WODA Help File

Browser software

Advanced features such as file upload, what's new for me, the soon to be released frames and Java Script support require Navigator 2.0+ or MSIE 3.0+. All vital features run on 1.0 generation of browsers. Table support is required too. File upload does not work on MSIE.

Search syntax

WODA support three types of searches, simple search, field serach and expression search. The first two are similar to AltaVista's simple syntax.

Generally WODA uses a full text search approach; all fields are searched for words written in the search expression. Double quotes can be used to group words into phrases such as "New York".

Several search words separated by blanks and grouped by quotes can be specified e.g.

        "New York" sell painting

WODA will try to find records which contain at least one of the terms defined above, but will sort results so that the records which match more terms are listed on top. The above search will also return records in which people from New York wish to buy paintings.

        "New York" +sell painting

would limit the results to records which contain the word sell and then "New York" or "paining" or none of the other two. Similarly, pre-pending the term with a -, records which contain the term will not be listed:

        -"New York" +sell +car

will list records which contain words sell and car and do not contain the phrase "New York".

Search terms may also contain regular expressions which can help in making searchies more precise. Searches are matched to word beginnings. Searching for "cat" will not match "tomcat" but will match "cathy". Searching for "cat\b" will not find "cathy" either.

Field search

Nicer search syntax now allows fieldname:value type of syntax:


Word starting in edu must be in email field.


Word starting edu must not be in email field.


has the same meaning as +email:edu

Expression search

If the search field includes character {, then everything to right (and including) this character is interpreted as a search expression. These search expressions are in fact Perl expressions with the following specialties:

Example of a complex search:

painting +city:"New York" {price} < 1000 and not {author} =~ /turk/

Tips for fast searching