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I searched for "couldn't help crying" (including the quotes) and there was one result. I searched again with "couldn't help *ing" (including the quotes), and I got no results.
[not needed anymore- removed by CK]
That's not how it used to work. Without the quotes, the order of the words/pattern is not guaranteed.
I notice that this query (including the quotes) finds a result:
"couldn't help cry*"
However, it's not the search you wanted to perform. I did a web search (with terms like "sphinx wildcard quotes not working") to see whether anyone else has any insight on this, but didn't find anything relevant. @gillux, do you have any comment?
It was definitely working before, including "xxx yyy *zzz$".
When you say "before", what range of time are you talking about? @gillux or @TRANG, when's the last time the search engine or configuration changed?
@AlanF_US, I don't remember the range of time when this used to work, but I know I have searched (and needed to) this way before (with quotes). Do you guys log search requests? If so you should be able to see similar searches I have made in the past.
I notice that a search like "Tom is *ing" (within quotes) only yields sentences where "is" and the ing-word are exactly one word apart.
It finds "Tom is very hardworking" "Tom is just trolling", even "Tom is drawing something" (because there's a second "ing"), but not "Tom is sleeping".
The documentation has the following example:
"Tom * * Mary * John"
This example finds sentences that have "Tom", then 2 words, then "Mary", then 1 word, and then "John."
This works only with quotes. Without quotes any number of words (including zero) can be between Tom and Mary.
So it seems wildcards are treated differently within quotes, and the issue is sort of an unwanted side-effect.
I sometimes have this problem too, nothing is found;
if the "normale" search didn't find something try the "extended" search