PAT Query Interface Help


  1. About this page
  2. Organization of the interface
    1. Simple search form
    2. Complex search form
  3. Frequently asked questions

What this page is about

This page contains some tips on querying using the Pat query interface. The interface is not full-proof, because of the limitations of the interface between the form methods and the pat API. However, in most cases, query problems can be solved simply by rewording or rephrasing your queries. In this page, some problems and their solutions using query rephrasing are discussed. The following is by no means an exhaustive set of problems. If you have a question that you don't know the answer of, report it to me, and I will be happy to answer it.

Organization of the interface

The following two sections describe the basic intention of the two forms available for searching the database.

Simple Search Form

The simple form is meant for quick searches. Users can just type in any string and hit return (or click on the "search" button) to activate the search. The interface itself tries to figure out a search and display strategy and displays accordingly. It might be possible that the fetching routine does not find the actual text in the region that it tried to display, so the user might get a "no match" result when trying to fetch the text. It is recommended that the user switches to the complex form if that happens.

The search string can be any string, with blanks or symbols in it (of course, the result might be empty if such symbols do not exist in the database. Clicking on "Search" activates the search routine, and clicking on the "clear" button clears the previous entry so the user can type in another query.

Complex Search Form

This form is used for generalized searching. as described on top of the form, the search input regions are divided in three columns - the first one is the combination operator column, the second one the search string column, and the third one the inclusion region column.

The string column is for the user to type in the search string, included within the region in the region column. The regions in the region column are divided into two basic categories: the entries poet, collection title, and bibliography refer to the bibliographic information, and the entries poem, poem title, stanza, poem division and line refer to the poems themselves. The entry "global" is for anywhere in the database. The combination operators are used to connect the various entry rows. Presently only the operators "Followed by" and "near" are used.

There are two other entries in the complex form: The maximum number of fetched results, defaulted to the value 25 indicates how many results would be extracted if there are too many matches. Giving a small value (like 25) is a good idea, since it speeds up the fetching process. The second entry, which denotes the fetching region, refers to the displayed region when the poem is fetched. It is safe to leave it as "default" - if the fetched result comes out to be empty, this entry can be changed to avoid this.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How do I search in the historical region, say, for poems in the late 19th century?

    The database only contains codes for the various periods of English poetry. To search for a particular period, you need to type in the code corresponding to the period you are looking for. The following are the codes for the various periods:

  2. I am looking for a poem with a phrase in it, and the returned results does not have the poem that I am looking for.

    If you are using the simple form, try using the complex form and try to restrict your query. If the problem persists, then try increasing the default maximum number of results returned by the complex query. If that does not solve the problem, try giving more data to Pat.

  3. The poem I am looking for shows up in the result, but on pressing the fetch button I get "no matches to your query".

    If you are using the simple form, try switching to the complex form. In the simple form, the only result that you can fetch is a poem, and it is possible that you are trying to fetch something outside a poem (such as author information or bibliographic information). When switching to the complex form, make sure that you are accessing the proper region, not the global region (using the global might give you the same problem). You can also change the limiting region (below the search rows) to see whether that makes any change or not. If the problem persists, then report it to the author.

  4. The query I am submitting comes out with no match, although I am positive that such a poem exists.

    It might not be in the database! Or maybe your query does not make total sense to Pat! Try to simplify your query if it consists of many different clauses. Try not to mix and match the bibliographic information (collection title, poet) with the poem proper (line, poem title, stanza). If the problem persists, report it to the author.

  5. I can get to the form, but on submitting a query, I get "permission denied".

    Access to The Chadwyck-Healey English poetry database is limited to the Indiana University, Bloomington Campus, because of the nature of the site license on the data. If you are from Bloomington, but still can't access it, it is possible that the authentication process is not aware of your location/server. Please report it to the author.

  6. After I fetch a poem, I get a "waiting for reply", but I never get a reply back.

    It is possible that your poem is really big. The conversion procedure that converts the sgml file into html format is based on an interpreter, so it is not very fast. We have seen that poems within the 2000 line limit are converted in less than 4 minutes, but it is slow for bigger poems. So please be patient.

  7. The displayed poem seems to be incomplete.

    There might be different causes of this. It can be a bug in the program, or it can be a problem with the data. Retry your query, if the same thing happens, please report the query to me.

Back to the Query Form

Last updated: 5/6/95

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