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11/19/2003 Archived Entry: "TiVo Grammar"
Posted by CKL @ 06:39 PM PST

TiVo's Wish List keyword parsing could be a whole lot better.

From TiVo's online help:

Replace hyphens (-), slashes (/), and periods (.), with spaces. For example, to create a WishList entry for the title 20/20, enter 20 20 for the WishList item... Any other marks, such as apostrophes (') and ampersands (&), are ignored. Commas are ignored, except in actor and director WishLists, where they are essential...
To enter dollar signs in keyword searches, substitute the letter S. For example, to find $100,000 Pyramid, use S100000. When searching by title, leave out the dollar signs in order to find these types of titles.

It's really annoying to have to remember three different rules for the same damn thing. "20/20" is "20 20", but "M*A*S*H" is "MASH". "Catherine Zeta-Jones" is "Catherine Zeta Jones", but "Frances O'Connor" is "Frances OConnor".

I'm sure there's a bad reason for all these exceptions. Why not be consistent, and either strip out all punctuation or require every non-alphanumeric symbol to be replaced by a space?

And don't even get me on the non-regex Kleene closure...

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