Site Talk forum: Searching plant database is restricted?

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So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 9, 2014 10:50 AM CST
I tried to search the plant database based on characteristics (looking for plant choices based on exposure, height, etc.) but I get this message:

Sorry, this feature is only available for Dave's use.

Is this an error or is this feature not available (although it is selectable)?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 9, 2014 11:20 AM CST
I just did a search to check, daylilies with 36 inch scape height and got over 5, 000 plants.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 9, 2014 11:22 AM CST
I was able to do this characteristics-search from the "Lettuces Database":
Lettuce Type: Romaine AND
Leaves: Unusual foliage color

But when I tried "Search all plants by characteristics" from the top level database, I got the "Dave Only" warning.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 9, 2014 11:23 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Oops!!! *Blush* Try again now. Smiling
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Jul 9, 2014 11:25 AM CST
I was amazed at so many plants 20 feet tall.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 9, 2014 11:29 AM CST
It works for me now! That was FAST.

Life cycle: Annual
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
» Limited to your list «
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jul 9, 2014 11:29 AM (+)]
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So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 9, 2014 11:37 AM CST
Thank you, Dave!!!!

Now, if I may bother you one more time Rolling on the floor laughing Big Grin ... I noticed that when I ran a test search in the ginger flowers section, I have to enter the data exactly as it appears in the db. For example, if I search for gingers that are "3-4 feet" in height, I get no returns; however, if I type in "3 to 4 feet", I get 1 return. I think I understand why (exact match only??), but I am wondering if there is some type of nomenclature that would get around this?

Again, 10,000 Thank You! 's
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Jul 9, 2014 11:52 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Unfortunately this is an absolute limitation that exists with all the text fields. When you have a text field, all you can really do is search for exact matches. That's why we prefer to use checkboxes or pulldowns as much as possible.
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 9, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Thanks, Dave! I will get creative with permutations Smiling
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Jul 9, 2014 12:03 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 9, 2014 12:21 PM CST
"3-4 feet" can also be listed as "36 to 48 inches".

In theory, maybe, I can imagine a kind of database field that is neither checkbox nor pull-down, yet might be searchable.
A "numeric range" field that could, with a lot of extra software, still be searched in some ways.

Its properties would include units (like inches, not feet).
Then it would have a lower limit (like "the plant height reaches 36 inches or more").
Then it would have an upper limit (like "the plant height reaches 48 inches but not more").
(Or it might be implemented as two normal numeric fields, "min height" and "max height"

A search might allow one to enter a single value like "40 inches", and the search would report plants with
(lower limit <= 40) AND (upper limit >= 40)

Or an even more complicated search would allow the SEARCHER to enter TWO numbers: say a search for "40-60 inches".
Then the search would report any overlap between the data field range and the search field range:
(lower limit <= 40) AND (upper limit >= 60)
or
(min height <= 40) AND (max height >=60)

I've hardly ever seen "numeric range" fields like this in online databases, or "numeric range" search fields. I suspect it's a lot of code, and also more complexity for the user.

The American Bamboo Society is the closest I recall, but it only has the range on the database numeric field, not the search field.
It has an "EITHER less than, OR greater than" search option. That probably does meet most people's needs most of the time.
http://www.bamboo.org/BambooSourceList/BambooSelector.php

I think one problem with using hard numbers on plants, is that even measurable things are somewhat subjective or variable. Soil, climate and other variables can affect plant dimensions by a factor of 2 or more.



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[Last edited by RickCorey - Jul 9, 2014 12:30 PM (+)]
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