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Author Topic: Another similar app (disclaimer: I haven't tried it)  (Read 9181 times)
Darwin
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« on: December 30, 2005, 01:26:36 PM »

I monitor the Quicksilver forum at Blacktree.com (http://forums.blacktree.com/viewforum.php?f=8) despite the fact that I own/have access to neither a Mac nor OS X... However, I am always on the lookout for Quicksilver users' suggestions for Windows equivalents of Quicksilver (which garners fanatical support and rave reviews), primarily as I'd like to understand what all the fuss is about. One I've not heard of before was posted yesterday and is called "Colibri": http://colibri.leetspeak.org/.

Anyway, just thought I'd post the link here so that Mouser can take a look and possibly add it to his list of alternative applications in the F&RR help file.
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Darwin
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2005, 01:36:08 PM »

PS I've downloaded Colibri 8a and it's about 650kb. Haven't decided whether I will load it or not... I've posted about F&RR in the Quicksilver forum before (http://forums.blacktree.com/viewtopic.php?t=731 - I'm "Huxley" over there as Darwin was already taken Wink) and it seems to have been well received, albeit by one poster... The reigning favourite Win application with Quicksilver users *forced* to use Windows boxes at work still seems to be AppRocket 1.2 (http://www.candylabs.com/approcket/), though...
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2005, 01:55:09 PM »

OK it's loaded and running next to the latest build of F&RR (which I haven't had loaded since the late summer). Initial impressions are that it is fast but frustratingly difficult to customise. For example, I have my documents on drive F: and I can't get Colibri to search anywhere other than C: drive... This is compounded by the link to the "help" file taking you to the "what's new" page on the author's website. F&RR, however, is a dream to customise. It's quick, though and seems to find more "hits" than F&RR, but I'm not sure this is necessarily a good thing. I don't *think* it's any quicker than F&RR, either. Overall, my gut feeling is that it's not going to last too long on my system, given it's lack of customability (is that a word?) and poor documentation...
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2005, 02:26:24 PM »

i know that the mac world is gaga over quicksilver.  i think it's half just the normal mac fanaticism, but i know that quicksilver has some nice features - i'm very happy to implement them all in F+R in time, just let us know which features are wanted.  the only reason F+R 2 isn't out already is that i'm trying to revamp it's infrastructure a little, and because i'm doing some work on a new set of programs coming out from donationcoder (see contextmenu commander section of forum), which need my attention so that some other people can work on the project while i get back to F+R2, PT3, CHS, etc.
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Darwin
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2005, 04:40:39 PM »

Just want to clarify that the app that didn't last on my system, and that lacked both customability and documentation was Colibri, not F&RR! F&RR is a great app, has thorough documentation and is easily customised.

I wish I knew more about Quicksilver. I've read about it, but for me the learning process involves playing around with whatever I'm trying to get to know. Thus, not having used it, I can't really comment on what features I'd like to see implemented in F&RR. My sister has an iBook but it's running a version of OS X that is too old to run Quicksilver AND she's in a different city. C'est la vie.
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nontroppo
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2006, 09:46:20 AM »

Memory use averages ~19mb on my system compared to ~0.8-1mb for FARR!

Frustratingly I cannot get the settings panel to come up to configure it at all (did you manage Darwin?)! Aesthetically it is quite pleasing, minimalist like quicksilver with the drop down of options like FARR or AppRocket. The skinning possibilities seem good as it uses transparent PNGs for the interface.

It is faster than FARR because it pre-caches the contents of the start menu. Using Filemon it only access the tahoma font while running.

Overall, it is nice visually and promising but vastly inferior to FARR currently.

r.e. QuickSilver: the application is amazing. I had an iBook for a week and played briefly with it. The magic lies in the simplicity of the interface exposing the great power of the underlying engine. You type and it finds items adaptively like FARR but you then get a contextual side menu which relates to the found item (we have that basically with the windows context menu but it is harder to access and not as "smart" in its options). The data is exposed to a neat plugin system to extend QuickSilver greatly.





