I am having a plugin made to do this but before I do I would like to know if search is changing in 2.1 at all and if I may or may not need this plugin.
My site is a dating website, so with profiles I need to be able to let people put in their height, weight, eye colour etc and also allow members to search this information.
With custom profile fields I can allow users to do this with "select" menus and/or "multi-select" menus.
Now the problem to overcome:
With "select" menus:
Users can select one option from a drop down when creating their profile which is ideal but when you go to the user search page you can only select one option to search, for example just people weighting 190lbs exactly. There is no way to select a range of weights, heights, multiple hair colors etc. This is a not ideal.
Likewise problems with "multi-select" menus:
Users can now select multiple options when editing their profile, which isn't great because in most cases you cant be two things at once but at least now when people search they can select multiple options too, so they could select members with grey, black or brown hair colours if they wanted. But the way the built in search functions it will only return users whom have all 3 hair colours, (unlikely lol) rather than members matching ANY selection. So again if you select a range of heights you only see results if a person is all the heights selected, not just one or other.
The simplest solution I can think of is as follows:
Another tick box in custom profile field settings below the current "Field values are searchable in the member search"
~ "Allow range searching of this field"
Then when on the member search page if the field uses a "select" menu then two boxes now appear. So it would list the standard box dropdown plus a second box with "to" inbetween. Selecting two options, one in each box now searches for everyone between these ranges.
Secondly if using a "multi-select" menu. If a searcher selects red, green and blue hair colours instead of the system returning just members matching ALL 3 it would return members matching ANY of the 3.
I think this could benefit most community's not just dating, search is a little lacking because of these limitations.