avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Friday May 7, 2021, 2:32 pm
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Amadawn [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: [1] 2 3 4next
Find And Run Robot / Re: new launcher just released
« on: July 25, 2007, 11:54 AM »

just a quick comment. I think that as long as you do not have fuzzy matching, that new heuristic were you'd boost the score of items based on the key combination used to launch them would probably not give you many benefits. As in the current FARR search you need to type the letters of the beginning of one of the words in the filename, you are very likely to score them highly anyway. Once you add fuzzy matching, it will become much more useful.

I understand your reluctance to make the software too smart. All of us probably remember with horror the "smart menus" in Office. But to a certain extent, FARRs incredibly flexible scoring rules make it already one of the smartests launchers on any platform. In my experience, this particular type of smarts, when properly implemented (as in Launchy) makes a lot of sense and I have yet to find someone who did not find them logical after a short time using it.

I am also very glad that you see the value of a stack based approach. Hopefully you'll explore this possibility in a future version. In my opinion it could be a pretty interesting GUI design exercise and it would definitely open a lot of possibilities for FARR.



Find And Run Robot / Re: new launcher just released
« on: July 25, 2007, 10:23 AM »

thanks for taking my comments into consideration :-)

Let me try to explain what I mean by automatic learning. Basicallly, what it means is that everytime that you select a certain search result, the score of the selected search result increases in two ways. First the overal score of that item (file or program) increases for any search that matches its name. Second, the score of that particular item for the set of letters that you used to find that search result also increases greatly.

For instance, let's say that I want to start visual studio. If I typed "visual" it would probably be one of the first (if not the first) result in Launchy. But let's say that I want to start visual studio with "vs" instead. Probably, if I just type "vs" Microsoft Visual Studio will not be the first result to appear in the list. Maybe it will be the 5th or 6th, for instance. I can then use the down key and select it (i.e. I press ENTER). Then, the next time I type "vs" Visual Studio will be the 1st or 2nd item in the list. If it is the 2nd I can just select it again and the next time it will certainly be the 1st result. Launchy automatically learnt that I want to use "vs" as the keyword for Microsoft Visual Studio.

The neat thing is that Launchy also scores higher any previously selected items compared to items in its index that have never been selected. So, imagine that when I first typed "vs" Microsoft Visual Studio were not even on the list. No problem. I can type "visual" that first time (or maybe just "vis") and find and start visual studio. Then the next time I type vs Visual Studio will certainly be on the list as Visual Studio does match "vs" and now it has a higher score.

I don't know the exact heuristics that Launchy uses, but it is really cool. You can feel how Launchy is learning what you want. Very often it will do the right thing right away, but when it doesn't it is very easy to "teach" it. There is no need to use menus and keywords to configure it.

Now, imagine that later on you install some other program called "version control", for instance and for some reason you don't want to use "vs" to start visual studio anymore, but to start this new program. Well, you simply need to select "version control" a few times (once or twice) after typing "vs" and Launchy will quickly learn that you changed your mind. Visual Studio will still be shown on the list of results, probably as the second option.

By the way, Launchy _also_ has a pretty flexible keywords plugin
(installed and enabled by default) but in my experience you rarelly need to use it as the automatic learning, coupled with fuzzy matching works fine in most cases. The only times that making a keyword is necessary is when you want to use a keyword that does not match the file name or if you want to be able to pass parameters to the program that the keyword starts.

BTW, I may be making sound all of this too fancy, with names such as automatic learning and fuzzy matching. The whole point is that the launcher should just pay attention and try to do what I want it to do :-)

Regarding the stack vs the +ACTION modifiers (which by the way I think are pretty clever and cool) I think that the stack based approach has an advantage in that, once you select one item in the stack, the launcher can use its "search" capabilities to match the next element on the stack.

Let me explain with one example:
Imagine that I want to send an email to you and I want to attach a certain log file to the email.