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jgpaiva
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2006, 05:22:50 PM »

I've tried Colibri also,and i must confess it's really visually appealing (very "maciish"). But i also couldn't get the settings to display.But something appeared when i typed "colibri",come sort of "about" box or something like that.As i use blackbox (http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean/),sometimes some windows tend not to appear,maybe because of that i couldn't see the options by typing colibri. Or maybe that simply wasn't the command.. thumb down
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2006, 05:32:50 PM »

Hi nontroppo,

Like you, I never got the control panel to display and I gave up on Colibri and uninstalled it shortly after I posted my last note here. Also, like you, I found its footprint to be excessive (but in line with AppRocket). That would be acceptable if Colibri was more configureable and it's footprint didn't bog down my computer (which I found to be the case with AppRocket - particularly on startup). I don't know if its footprint bogs one;s computer down or not, but given that its functionality is impaired by its apparent lack of configureability, I didn't leave it on my system long enough to find out Wink I'm waiting on a later build to be released to reserve judgement.

Thanks for the description of Quicksilver by the way - that goes some way to explaining the fuss and only makes me want it running under windows more!
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Amadawn
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 03:12:52 PM »

I'm a new user of F&R R and I like it a lot, but I must say that after having tried Colibri before, Colibri is much, much, much more visually appealing. I know that for most people functionality is much more important, and rightfully so, but it seems to me that F&R R has already a really good functionnality, so it might be time to improve its look a bit. It is not that it looks bad, but just "forgettable", while Colibri (despite its current lack of functionality) really looks cool.

One particular thing that nags me a bit is that if I place the main window near thee taskbar, at the bottom of the screen, the edittext where you type the contents jumps up and down as it makes space for the search results.

Just my two cents. Oh! And despite what I just said, I really like your program! :-)

Cheers,

Amadawn
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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2006, 03:19:03 PM »

have you tried out the skins and editbar placement options?
F+R got some visual appearance improvements recently, but they need to be configured properly.
see attached screenshots.


* frbottom1.png (12.03 KB, 300x145 - viewed 467 times.)

* frbottom2.png (32.79 KB, 594x409 - viewed 488 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2006, 03:19:46 PM »

i was suggesting editbar placement on bottom may solve your "jumping" problem when you have f+r near bottom of screen.
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Amadawn
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 04:40:56 PM »

By the way, I think that someone (nontroppo?) asked about how to change the Colibri settings. I could not find how either so I sent an email to the programmer.

It turns out that you have to type:
Colibry<ENTER>Settings<Enter>
Actually you do not need to put capitals and once you type "co" it shows Colibry so in fact you must type co<ENTER>se<ENTER>

When you do this you see a list of settings. If you dont type s for instance and it will show all settings that have an s in their name.

It is not very intuitive, it is there if you want to try it. You can enable/disable the auto-start, change the Hotkey and enable/disable the splash screen.

The programmer told me that it is very much a work in progress so I guess that it should get better. FFR is _much_ better right now, but Colibri definitelly looks cooler.

Cheers,

Angel
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Amadawn
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2006, 04:47:12 PM »

OK, sorry for the repeated posts. I just found out about the "Skin" option in FFR and that kind of fixes the first gripe that I had with the program. I still believe that Colibry looks better, but this is definitelly quite good! I just wish there were more skins to choose from. Cool!!!

Cheers,

Angel
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mouser
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2006, 04:54:49 PM »

big skin pack (about 61 skins):
http://www.donationcoder....ndrun/downloads/Skins.zip

i could have sworn i added this to the f+r page, but it must be yet another thing that is pending for the big version 2 upgrade of F+R coming soon.
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Amadawn
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2006, 05:18:43 PM »

Cool!

However it is hard to test the different skins due to the way you must select them now.

Would it be possible to instead of having an editbox plus a browse button to have an editable combo box (plust the browse button)? That way you could have the list of skins on the same folder as the current skin show up when you clicked on the down arrow button of the combo box. This would make it very easy to check all the skins one after the other by simply clicking the down key.

That'd be great!

Cheers,

Amadawn
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2006, 05:29:13 PM »

good idea; i will add it to todo list for version 2, you're right it needs to be easier to explore the skins.
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Amadawn
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2006, 08:51:27 PM »

Cool, thanks for considering my suggestion! Grin

As for the "window jumping" problem, I've tried your recommended settings and it is better. However, compared to programs like the Windows Desktop Search or the Google deskbar or even Apple's Spotlight, for instance, it still feels a bit "jumpy" whenever it updates the size of the window. Those programs use a "combobox-like" interface instead of an actual window so perhaps it is easier for them to do. It seems that when using a combobox the update of the list seems more natural, less "jumpy". Perhaps this is due to the fact that not many windows change their size on their own as FRR does.

