I loved the 2.1.34 update to the tag system – that overhaul is one of the most welcome and best changes that Anki has implemented in my three years of using it. But I could not stick with that version, and very grumpily downgrade to 2.1.33 before too long. My reason for downgrading was that I cannot stand the tweaks to the browser that automatically set every term into quotes and automatically add superfluous operators to my searches.
I usually am not a complainer at all. But the browser search change… I just cannot stand it! It slows me down by adding unnecessary keystrokes every time I edit a search, it clutters up the looks of my searches by obfuscating the critical information behind superfluous operators and quotation marks, it leads to random unhelpful error messages that interrupt my work, and for the life of me I cannot understand what value it is supposed to be adding. Could it please be possible, either in a future release or in an add-on, to toggle or disable this feature in browser?
For an example of what I mean, please compare the following two searches:
w:Dickens -cities -twist -copperfield -expectations added:10 flag:1
“w:Dickens” AND -“cities” AND -“twist” AND -“copperfield” AND -“expectations” AND “added:10” AND “flag:1”
This is somewhat of an exaggeration of the complexity of my usual searches, but not a particularly reckless one. And which of these two searches does a better job at succinctly and accurately conveying the information sought? In my view, the old search does a far, far better job. This is because the length of the new search in this example is more than 50% greater than the length of the old one, yet all that added length is spent on ANDs and ""s that are nothing more than superfluous visual clutter that the eye must navigate before it can parse the actually useful information out of the search.
I also find the old search much more wieldy when it comes to editing the search. Say I wish to change the search from flag:1 to flag:2 – the old browser would let me accomplish this with two keystrokes (backspace, 2). Whereas the new browser requires four keystrokes (backspace backspace 2 "). Or say I wish to stop excluding results for Great Expectations – the old browser would let me accomplish this with two keystrokes (doubleclick “expectations” then hit backspace backspace). But the new browser requires six or so (doubleclick “expectations” then hit backspace backspace backspace delete then delete either the preceding AND or the following AND). A minor inconvenience, but still an inconvenience.
Finally, the new browser is prone to displaying error messages if a user does not perfectly match the syntax of the new search that was created. For example, if I forgot to re-add the trailing quotation mark at the end of “flag:2” in my previous example, Anki would return an error and interrupt my work. Or, if I delete the term -“expectations” but forget to delete the useless AND that was automatically inserted into the search, the search would read, “…AND -“copperfield” AND AND “added:10”…” returning an error and interrupting my work. And these errors crop up as a result of me failing to comply with syntax that Anki automatically added, that I do not want, and that does not help me. Anki basically invites these errors by adding the superfluous operators and quotes!
Please revert this change, make it toggleable, or point me in the direction of somebody I can talk to about hiring to make an add-on to fix this.
Thank you very much for listening to my (hopefully not too impolite) rant.