.JohnSmith
$createwikiname Wiki user name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. JohnSmith
$createusername Login name of topic revision 1.1, e.g. jsmith
$createdate Time stamp of topic revision 1.1

Examples

Bullet list showing topic name and summary

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "FAQ" scope="topic" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="   * *Topic: Summary:*" format="   * [[$topic]]: $summary" }%

To get this:

Table showing form field values of topics with a form

In a web where there is a form that contains a TopicClassification field, an OperatingSystem field and an OsVersion field we could write:

| *Topic:* | *OperatingSystem:* | *OsVersion:* |
%SEARCH{ "[T]opicClassification.*?value=\"[P]ublicFAQ\"" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" format="| [[$topic]] | $formfield(OperatingSystem) | $formfield(OsVersion) |" }%

To get this:

Topic: OperatingSystem: OsVersion:
IncorrectDllVersionW32PTH10DLL OsWin 95/98
WinDoze95Crash OsWin 95

Extract some text from a topic using regular expression

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "__Back to\:__ TWikiFAQ" scope="text" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" header="TWiki FAQs:" format="   * $pattern(.*?FAQ\:[\n\r]*([^\n\r]+).*) [[$topic][Answer...]]" }%

To get this:

TWiki FAQs:

Nested Search

Search can be nested. For example, search for some topics, then form a new search for each topic found in the first search. The idea is to build the nested search string using a formatted search in the first search.

Here is an example. Let's search for all topics that contain the word "culture" (first search), and let's find out where each topic found is linked from (second search).

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "culture" format="   * $topic is referenced by:$n      * $percntSEARCH{ \"$topic\" format=\"$dollartopic\" nosearch=\"on\" nototal=\"on\" separator=\", \" }$nop%" nosearch="on" nototal="on" }%

To get this:

Note: Nested search can be slow, especially if you nest more then 3 times. Nesting is limited to 16 levels. For each new nesting level you need to "escape the escapes", e.g. write $dollarpercntSEARCH{ for level three, $dollardollarpercntSEARCH{ for level four, etc.

Most recently changed pages

Write this:

%SEARCH{ "\.*" scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" order="modified" reverse="on"  format="| [[$topic]] | $wikiusername  | $date |" limit="7" }%

To get this:

WebStatistics Main.guest 24 Oct 2014 - 13:15
TWikiPreferences DetlevZundel 19 Dec 2013 - 17:04
TWikiRegistration FrankLichtenheld 08 Mar 2007 - 15:04
WebTopBar FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:55
WebHome FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:55
WebPreferences FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:51
TWikiSite FrankLichtenheld 27 Feb 2006 - 14:49

Search with conditional output

A regular expression search is flexible, but there are limitations. For example, you cannot show all topics that are up to exactly one week old, or create a report that shows all records with invalid form fields or fields within a certain range, etc. You need some additional logic to format output based on a condition:

  1. Specify a search which returns more hits then you need
  2. For each search hit apply a spreadsheet formula to determine if the hit is needed
  3. If needed, format and output the result
  4. Else supress the search hit

This requires the TWiki:Plugins.SpreadSheetPlugin. The following example shows all topics that are up to exactly one week old.

Write this:

%CALC{$SET(weekold, $TIMEADD($TIME(), -7, day))}%
%SEARCH{ "." scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on" nototal="on" order="modified" reverse="on" format="$percntCALC{$IF($TIME($date) < $GET(weekold), <nop>, | [[$topic]] | $wikiusername | $date | $rev |)}$percnt" limit="100" }%

To get this:

WebStatistics Main.guest 24 Oct 2014 - 13:15 1.1782

Embedding search forms to return a formatted result

Use an HTML form and an embedded formatted search on the same topic. You can link them together with an %URLPARAM{"..."}% variable. Example:

Write this:

<form action="%SCRIPTURLPATH%/view%SCRIPTSUFFIX%/%WEB%/%TOPIC%">
Find Topics: 
<input type="text" name="q" size="32" value="%URLPARAM{"q"}%" />
<input type="submit" value="Search" />
</form>
Result:
%SEARCH{ search="%URLPARAM{"q"}%" format="   * $web.$topic: %BR% $summary" nosearch="on" }%

To get this:

Find Topics:
Result:

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 26 Jul 2004