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Author Topic: Feature Request: Most frequently executed programs instead of most recent  (Read 1650 times)
doctorfrog
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« on: December 28, 2008, 09:50:34 PM »

I think I spent about a half hour looking for this option within FARR because it seems like such an obvious default feature:

On launching FARR, rather than display the n most recent programs, I'd much rather FARR keep track of those programs I launch most frequently, and present those instead. If I've launched Opera 100 times, Outlook 60, and Hamachi 12, I should see Opera in the number one position, followed by Outlook at 2, and Hamachi at 3. As it is, I don't see that, I see only the programs in reverse order in which I've launched them, regardless of how popular or necessary they are.

The reason for this is personal, but also rooted in a desire for greater usability overall. As it is, the list FARR provides by default is ever-shifting, ever-changing, essentially as random and unpredictable as my tasks and program needs. I could execute iTunes 70 times a day, but it would appear sporadically on that menu. Sometimes it would be number 1, or next number 7, or not on the menu at all, if I've managed to launch more than 10 items since the last time I launched iTunes. Instead of developing an instinct where iTunes actually is on the menu and hitting the corresponding number key or clicking on it, I have to actually look for it every time, which makes this initial pop-up menu useless. It's less of a hassle for me to type out 'itu' and hit enter than to even look at this menu, or (groan), create a hotkey for iTunes to be launched (which is not a possibility if I am using a portable version of FARR).

I emphasize: a random menu is a useless menu.

FARR's core strength is 'learning' what I mean when I type in a keyword. It seems obvious that it should also learn what my favorite programs are, and present them to me in an intelligent (if not slightly eerie) fashion.

To the anticipated argument that the Windows Start Menu provides this option already: I use an alternate shell (bblean) and do not have access to this feature. Even users that have access to this feature within Windows may prefer it to be emulated in FARR, and as I've stated, FARR's ever-shifting initial display is less useful than this alternative, so this request is not spurious. This feature also allows the nerdier fractions of our personalities to track trends in our favorite programs...

Implementation: I'm not going to pretend that I'm a programmer, but it seems to me that this would necessitate a second scoring system, which increments by a certain amount each time a program is launched. Thus, higher scoring apps 'float' to the top. The separate scoring system would also allow user control over 'clearing' the score of an app that did not deem a position on the menu. I can only imagine that this is a programatic hassle, and I understand if this feature request elicits a groan or two.

Mouser, community, thank you for your time.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 10:11:54 PM »

Greetings doctorfrog!

A very well made case, and very sensible.

To excerpt a brief summary:

Quote
but it seems to me that this would necessitate a second scoring system, which increments by a certain amount each time a program is launched. Thus, higher scoring apps 'float' to the top.

This is another one of those features of FARR that is just not easily seen because of a combination of my failure to make options and their explanation clear and just an over-abundance of options.

But this feature was added a while ago, based on a few users like you insisting on it smiley

It works, but it's not obvious how it works, and it may require tweaking.

It's a bit confusing but it works like this:
  • When you launch a program that is already in your history FARR adds a +1 to its history score (you can also manually set this history score in the History tab at any point).
  • And then it decreases scores slowly over time if you don't launch a program.
  • The two values for the ceiling and floor of this are set in the Pattern Scoring tab.
  • If you go to history tab you will actually see that the default score when an item is added to the history list on launch is 100.  But items in that list have higher scores if you have used them more frequently.  So the score there is sort of a combo of recency and frequency.
  • NOW here is the critical part: By default FARR uses this score to decide what to keep in that list but *NOT* the order in which to show them in the blank initial list display, which is PURELY listed by recency.  Which is what you don't like.
  • SO.. to get them to sort by this recency+frequency combo (which sounds like what you want), go to the Search Behavior tab, and uncheck the "Ignore History Scores" checkbox.
  • That should cause the items in that list you see initially to be sorted as you want (and remember you can manually set scores in the history list to tweak things further).

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doctorfrog
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 10:26:33 PM »

Wow, I honestly could not have asked for a more detailed or faster answer than that. Illustrated with a screenshot and a callout, even. I'll give it a try.

Thank you, Mouser!  Thmbsup
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