One thing that I've noticed is that perhaps FRR is too fast on the results update for its own good  embarassed I can often see the list update while new items are found. Perhaps it would be better if there was a (configurable) delay between the typing of a new key and the update of the list, to ensure that the list is not updated so often (and hence giving less impression of "jumping").

Ah! Before I forget, the window transparency setting does not show the percentage (from 0 to 100) which is weird. Also most apps that I've seen which allow you to set their transparency place the 100% on the right side of the slider, while FRR places it on the left side, which is a bit strange.

By the way, I am _loving_ this program so far.

Amadawn
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mouser
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2006, 09:07:34 PM »

you're not the first person to suggest that we slow down the update of the result display; maybe i can add it in the next version.
if you read a little in this forum you'll see there has been a lot of discussion about version 2, which i think is going to make everyone pretty happy when it gets released, which should be soon (a month or two now it looks like); it would have been out sooner but other apps have jumped ahead of it in the queue that need more attention.

as for resizing the window, this might be more useful for you, turn off autoresizing and just set the size you want:


* frshrink.png (35.74 KB, 594x409 - viewed 478 times.)
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Amadawn
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2006, 12:36:47 AM »

It'd be cool to have the option to change the delay as you say. Thanks for taking that into consideration!

I've tried disabling the auto-shrink option as you suggest, but I don't like it so much how it looks (yeah, I should perhaps focus more on functionality than on looks, but I can't help myself!  embarassed). What about an intermediate option? Initially the results box is hidden, but once someting is typed (and a result is found) it is shown with a fixed height)... Please don't hesitate to tell me if you think that's silly  embarassed

By the way, I like the text that is shown by default on your status bar! Grin

Cheers,

Amadawn
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nontroppo
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2006, 08:25:09 AM »

By the way, I think that someone (nontroppo?) asked about how to change the Colibri settings. I could not find how either so I sent an email to the programmer.

Thanks for the info...
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2006, 02:39:33 PM »

Just my two cents disagreeing with several suggestions above.

1. I have NO interest in delaying the display. With proper heuristics and preparation, the correct program is usually at the top of my list very quickly so 90% of the time I can just hit Enter once and I'm done. When my choice is not #1, I never just hit the number, have learned to always tab down first to freeze the display at that point, so there's no disruption by a changing choice list.

2. If anybody wants a cooler look, that's fine, but Mouser, please don't let this take time away from your work on the FUNCTIONAL interface. As far as I'm concerned, the "look" is already perfect. After all, FARR is usually only in front of my eyes for a fraction of a second at a time, because it's so good!
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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2006, 04:29:44 PM »

regarding jdmarch's comments:
i am one of the biggest anti-skin people you will find so you can imagine my surprise when i actually found that i like FARR better with a skin on it! (i use mxskin31.skn skin).

but rest assured that the very first requirement i had when i looked at skinning solutions was, i would only do it if it could be done with an option to disable skinning 100% with absolutely no hit in performance or degradation in normal native interface.  i will maintain this commitment to keeping the program fast and efficient and looks will never take priority over functionality.

v2 will be more full featured and faster than v1, there is nothing that requires compromising on this front smiley
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Amadawn
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« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2006, 05:11:37 PM »

 If a update delay option was added, you would not need to use it if you don't want to.  cheesy

And looks _are_ important. A lot of people judge how good an app is by its look. If it looks "old" they will think that it is not good. I don't necesarily agree with that, but if I have 2 apps with the same functionality, I'll always prefer the better looking one.

Look at the review in downloadsquad. It is practically the only negative thing that they say about FRR.
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mouser
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« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2006, 05:16:48 PM »

delay will be an option (and i should point out it might actually improve search depth speed if it makes update speed less frequent).

and yes, looks are important too; i think we will have to choose a skin to install by default for F+R 2 (though of course it will be easy to disable it and go back to native look).
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jdmarch
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« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2006, 06:44:03 PM »

OK, I was a little curmudgeonly on that last post smiley

I'm open to trying almost anything. When I get out of this time crunch I'll try your favorite skin, mouser.

And you're right, a configurable slowdown in the refresh rate might not be a bad thing at all.
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