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Author Topic: Search and Alias history  (Read 3652 times)
s.newave
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« on: August 10, 2008, 01:15:08 PM »

I keep thinking about this and how great it would be to have this functionality. This is probably the only feature i miss in FARR that i used extensively in other launchers. I know this has been discussed many times but I was thinking about a way to expand upon the current search history and came up with the following:

-make the history larger and persistent among restarts (perhaps create a new history.ini file with a different section for each history group)
-be able to specify different history groups in the results window of each alias similar to how the /ICON keyword works. See image below.



The nice thing about a system like this is that it would enable you to create different search histories for different aliases but also be able use a shared history for multiple aliases by using the same /HISTORY name in each alias.

-save the history string in a way that lets you know which alias launched it so that you can display the search term without the alias name and be able to search for history entries for a specific alias. Currently when you type ahistory it includes the alias name in the saved strings such as "igo donationcoder.com" where igo is the name of the alias.

-finally and most importantly, imo cheesy, would be to add an option in FARR's settings to "Include history entries in search results". So when using any alias that had a /HISTORY keyword you would include any relevant history results when using that alias using FARR's ranking system based on the search criteria. A nice option might be to use a standard FARR history icon which would allow users to quickly determine which are history results.


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cspeirce
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 03:48:02 AM »

As I already mentioned in some other thread I am a strong supporter of this feature (though I don't fully understand s.newaves proposal how /HISTORY-Keyword should work). The key to me seems a larger and separate history file that can optionally be included in search. That would be easy to implement, easy to turn off and very effective.
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herojoker
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 05:04:33 AM »

The history is already persistent among restarts. Just booted my machine, all entries are still there.
Some options regarding the history is available at "Search Behavior" (just in the case you didn't see it yet).
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cspeirce
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 07:28:01 AM »

I know, but the history is just used when hitting CTRL-UP. It is not included in the search. Furthermore the limit of 20 entries is userful only for the current purpose. A searchable history should be much larger.
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2008, 07:32:37 AM »

i am very receptive to this idea, i just have to think about it a little bit and think through your ideas more.  I'd definitely like to hear more ideas about the best way to integrate automatic searching of search-history items and the best way to present such things in the normal farr result list while user is typing.
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nitrix-ud
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 08:47:58 AM »

/HISTORY=search
to save a particular alias usage to a particular history file is good idea

then i think the best way to show the history file entries (when using that alias) is to have a drop-down list next to the cursor or above the FARR windows (that would be even better IMO)

but i think NOT in the results list since the majority of aliases have multiple results

which makes me wonder, how would you do for multiple result aliases ?
for instance :
Quote
$$c | http://www.google.com/search?q=$$c&btnG=Search /ICON=icons\google.ico
Google France 100 htmlview | htmlviewurl http://www.google.com/search?hl=fr&q=$$c&btnG=Search&num=100 /ICON=icons\google.ico
Past Month | http://www.google.com/search?q=$$c&btnG=Search&as_qdr=m /ICON=icons\google.ico
Lucky | http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=$$c&btnI=I’m+Feeling+Lucky /ICON=icons\google.ico
Google France | http://www.google.com/search?hl=fr&q=$$c&btnG=Search /ICON=icons\google.ico
Google roboform | C:\_Garbha\Program Files\FarrScripts\GoogleSearch\GoogleSearch.ahk $$c /ICON=icons\google.ico
Google anglais | http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=$$c&btnG=Search /ICON=icons\google.ico
do you specify /HISTORY=google each line ?
that would not bother me...
in that case would it be possible to specify different history files...
that could be very handy :

Quote
$$c | http://www.google.com/search?q=$$c&btnG=Search /ICON=icons\google.ico /HISTORY=google
Google France 100 htmlview | htmlviewurl http://www.google.com/search?hl=fr&q=$$c&btnG=Search&num=100 /ICON=icons\google.ico /HISTORY=google-france

what would the workflow be ?
type : g keyword1 keyword2
google history would be shown above the FARR windows
select Google France result
google-france history would be shown above the FARR windows instead of the google history...






