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Author Topic: SuperboyAC's DC blog #2 (Live Search feature in software)  (Read 35971 times)
yksyks
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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2007, 06:25:19 AM »

Some more apps with this feature I'm using on a daily basis:

- Copernic Desktop Search http://www.copernic.com/e...ktop-search/download.html

- MediaMonkey (music files catalog) http://www.mediamonkey.com/

- Ditto (clipboard storage/organizer) http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net/

- Add-ons for searching in IE7:

All of these are freeware. Be aware, they're addictive and it's hard to cope without them... Wink
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yksyks
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2007, 02:43:09 PM »

And one more quite interesting application:

HandyFind (http://www.handykeys.com/)

Enjoy!
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yksyks
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2007, 03:25:55 PM »

Gosh! I almost forgot my absolute favorite of all, which also supports live search: ZTreeWin (http://www.ztree.com/).
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iphigenie
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« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2007, 02:48:26 AM »

Now that I think of it, jriver Media Center has find-as-you-type from the search box.

On my collection (12000 tune, 1200 albums) it takes about 1 second to react so doesn't feel "instant". But it will return any album, artist or title that matches. It does not do the live search within tags or lyrics though, i suspect that'd be too slow.
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patteo
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« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2007, 05:55:48 AM »

Along a similar vein you have,

"The spell check software for everything Windows and more

Work smarter, not harder! Let As-U-Type help you type more accurately and much faster in your everyday computer life.

As-U-Type will spell check and automatically correct everything you type in any Windows application including Outlook Express, Internet Explorer, web-based email services, dialog boxes and web forms. If you often make unwanted spelling mistakes or typing errors, As-U-Type will save you time, effort and frustration. It will learn and adapt itself to your keyboarding habits, check your spelling and correct your typing, anywhere, anytime, with only one-keystroke correction."
http://www.fanix.com/asutype.html
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patteo
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« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2007, 06:02:24 AM »

"Hilitext - The super-powered text finder tool

Hilitext is a powerful OS-level text finder tool that works with all Windows programs to help you find what you are looking for easier and faster. Powered with an innovative text highlighting technology, Hilitext automatically scans your screen and highlights every instance of your keywords in all open desktop windows including web pages, e-mail messages and other documents to help you find information more quickly and easily. It continues to highlight all instances of your target terms automatically as you surf from web page to web page or e-mail to e-mail."
http://www.fanix.com/hilitext.html

This one is quite interesting and nifty because its at the OS level and applies across ALL programs , but I prefer the last freeware version of this software which I think works somewhat better.
"3.01 Highlighter    Hilitext (v 1.1)    Fanix Software"
http://www.pricelesswarehome.org/acf/P_TEXT.php

There's a couple more there including Handyfind listed under the same category.

Hilitext download can be found at
"Hilitext 1.1 (last freeware version)"
http://www.aplusfreeware....ategories/util/text2.html

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superboyac
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« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2007, 12:48:46 AM »

Wow, I had no idea this feature was being implemented so much.  That's awesome.  Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Babis
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2007, 02:22:49 AM »

Faster file finder ever: Avafind, like locate but finds in real time (no need to press enter) and automatically indexes all new files, so in every new file you don't have to update database, just avafind takes cpu for a millisecond and the file is indexed.
Further the scout bot on the upper right corner displays all the new files and there is a my picks column showing the files used regularly. I have to say here that most of the times I am looking a file/folder this is new. The interface is much better than locate and I strongly advise to give it a try. Screen:



DTSearch: in my opinion best desktop search, with plenty of features like fuzzy searching, auto update index, tons of options but price rather on the (very)high side

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mouser
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2007, 06:40:07 AM »

avafind looks nice - i'll have to study it for farr ideas..
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brotherS
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2007, 02:24:10 PM »

Faster file finder ever: Avafind, like locate but finds in real time (no need to press enter) and automatically indexes all new files, so in every new file you don't have to update database, just avafind takes cpu for a millisecond and the file is indexed.
Further the scout bot on the upper right corner displays all the new files and there is a my picks column showing the files used regularly. I have to say here that most of the times I am looking a file/folder this is new. The interface is much better than locate and I strongly advise to give it a try.
Since you like it so much please post a mini-review in http://www.donationcoder....orum/index.php?board=42.0

Reasons why I can't imagine it's better than Locate (http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=1385.0):
- last update is from 2003 (!!)
- it's somewhat pricy shareware: $39.95
- the interface somehow doesn't look like keyboard (only) users could fully use it (I might be wrong)

So, please post a mini-review! smiley
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2007, 03:32:59 PM »

Awesome find Babis!