In QuickSilver I can first search for the log file, called "My log.log" for instance. Imagine that I type "log" and find "My log.log". I type TAB. The default action was "open" but I type "e" which finds the "email as attachment" action. I type TAB. I type "mou", which finds "[email protected]" on my address book. I type ENTER. A new email is open in Outlook, addressed to mouser and with the file "my log.log" as an attachment. Total keys typed:

"log[TAB]e[TAB]mou[ENTER]" -> 10 in total.
How many would it take with the +ACTION approach? FARR cannot continue matching after the 1st element is found, can it? And even if it could, it would be a bit ackward, because if it starts showing you the email addresses on the results list, then you lost the name of the file that will be attached (as you did not type the whole filename, you just looked for it my typing a few letters). With the stack based GUI, you keep all the information, and if you make a mistake you can go back easily (just type ESC to go back to the previous stack level).

Also note how after you type each "TAB" the "search context" changes in a Stack based approach. Initially it searches for files and programs. Then it searches for actions and finally, depending on the action type it may search for something else (in this case for email addresses). Plus, it you have automatic learning you can just type "e" for the "email as attachment action" because the launcher learnt that you want to use "e" to select that particular action.

I agree that these types of usages are a bit advanced. But when the interface makes this powerful capability extremely accessible, even for non power users.

So again, looks can improve the program capabilities in some cases. I think that this is a very good example.

BTW, as I said, I really appreciate you guys taking my comments into account. I will definitely keep checking on FARR from time to time.


Find And Run Robot / Re: new launcher just released
« on: July 25, 2007, 08:26 AM »
mouser (and others),

thanks for your answer and specially for showing off the new skin capabilities in FARR v2. It certainly shows and improvement over FARR v1. It is still not as nice as other launchers but it is better than before, which is great. BTW, is it possible to disable the numbers in the "big icons" mode?

Regarding the "look" of FARR, one thing that I like in Launchy, Dash and Quicksilver is how they really "highlight" the current selection. That is, the element would be launched if you clicked ENTER. I think that this should be prominent in the interface, not just be the first result in the list of search results. I also like how Dash and Quicksilver highlight the letters that are being matched (this is more important when you have intra-word non-contiguous matching, which FARR currently lacks).

As a final note on "eye candy" and "looks". I love the way QuickSilver fades in and out when you use it. That sort of thing could be implemented without modifying the current skin capabilities of FARR. It could even be a plugin, with several fade-in/out animations to chose from (and obviously it shoul be totally optional). Maybe that is an easy way to differentiate FARR in the looks department compared to other launchers?

I will certainly give the new version a try once it is released. I am happy to see that a few of the weaknesses in the previous version have been improved.

One particular comment that I'd like to make is that I think that the "real" intra-word non-contiguous matching (sometimes called "fuzzy matching") is really a _must_. It does not seam a big deal until you start using it but it is really useful and once you get used to it you may never want to use a launcher that does not have it. When coupled with "automatic learning" (i.e. results re-scoring based on user selection) it becomes a really nice way of "automatically" creating keywords.

What I mean is that, in FARR, it is often suggested to create an alias when you want to use a certain name for a certain program or file (say ff for Firefox). But that is the whole point! I _don't_ want to have to manually create keywords. But that means that you have to do that for every computer where you use Launchy (unless you use a usb key or something). And it takes longer than letting the launcher observe what you do and learn what you want it to do. Not to mention that it is also harder for non power users to use this feature.

It is hard to explain, but it really makes a big difference. And having to add a space between the letters would be annoying (the best example is firefox, which I currently can start by simply tapping twice the "f" letter).

And this is another reason for indexing, I think. As you said, implementing this sort of "fuzzy matching" may be too costly in a pure search based program like FARR. But for index-based launchers this is not a problem whatsoever.

I really liked the idea that a previous poster had, were you could select whether you want to index or search each individual folder. I also think that it may be nice if you could do "both" at the same time. That is, quickly present the results of the index search, and then do a search in the background and show any additional results as soon as they are ready. Maybe this could bring the best of both worlds?

