7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2014 12:13 AM by KenPorter

    Checkbox search not accurate

    John10e

      Summary

      Checkbox search not accurate

      Description of the issue

      I have a field of checkbox items and want to find those checked in a specific item.  I do a Find, check the checkbox and proceed. The results include all the items checked but also a few additional items where the checkbox is empty, so the search results are useless. There are several items in the checkbox list; there is only one where this problem appears. Is it possible to have a X that is not visible? I noticed that it sometimes took me multiple tries to get the checkbox to register the X when entering the data (not in the Find) I can email screenshots if that would be helpful Details:Filemaker Pro Advanced, version 10.0v1 (12/2/08)MacBookPro, Mac 10.5.6, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3NOTE: FileMaker does NOT show up in the list of applications by going to the Apple/About This Mac/More Info.../Software/Applications, but DOES show up in my Applications folder. This might be irrelevant, but just in case. 

        • 1. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
          TSGal

          John10e:

           

          Thank you for your post.

           

          A field formatted as a Checkbox will store the results of the checkbox values in a field.  As a simple example, you may have a checkbox that has the values "Yes" and "No".  If the "Yes" checkbox is checked, then the value "Yes" is placed into the field.  If you then check the "No" box, you have "Yes" and "No" in the field.

           

          Now, let's expand on this.  Suppose you add the checkbox values "Yessir" and "Nosir".  You now have four selections to choose from.  To keep things simple, create four records with each of the four checkbox values.  If you then perform a find after clicking on the "Yes" checkbox, you will get two records.  One for "Yes" and one for "Yessir".

           

          Other problems can also arise if you change the value of a checkbox.  Many users think that changing the value will change the value for those existing records.  It does not.  You are only changing the value list.  For example, if you change the value of "Yessir" to "Yessirree", the value of "Yessir" still remains in the field, but you cannot see it (unless you remove the checkbox formatting).

           

          If none of this information is helpful, let me know, and I'll do my best to help you resolve this issue.

           

          TSGal

          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
            John10e
              

            Thanks for the response. It does help but I'm still confused. In the field I have three similar terms: 'Master All Tools', 'Special Educ Master' and 'Special Educ 25'.  If I do a search by clicking the 'Special Educ Master' I get 104/199 records.  All of the found records show an X in the 'Special Education Master' checkbox. So far so good.

            But if I do a search by clicking the 'Special Educ 25' I get 30/199, but only 25 of the 30 found tools show an X in the 'Special Educ 25' checkbox. The other 5 are unchecked but appear among the search results. 

             

            If I turn off the checkboxes and view as an Edit field, I get the following among the found set:

            A) for those where the 'Special Educ 25' was checked:

            MASTER ALL TOOLS

            General 40

            Administrator 25

            Special Educ Master

            Special Educ 25

             

            B) for those where the 'Special Educ 25' was unchecked:

            MASTER ALL TOOLS

            General 40

            Administrator 25

            Special Educ Master 

             

            The question is:  Why do the five tools that are as example B) show up when I search for 'Special Education 25'? 

             

            It's not finding just the words 'Special Educ' or all 104/199 would appear in the results. 

             

            And I just did a search in the field set as an Edit Box for 'Special Educ 25' and got the extra five tools that do not have the term 'Special Educ 25' in the field.

            • 3. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
              TSGal

              John10e:

               

              Thank you for the additional information.

               

              When you select "Special Educ 25", it is going to search for all records where the words "Special", "Educ" and "25" appear in the field.  In one of the examples you gave me, you have "Special Educ Master" and "Administrator 25" checked, and this includes the three words.

               

              Does that make sense?

               

              TSGal

              FileMaker, Inc. 

              • 4. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
                KenPorter

                     This sounds related to the bug I'm finding.

                     I have a field called "Conventions" which appears as a checkbox set, with items such as

                     "128 Expo 2012"

                     "Small Biz Expo 2012"

                     "SHRNE 2012"

                     "128 Expo 2013"... etc, you get the idea.