Ava Find's interface looks to be right up my alley.  Thmbsup
I find DT Search's gui to be a bit clunky.

I can't wait to use it. It has been indexing for an hour & still is going. I have 3 HDs so it's expected. It is a pricy one but it looks like it may be just worth overlooking the expense with this puppy.



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tranglos
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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2007, 05:13:39 PM »

Thanks for another great writeup! I just want to add my 0.02, um, Euro smiley I've been wondering if there is any underlying regularity to the division between the excelent and not-so-excellent implementations of live search.

From your overview it seems that live search implementations tend to be better in programs that are not designed to deal with huge amounts of data. It makes sense. You can add instant search to *any* application, but not all applications can be realistically expected to perform it in a truly instant manner. It's one thing to scan an addressbook or a list of bookmarks - a typical user will not have more than a few dozen addresses or a few hundred bookmarks. And it's an entirely different thing to search through a multi-megabyte database, as will be the case with TheBat or MyBase.

I've never used MyBase, but I now have 240 MB of data in TheBat mailboxes. I don't think any search algorithm, no matter how good, will run through that much text as fast as you can type. So I think it's not the case of some programmers being lazier than others, or falling behind the curve. It's often the nature of the database that dictates what's feasible. In TB, if you didn't have to press Enter to initiate searching, you'd be experiencing a brief "freeze" after typing each character - and that would produce a much worse usability experience, the program would feel clunky.

You can experience that clunky feeling in some blogs that use live search (there are live sarch add-ons for TextPattern and, I think, WordPress). That doesn't work too well. Each keypress requires a trip to the server, running a query on the DB and returning the results, so both the network latency and DB performance come into play. If the blog has only a couple of entries, the result may be acceptable, but if you're searching through years of archives, you press a key, then wait until the results refresh, then press another key - and you actually lose time if you make a typo and have to start over.

Evernote seems to be an exception to this rule, perhaps because, as you observe, it must have been built pretty much around the live search feature. Perhaps also it uses a particularly efficient indexing system. But it would be interesting to know the size of the data each of the applications you tested had to deal with.

Data size is not the only factor, of course. There's also the format in which data is stored. Let me use KeyNote as an example. KeyNote stores notes as RTF, there really is no other way. You cannot search through RTF directly, because of all the embedded formatting codes and character encodings. The only thing I could do at the time was to sequentially load each note into an (invisible) richedit control and use the control's built-in search function. This is, of course, slow. On today's fast machines you won't notice any bothersome delay, but still the search isn't instant. The only way around it would be to store each note twice: the original RTF, and a "cleaned-up" plain text version. That way I could use the plain text version for searching. This is indeed what I'm aiming to do at the moment, but it requires a different storage mechanism, and of course it  bloats the file size.

Another factor is whether the application uses Unicode. There are search routines written in assembly that perform amazingly fast on ANSI strings, but I've yet to see a library that handles Unicode equally fast, at least in Delphi land. (TheBat supports Unicode). Just the fact that you may have to deal with variable number of bytes per character slows you down enormously, and of course with encodings like UTF-16 you have to read through twice as much raw data.

Finally, the feasibility of live search (and other neat things) will depend on the storage model. We can pretty safely assume that a lightweight program like PowerMarks loads all the data into RAM and keeps it there. KeyNote does the same, as I'm sure do most addressbooks. (I'd like to know about Evernote). It's a reasonable behavior for a bookmark manager, but, as it happens, turns out not to have been reasonable for KeyNote. I found that out when I questions started to pour in from people who created 30- or 40-MB files in KeyNote and were wondering why loading those files took so long. But if your storage model is disk-bound, and each piece of data is read from disk only when needed, this too will have a huge impact on how you can search, and how fast.

