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Author Topic: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)  (Read 5074 times)

IainB

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Thought I'd post this from the zabkat.com blog (home of xplorer²) in case anyone on the forum might be interested helping out in ß testing on this new approach to search:

(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born

Nowadays it is amazing how much information there is in your everyday documents. Take your photos for example, the "new" property system introduced with windows vista has no less than 86 properties for photos, and that's not counting the GPS geo-location information also available for pictures. Modern phones and advanced cameras add all this information in EXIF and XMP tags and the property system distills such tags into standard properties.

You may argue that if you own just the one camera you are not interested in the System.Photo.CameraModel property. Most of these are just for professional photographers. But how about searching for pictures with particular people in them? Say pictures of your daugter? This is possible because windows exposes automatic face recognition data inserted by your advanced camera or photo software in System.Photo.PeopleNames property. Likewise you can search by GPS coordinates to find pictures taken at some particular location, e.g. your latest trip in australia. Isn't it a waste of information when you only search by name?

The most powerful search tools of today — even xplorer² — are stuck using traditional shell column handlers which only expose around a third of the available properties. That is why we went ahead and wrote from scratch a new kind of search tool that taps into all the available properties, for photos, media and documents. It also offers traditional name/date/text content search. Its name is DeskRule and today you can have a go trying its capabilities.

This is pretty much work in progress but it has reached a point where it is a usable search engine so we are presenting it to you for your feedback and beta testing, which will help decide the future of its development.

Click to download DeskRule (free beta version, 500 KB)

Minimum requirements: windows Vista or later
   deskrule main window

DeskRule is still rough around the edges and rather slow, but things will improve in the near future. Unlike xplorer² which does "everything and the kitchen sink" file management, this is going to be a tool focused on just one thing, searching for files and folders. The general ideas are:

    Search everywhere. Wherever you have files DeskRule can locate them; not just normal folders, but also in mobile phones and cameras, zipfolders, FTP and all the other virtual folders available in the shell namespace.
     
    Use all item properties. Some 300 (windows 8) unique system properties are available to be used as search parameters, both simple (name, date modified, file contents) and more advanced like Rating, Tags, Authors, even GPS.Longitude.
     
    Powerful search expressions. Search rules are individually powerful supporting regular expressions, and can be combined in complex search statements (boolean algebra) e.g. you could search for files with pin-point accuracy like:
    name="report" AND NOT (date="last month" OR rating="4 stars")

Here is a demo video: play

Your comments and suggestions (or bug reports) are very much appreciated, thanks!

TaoPhoenix

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 11:35:54 AM »

I dunno.

Per the Info Mgt threads, I put about six keywords into my file names. About 1-3 times a year I do a "drive read" into a text file. Then searching the text file is over 20 times faster than Win Search.

So I'm not sure what this new approach has to offer. I don't do many obscure searches.

tomos

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 12:43:06 PM »
It's an interesting idea - especially for photos (for me anyways).

The interface might just scare me off (video), it seems to me to be so fundamentally geeky and unintuitive. I can say that - but unfortunately I dont have any talent in the direction of offering/suggesting alternatives... [edit] fundamental GUI alternatives I mean [/edit]
Tom
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 02:57:32 PM by tomos »

IainB

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 02:53:37 PM »
I dunno.
Per the Info Mgt threads, I put about six keywords into my file names. About 1-3 times a year I do a "drive read" into a text file. Then searching the text file is over 20 times faster than Win Search. ...
I don't think I understand that. Why do you bother with the text file? If you effectively have your metadata tags/keywords in each file's name (i.e., in the filename of each file that you wish to have metadata tags in), then can't you more simply/easily - and possibly more quickly - make a dynamic search of the actual file names of that population of files at any point in time, using something such as (say) Everything?    :tellme:

...So I'm not sure what this new approach has to offer. I don't do many obscure searches.
I'm not sure either, yet, but I think the idea is to feed back comments such as these to the developer - which can be done in the discussion forum here: blog: here's deskrule, a new kind of desktop search engine

These are the posts there so far:

DeskRule search - discussion forum clip.png

Jibz

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 05:02:59 PM »
It's an interesting idea.

I have to say though, in situations where I need to search on more specific metadata than what the filesystem offers, I often have domain-specific software that handles this better.