                     When doing a find for those records with "128 Expo 2012" checked, it returned, as part of the found set, a record which did NOT have that item checked, but did have the following items checked: "SHRNE 2012" and "128 Biz Expo 2013".

                     I infer from this that since the field is really just a text/string value with multiple lines of text (one per item checked) that the search criteria is not considered one string, but rather is parsed and considered multiple criteria.  i.e. in this case, FMP looked for records whose 'conventions' field contained "128", "biz", "expo" and "2012", NOT for those that contained "128 biz expo 2012" (as one contiguous string).  Note: you can safely ignore my mismatched upper/lower case as it's not relevant to this report, and it all matches in my database.

                     This is a bug.  Currently this affected one trial search and one record, but as the database grows, and for others who have substantial databases and may rely on this capability, it will return false positives.  Not to mention that considering the search item as one contiguous string will likely lead to a more efficient (read: faster) search process, programatically. 

                     Thanks,

                      - K

                     (p.s. if I don't see an answer to this in a reasonable timeframe, I'll likely re-post it in a new topic.)

                      

                • 5. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
                  TSGal

                       Ken Porter:

                       Thank you for your post.

                       As mentioned in the earlier reply, when you perform a search for "128 Expo 2012", FileMaker Pro is going to search all records for the words 128, Expo, and 2012.  The record that has the values "SHRINE 2012" and "128 Biz Expo 2013" both selected satisfies the search criteria.  If you want the specific search criteria, then use a script to find the exact contents, or some users consider having separate fields for each checkbox value.

                       Let me know if you need additional clarification.

                       TSGal
                       FileMaker, Inc.

                  • 6. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
                    KenPorter

                         TSGal,

                         Thanks for the quick response.  OK.  So, thank you for clarifying that it is indeed working as designed.  Now I'd like to posit that this just moves the problem from being an execution-type bug to a design-type bug, and my reasoning is this:  

                         A user would ostensibly create a checkbox set with a list of items because that would be the method or paradigm which that user feels best fits their own workflow.  To parse one checked item (used as a search criteria) into multiple search terms deliberately breaks from the paradigm that was used when it was created.  i.e. it's forcing the end user to think of the same interface in two different ways - not just to find what they're looking for, but to avoid encompassing exactly that which they are trying to avoid (omit).

                         True, the desired search result could be gained by using a script.  However, creating a script is - at least in our work environment - a more advanced skill than simply filling in a couple fields for a Find.  So, secondly, this approach, or workaround, forces the end users to learn a deeper skillset - and become proficient at it - to get FMP to serve their needs.  While I'm not philosophically opposed to people learning more skills, I don't believe that workers - whether CEOs or common data-entry laborers - should be *required* to learn the deeper skillset to accomplish what the Find function should be able to accomplish.  Which leads me to:

                         Third, it's just plain counter-intuitive.  Any user advanced enough to use the Find feature will see a checkbox set and think:

                         "Hey, FileMaker, find me all the records that have this certain checkbox checked." And expect the response:

                         "OK, here ya' go." from FMP.  No one will expect FMP to reply "Well, that item you checked in the checkbox? I'm going to treat that differently than every other search criterion you've specified, and in doing so, it'll quite likely muck up the quantity and quality of the results I show you.  If that's not ok, call a co-worker who knows how to write scripts."

                         See what I mean?  I hope this doesn't come off as anger directed at you or any of your colleagues; it's really more of a frustration that an inanimate object wasn't working the way I expected it to.

                          - K

                          

                    • 7. Re: Checkbox search not accurate
                      KenPorter

                      So, I never saw a response or reply...

                      Am I crazy? Does no one else agree with me?  Has this issue been put on a back burner? Does anyone else see this as relevant?

                      Any news on the development addressing this issue would be appreciated.  Thanks

                       - K