Sorry for the longwindedness... I'm still avoiding posting to the famous Notetakers thread, because I've been thinking about this for the last five years or so and I could write volumes, but it would mostly be about what would be great to have versus what I think is realistically possible smiley
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 05:17:28 PM by tranglos » Logged

Babis
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2007, 02:16:56 AM »

@brotherS, my first minireview posted  Wink

@WhiteLion, in DTSearch you have to go to options>indexing options>filtering options>binary files and set it "do not index". Now the index will finish in less than half time
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urlwolf
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« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2007, 04:48:28 AM »

Gosh! I almost forgot my absolute favorite of all, which also supports live search: ZTreeWin (http://www.ztree.com/).
I'm curious about ZTreeWin, but as a Dopus user, I'm not sure I need to invest time in this. Can you post an overview/review? thanks!
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superboyac
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« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2007, 10:54:45 AM »

Quote
Sorry for the longwindedness... I'm still avoiding posting to the famous Notetakers thread, because I've been thinking about this for the last five years or so and I could write volumes, but it would mostly be about what would be great to have versus what I think is realistically possible
Tranglos, your thoughts are always welcome, and the longer the better!  First off, it's an honor to have you post here since you're one of the pioneers of modern notetaking software.

Quote
I've never used MyBase, but I now have 240 MB of data in TheBat mailboxes. I don't think any search algorithm, no matter how good, will run through that much text as fast as you can type. So I think it's not the case of some programmers being lazier than others, or falling behind the curve. It's often the nature of the database that dictates what's feasible. In TB, if you didn't have to press Enter to initiate searching, you'd be experiencing a brief "freeze" after typing each character - and that would produce a much worse usability experience, the program would feel clunky.
You bring up some really good points about the speed of live searching vs. the size of the database.  Now that I think about it, I don't think it was fair of me to include the Bat's filter box in this little review, because it's not really meant to be a live search.  It's more of a filtering box.  But, yes, I can definitely see how these little programs have an advantage over the ones that have large databases.  I never thought about that, so it's a good perspective to have when I compare the features.

Quote
Evernote seems to be an exception to this rule, perhaps because, as you observe, it must have been built pretty much around the live search feature. Perhaps also it uses a particularly efficient indexing system. But it would be interesting to know the size of the data each of the applications you tested had to deal with.
Yes, that is interesting!  I'm also curious as to how Evernote can do it.  I wonder if the EN database gets really big if the searching slows down at all.  My database is only a few MB, but I wonder if there's anyone who has 2 GB or more and if it slows down the search at all.  It's true that while EN had the live search from the beginning, Mybase added it in after several versions, so maybe it's harder to make an existing program adjust to it than to design it in from the beginning.  However, my complaint for Mybase's live search had less to do with its speed and more to do with the klunky implementation of it.

Quote
This is indeed what I'm aiming to do at the moment, but it requires a different storage mechanism, and of course it  bloats the file size.
So, am I to understand that you are currently working on another notetaking program?!  If that's true, that would be great news for a lot of people  thumbs up !  Last I heard, you had shelved the Keynote project.

Quote
I'm still avoiding posting to the famous Notetakers thread, because I've been thinking about this for the last five years or so and I could write volumes, but it would mostly be about what would be great to have versus what I think is realistically possible
Whenever you're ready, we'd love to hear from you over there!
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2007, 10:56:54 AM »

Quote
Quote
I've never used MyBase, but I now have 240 MB of data in TheBat mailboxes. I don't think any search algorithm, no matter how good, will run through that much text as fast as you can type. So I think it's not the case of some programmers being lazier than others, or falling behind the curve. It's often the nature of the database that dictates what's feasible. In TB, if you didn't have to press Enter to initiate searching, you'd be experiencing a brief "freeze" after typing each character - and that would produce a much worse usability experience, the program would feel clunky.
You bring up some really good points about the speed of live searching vs. the size of the database.  Now that I think about it, I don't think it was fair of me to include the Bat's filter box in this little review, because it's not really meant to be a live search.  It's more of a filtering box.  But, yes, I can definitely see how these little programs have an advantage over the ones that have large databases.  I never thought about that, so it's a good perspective to have when I compare the features.