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s.newave
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2008, 11:42:17 PM »

Quote
As I already mentioned in some other thread I am a strong supporter of this feature (though I don't fully understand s.newaves proposal how /HISTORY-Keyword should work). The key to me seems a larger and separate history file that can optionally be included in search. That would be easy to implement, easy to turn off and very effective.

basically in the alias results section of your alias you would have the option of adding the key /HISTORY=<search group> at the end of the search string:

IMDB - $$1 | http://www.imdb.com/find?q=$$1 /ICON=icons\imdb.ico /HISTORY=movies
Fandango - $$1 | http://www.fandango.com/G...ovies+People+Video&q=$$1&repos=Movies  /ICON=icons\fd.ico /HISTORY=movies

Google - $$1 | http://www.google.com/search?q=$$1 /ICON=icons\google.ico /HISTORY=search
Yahoo - $$1 | http://search.yahoo.com/s...=robo&ei=UTF-8&p=$$1 /ICON=icons\yahoo.ico /HISTORY=search

Amazon.com - $$1 | http://www.amazon.com/exe...ended&field-keywords=$$1 /ICON=icons\amazon /HISTORY=hardware
Newegg.com - $$1 | http://www.newegg.com/Pro...p;DEPA=0&Description=$$1 /ICON=icons\newegg.ico /HISTORY=hardware

and farr would maintain a history.ini file that looked something like:

[movies]
0=4>imdb>dark knight
1=1>fandango>pineapple

[search]
0=2>google>farr launcher
1=5>yahoo>donation coder

[hardware]
0=1>newegg>raptor hdd
1=2>amazon>geforce 512mb

The nice thing about this is that you could add as many or as little search groups as you wanted and you could share search groups among aliases. Then in the future when you used your fandango alias to find showtimes and started typing dar,  "dark knight" would show up in the results list along with any other relevant past searches you made for the "movies" search group.

then i think the best way to show the history file entries (when using that alias) is to have a drop-down list next to the cursor or above the FARR windows (that would be even better IMO)

Knew that was coming based on our previous discussions cheesy. I really think is the wrong way to go for this though. from a ui standpoint you would be adding an additional dropdown/up box. i think this would add another layer of complexity and it just doesn't seem that intuitive. Not sure how this would work for mutliple result aliases unless you only had one type of search group. It seems like extra steps for me and not as flexible.

which makes me wonder, how would you do for multiple result aliases ?

To get the system i proposed to work with aliases that have multiple results would require a little tweaking, which is why i suggested making the "Include history entries in search results" an option. The 2 ways of handling multiple result aliases that i can see are:

-the first option is if the history recording added the ability to filter out the alias as suggested above so you would be able to search the history more effectively but you would not have history results as you search.

-the second option involves a little tweaking of how these aliases work. Imo the value of these types of aliases comes from the idea of grouping common searches and only having to remember one alias (i.e. torrent) and then being presented with multiple torrent related searches. However i think ultimately the majority of these searches end up using only one specific search. A typical workflow might be:

torrent<enter>
torrent "linux" - and then based on which search engine you wanted to use you would either arrow down to the desired search and hit enter (i.e. mininova - linux) or hit the Ctrl-# shortcut.

Most times you end up using a single search at the end anyway which is why all my searches are single result aliases. I find it easier to simply have an alias for each search i want such as mininova or the pirate bay etc.. However i definitely see the benefit of having these type of aliases and would suggest something like the following.

Make each result in a multiple result a nested alias. Then you would first type and enter into the alias, select the search engine you want, hit enter, followed by the search term. Using the example above you would do something like:

torrent<enter> : enter into alias
torrent "mininova"<enter> : enter into mininova search
mininova "linux" - enter linux search term

at this point you would be in a single search stage where you could display the relevant search history results for whatever search group you specified as history results in the results list.

