I would like to propose to place a (?) help link next to the "Search Forums" box to tell the users that they can use the wildcards % and _ in their search. _ stands for any single character and % stands for any number of characters.
In particular this can be used to search for topics that contain two words. For example 'help%search' will find all topics that contain 'help' AND THEN 'search'.
Internally to Moodle this search is done as an SQL search using LIKE. Perhaps LIKE can do more than I described above. Does anyone know? Can it perhaps even do boolean searches?
I hadn't even noticed this could be done. It's not a good idea to let the raw insertion of the string continue - instead there should be a better defined way of specifying searches (a la Google) from which the SQL string is built up internally. Help wanted on this one (there's bound to be PHP code out there already for this).