I have 768Mb of mboxes in opera and search is instantaneous?
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iphigenie
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2007, 01:06:41 PM »

I have 768Mb of mboxes in opera and search is instantaneous?

I have a large mailbox and if i use the type-as-u-search filter box with all the messages shown, there's a noticeable but short delay, half a second, sometimes a second on the first letter. That's if you type one letter then wait for the results. If you type several letters the result feels near instantaneous.

I am not sure whether the delay is because of the time for search or simply because it waits a tiny bit when you have 1-2 letters to see if more are coming. After all it is actually extremely fast to search for one term in simple text files like email, so it could be an artificial pause
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« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2008, 07:25:07 PM »

Find As You Type for Internet Explorer

Stays out of your way until you need it.  When you need it just "CTRL + F" and start typing!  Works just like FF, Maxthon and Opera, but with some options.  Source code in all languages is available and the developer has other software too!

Enjoy!  smiley

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« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2008, 07:15:23 AM »

Superb post, I think I'll check Directory Opus now  Thmbsup
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« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2008, 09:30:09 AM »

It isn't that new -- Emacs has had it for a few decades now.
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Alexey Romanov
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« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2008, 10:09:03 AM »

Gosh! I almost forgot my absolute favorite of all, which also supports live search: ZTreeWin (http://www.ztree.com/).

This is really, really late in reply to your post, but I've never been able to figure out how to change directories in ZTWin  embarassed ohmy undecided
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« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2008, 05:09:04 PM »

My most-used Thunderbird extension, called Nostalgy, is a tool for quick moving and copying emails between folders, as well as quick navigation to the folders.  I find it incredibly fast and easy to use.  It uses simple and configurable keyboard shortcuts for its folder completion box which appears instantly as a popup from the status bar.  Eg I type "s fam" and enter and the current email gets saved to "family" folder (or I could use c for copy or g for go). 
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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2008, 09:13:13 AM »

Following the link to here in the MyLifeOrganized review update:

A nice extra feature of EverNote is that if you put two terms in the search box, it treats them as a Boolean AND, highlighting the search strings in different colours.  Boolean searching is valuable to me.

Another simple card file with what looks to me very good live search, which they call it Filter-on-typing:  AZZ Cardfile.  It holds the data on disk and the index in memory for fast search and sensible retrieval.  Interesting claim:

Quote
Cards limit should be around 2,000,000,000 - be the first to try it. Each card can hold any amount of data, it is limited only by system memory resources. We have tested cardfile with 100,000 cards, size of one card was over 10 MB.

The last free version, which works entirely in memory, can be found here.  Keep paging down to "Old versions" at the bottom of the page.


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superboyac
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« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2008, 10:51:20 AM »

A nice extra feature of EverNote is that if you put two terms in the search box, it treats them as a Boolean AND, highlighting the search strings in different colours.  Boolean searching is valuable to me.

Aww!!  I never realized that!  That kicks butt!  Evernote was such a great program.  Check out the screenshot:


Quote
Another simple card file with what looks to me very good live search, which they call it Filter-on-typing:  AZZ Cardfile.  It holds the data on disk and the index in memory for fast search and sensible retrieval.
Yeah, AZZ was the very first program that I noticed the feature in years ago.  But it only searched the titles of the cards, not the entire database.
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2008, 12:25:20 PM »

I've never been able to figure out how to change directories in ZTWin  embarassed ohmy undecided

Just press the Shift key as you type and you are immediately and incrementally put in the proper directory. The same works for files in the File View. Or, you can use the Spell search function (just enter the "|" character). I agree that not all those extremely powerful options are obvious at first, but generally it pays off to browse throughout the help file and learn some of those. You'll reach an extraordinary productivity!
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