Why is MySQL documentation search so wrong?

I just don’t get this I don not know what the technology is behind the search box at MySQL Documentation but it annoys me when I want to see the syntax of a command and Search can’t find the page, when a dedicated page exists and I’m using the exact syntax of both the command the title of the page. In this example the search was for SHOW WARNINGS.

Google find the page as first link!


  1. says

    Yes, it is a Google search appliance. I find the same problems Roland does. Although often for me Google’s normal search puts mirrors (usually out-of-date ones) before the real docs.

    I know part of the reason why Google indexes it badly, its annoying but nothing can be done :/

  2. paul says

    I have always wondered this myself. I thought it would be due to MySQL using MySQL’s full text search which has crappy matching. They really need to swap the site to use a product like Sphinx.

  3. Matthew Montgomery says

    Looks like maybe some pages from the 5.1 reference manual just aren’t included in the indexed at all.

    If I search in “All Documentation” I get the SHOW WARNINGS syntax page from the 5.5 manual first. Then the 5.5 SHOW syntax and 5.0 SHOW WARNINGS syntax.

  4. davidfreeman says

    My impression was that they realized some improvement by going from Mnoga to Sphinx for indexing and search backend. It’s still not as effective as using Google’s ‘site:dev.mysql.com’ angle.

    There’s an OpenSearch plugin made by and for the lazy –labeled “MySQL Reference v5.1 (3rd Party – Google)” at http://mycroft.mozdev.org/search-engines.html?name=mysql&opensearch=yes . It is “clickable for Chromium, Firefox and any other OpenSearch-friendly browser.

  5. Tom Hanlon says


    Could you please be more specific.

    Was the search good in the past, but now it is bad ?

    Was the search always bad ?

    In my opinion it was good in the past, then it got altered under SUN, and then… well I can not tell what is going on.

    Perhaps a straight talking ACE like yourself can help define the problem so if there is one, and Oracle can fix it then it would be a good thing.


  6. says

    Absolutely right. I always recommend the documentation as great reference, but recommend using google (adding “mysql” as prefix to your search query) to find the great reference.

  7. erin o'neill says

    The MySQL documentation search has been annoyingly wrong since about 2007 (maybe it didn’t bother me prior to this?). I use google too but when I forget, I curse & wish they’d just attach sphinx to the search!