One could perhaps handle the problem with FARR interpreting misspelled action modifiers as regular search terms by demanding some unusual prefix letter before all actions.
this is an interesting possibility.. it has been raised before but i always though, ok let the user create their own regex aliases with a special prefix if they want but don't force it.
however, if we said that all actions start with some character (say $ or ` or . or whatever), then that might solve the core of this dilimena, in that anytime a word starts with $ then farr knows the users is specifying a modifier or action and it would NOT be involved in narrowing down file names (except to the extend that it matches a modiifer name).
then we could have action searching either in the results window temporarily, or in a separate window or edit field.
so for example, revisiting my example above, if you type "bob dyl" and then you've got 3 results of bob dylan songs, you could then type
'bob dyl +tagedit"
and then hit enter for #1, farr will know you want to perform the tagedit operation on file result #1.
furthermore it would let you type
and +play would act both as a modifier restricting search to mp3 files and as an action specifier for when you hit enter.
you could also use it as a pure modier like "+mydocs bob dy"
the other nice thing about having a special character for actions is it lets farr HELP YOU when you start typing a modifier
so that when you type "+m" it could remind you of matching modifiers as a hint.
it could do that EITHER by temporarily changing the results list to a list of matching modifiers/actions, which you could select by number,
OR it could use a secondary results box of available actions (same input field different results box), or it could insist you always fully type out a modifier but give you a little hint about matching modifiers/actions in some little box somewhere, OR it could provide some kind of autocomplete.
at this very moment im feeling like this might offer the key solution to letting us move forward on this.. there would still be some hard decisions about user interface but i think this might solve the core of the use case dilemna i have been struggling with.
i tend to agree with jgpaiva in terms of hotkeys; some people love them - i personally can NEVER remember any, so they just drive me crazy. i like that farr is meant to let users just start typing and not have to remember anything.
having said that, i like the idea of being able to allow experts to specify hotkeys for any modifiers/actions, but it should be optional and not central to use.