As far as how to implement this, one idea might be to add the ability to enter aliases in the results of an alias, maybe with a special character like "!". O you could just use restartsearch <alias>. One advantage of this is that by default farr would come with common groupings of aliases like it does now for search, music, etc.. but users would also be able to access the nested alias directly (i.e mininova, ebay) if they wanted.

This probably wouldnt work for everyone but i think it is the most intuitive and flexible way of doing it.


« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 11:49:07 PM by s.newave » Logged
nitrix-ud
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 02:16:35 AM »

Quote
Knew that was coming based on our previous discussions cheesy. I really think is the wrong way to go for this though. from a ui standpoint you would be adding an additional dropdown/up box. i think this would add another layer of complexity and it just doesn't seem that intuitive. Not sure how this would work for mutliple result aliases unless you only had one type of search group. It seems like extra steps for me and not as flexible.

IMHO, it adds no complexity, autocompletion with drop-down box is not new, and is immensely used all over the web for instance...

it cannot be more intuitive than that ! not intuitive would be to mix results with history...

Quote
It seems like extra steps for me and not as flexible
i don't see any extra step and i think it would it be more flexible and fast ?

considering history i think we both agree that :
FARR should save more than 20 entries
it should be possile to save history items in different history files/section
those different history files/section should be searchable via aliases (^gh (.*) dosearch historys \HISTORY=google $$1)

now considering the use of history items in aliases, i really think the best is to use autocompletion (with a drop-down box) like in any other application
plus this system would enable other uses (like action modifier completion etc..)

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cspeirce
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 05:09:24 AM »

drop-down list vs. result list:
though I originally thought it more logical to include search history items in the result list I now also think an additional autocompletion drop-down makes sense, because otherwise history entries interfere with results from the alias. Especially wiht aliases like Table Data Search that use html result panel. I use it to display telefon numbers. I type "tds someverylengthyname" and hit enter (to add it to the history!). Next time I type "tds s" I would like to be offered "tds someverylengthyname" as autocompletion. But the resultlist is not available! And even where it is available it might be a hard decision which score to asign to history items.
Furthermore I think automcompletion should work from the first letter on: I type "t" and it offers "tds" (last alias starting with t) and "tds someverylengthyname" (last search string entered starting with t).
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s.newave
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 01:24:08 PM »

considering history i think we both agree that :
FARR should save more than 20 entries
it should be possile to save history items in different history files/section
those different history files/section should be searchable via aliases (^gh (.*) dosearch historys \HISTORY=google $$1)

sounds good. history size should be user specified for each history group/section similiar to "Max. Files to keep in launch history"

drop-down list vs. result list:
though I originally thought it more logical to include search history items in the result list I now also think an additional autocompletion drop-down makes sense, because otherwise history entries interfere with results from the alias. Especially wiht aliases like Table Data Search that use html result panel. I use it to display telefon numbers. I type "tds someverylengthyname" and hit enter (to add it to the history!). Next time I type "tds s" I would like to be offered "tds someverylengthyname" as autocompletion. But the resultlist is not available! And even where it is available it might be a hard decision which score to asign to history items.
Furthermore I think automcompletion should work from the first letter on: I type "t" and it offers "tds" (last alias starting with t) and "tds someverylengthyname" (last search string entered starting with t).

I think this is again a different thing that you and nitrix are suggesting. I am suggesting adding a "history" list to display previous results for the specific cases i mentioned above. I think you guys are referring to an autocomplete system that works "anywhere" in FARR and is used primarily to autocomplete any previous string that has been entered into FARR which is something different. This is why i mainly requested to upgrade the way search history gets saved (i.e. the /HISTORY keyword) and make an "option" to include these results in the results list. Which again only makes sense in specific cases.

I think the autocomplete idea is a good one however i dont know a clean way to do that and i havent seen an app that has one box that drops down and another one that pops up. Imo i think it might complicate the ui and i would rather see that space go to something like an info box or a breadcrumbs feature found in Launchy and a bunch of other launchers?  

Would be willing to give it a go though if Mouser is willing to implement it Wink.

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