IainB

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 05:13:25 PM »
It's an interesting idea - especially for photos (for me anyways).
The interface might just scare me off (video), it seems to me to be so fundamentally geeky and unintuitive. I can say that - but unfortunately I dont have any talent in the direction of offering/suggesting alternatives...
Interesting, yes. I thought it was quite nifty for photos too, though I use Picasa for managing my photos, because no IMT (Image Management Tool) that I have so far come across does all that face-recognition and searching of image file metadata so well - e.g., the camera type and its settings that took a photo of a specific person at a certain GPS on a certain date.

And though this DeskRule looks interesting, I have yet to find anything that quite matches the GDS (Google Desktop Search), which, before they started crippling it and then killed it off, had automated search to cover:
  • files/directories across your desktop;
  • files/directories in any connected LANs;
  • Google Docs (now Google Drive).

- so that they effectively comprised one huge virtual desktop (which, IMHO is as it should be).

IainB

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 05:25:48 PM »
...I have to say though, in situations where I need to search on more specific metadata than what the filesystem offers, I often have domain-specific software that handles this better.
Yes, likewise - e.g., as per my comment above about image files in Picasa, or my comments elsewhere on DCF re searching for words/phrases in audio files using OneNote's search (which is also integrated with Windows Search/Index).

IainB

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 05:33:30 PM »
By the way, I just put a comment on the DeskRule forum: blog: here's deskrule, a new kind of desktop search engine
Quote
@nikos: Yes, it all helps. I would suggest that you check that DC (donationcoder) discussion forum for comments yourself, as the people making those comments will not necessarily put their comments in this forum of yours. Thus, you could miss seeing them altogether, if you didn't check the DC forum.

umeca74

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 02:54:15 AM »
thanks for the feedback everybody. I understand that the GUI as it is is very "geeky" but that's just testing the underlying search engine. In the final version there will be another search mode (probably simple/advanced tab somewhere) that will be more easy to operate (minus the flexibility of course)

Stoic Joker

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 11:35:13 AM »
The interface might just scare me off (video), it seems to me to be so fundamentally geeky and unintuitive.

I actually liked the interface. But then again I'm rather into the minimalist design concept. I was however a bit surprised to see Vanessa was completely nude in the video...but if it was good enough for god, then I guess it's okay with me too. ;)

Given its (500KB) size and the implication that it can be run without an install - perhaps portably - I think this thing has a brilliant future in forensics.

For the rest, the line 'Some 300 Windows unique system properties' should these days be a real attention getter. If one had interest in wanting to know just how much of what kind of story their file system would tell if it happened to fall prey to an intense interrogation of some kind.

Stoic Joker

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 06:36:49 PM »
Okay, did a Quick-N-Dirty search test with this on a folder with ~20,000 pictures in it. Gave it a file extension and file name to look for, and it came up with results in under 10 seconds. Second search in same folder completed in under 5 seconds. So...I'd say this thing is fast. :D

@IainB - Thanks for posting this thing man, it is cool as hell. And definitely one of my new favorites.

Might be nice if it had clear options for search filters and results ... But it's a beta so it's all good.

Is the "Some assertions failed. would you like to see the log file?" message on exit normal? Or should I post the output somewhere?

umeca74

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Re: DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born (ß testers wanted)
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 02:37:11 AM »
Hi Stoic and thanks for testing

internally the program is doing tons of self-checks, and some of them obviously failed, that's why you get the message at the end about the assertion errors. Many of them are not a big deal, but if you want me to check, just open the file, and email it to me.

all these checks make running much slower than it should be, so if you find the speed good as it is, you will be pleasantly impressed in the future!

to clear a previous filter, press CTRL+A to select all the rules, then DEL. You will find more useful tips in the help file (press F1 while the program is running)

last but not least, as I am not monitoring this thread regularly, please send me an email if you need assistance with something or other feedback. You will find the email link in ABOUT dialog!

thanks again
nikos



umeca74

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here's an updated version 1.0.0.20 that offers a much simpler search mode for everyday use (when you don't need all the advanced boolean algebra and parameters). For information and downloading click here

http://www.zabkat.co...ystem-properties.htm

umeca74

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(to anyone interested)
this deskrule search engine is now a finished product. If anyone here likes it please use the social buttons at the bottom of the website to spread the word, thanks!
www.zabkat.com/deskrule