Another question that I have is: how does the new version of FARR handle "alternative" modes? I really like how in Launchy if you select "Google" (by typing gg for instance) and type TAB you go into "google search mode". In Dash this is even more evident, as the "Google search" text appears on top of your editbox which makes it clear that any words that you type will be used for a google search.

Another related question is how does FARR handle "alternative actions". By default, hitting ENTER opens or executes the program or file selected. Can you select things such as "open folder" or "copy", etc? In Dash and Quicksilver you can by hitting TAB until you select the action that you want to perform.

As a final note I'd like to answer jgpaiva regarding the trade off between improving the FARR interface versus adding new features. I have to say that the looks of an application can often limit its capabilities. For example, QuickSilver has a really neat "multi-level" "stack" interface, where you can select a file, type tab, select and action, type tab and select a "modifier" for the action (e.g. select a filename, select "copy to..." and select the folder to which the file will be copied). I don't think that this is something that is too difficult to implement. But in Quicksilver it is very natural as every time that you hit tab the selected item is "saved" into a "stack" that is shown in the interface very clearly. So the interface flexibility not only looks good but also adds a good deal of functionality, making it trivial to add this sort of feature. In FARR (and sadly, also in Launchy) this would not be nearly as easy to do, as they are based around the concept of a single edit box where you type your command. That could never be as powerful as the stack based interface approach that QuickSilver (and to an extent Dash and the new SkyLab from Candylabs) has.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the FARR v2 release. I don't think that I could give up "fuzzy" matching at this point, but maybe you guys will change my mind? :-)



Find And Run Robot / Re: new launcher just released
« on: July 24, 2007, 05:43 PM »

as an old member of donation coder, and someone who used to use FARR all the time and finally dropped it in favor of Launchy I think that I might give a different perspective on why "less featured" programs such as Launchy and Dash appeal to some (perhaps many!) users.

First of all, let me say that I _loved_ FARR. When I discovered it I was blown away and I inmediatly became a donationcoder member and I donated to FARR. I still like it and I think it is useful but I don't use it anymore.

There were 4 main reasons why I started using Launchy instead of FARR:
- "Better" search results (out of the box, without tweaking).
- Looks awesome compared to FARR (although not as good as Dash)
- Some really cool pluggins (e.g. the calculator and web search pluggins)
- Simpler setup and better "out of the box" experience.

Please, before you guys jump to dismiss these reasons, let me elaborate a bit more. But first, please note that the last time I tried FARR it was a few months back and perhaps some of these have been fixed since them. I'd be cool if you pointed me to those.

1. Why I think that the Launchy search is better?
- It is "index-based" which means almost instantaneous search results. There was a noticiable difference compared to FARR.
- "Adaptive" search results. Launchy tracks what I select after every search I do and boosts the ranking of those results the next time I repeate the same _OR A SIMILAR_ search.
- Non contiguous search (i.e. searching for ff will find FireFox)

I believe that some of these features were planned for FARR v2.0 but I don't know if they all made it. I would agree that the "index-based" search may be a drawback for some people, which want to be able to search a completelly up to date list of files, but in my usage I've found that using Launchy with a 20 minute update timer is good enough 99.9% of the time (and when it is not updating the index is 2 mouse clicks away). Perhaps this works well for me because for me Launchy is mainly a program launcher and an interface to google (and a calulator and folder navigator...) and not a file search tool. But I think that there are better "file search tools" around that both FARR and Launchy anyway.

2.- Better look. I think that this cannot be questioned. I don't even think that Launchy looks "that good" but it definitely looks way better FARR. I know that a lot of people don't really care about this but _A LOT_ of people do care (me included).

I think that saying that "power users" do not care about looks is untrue. Actually I find that many power users like to tweak the looks of their computers a lot, as they use them so much more than non power users.

I really don't think that you should under-estimate the importance of this. One of the previous posts made a very good point regarding commercial vs freeware software and I think that there is a reason why commercial software "tends" to look better and that is because most people like better looking software and sometimes are willing to trade some features for good looks and style (case in point ipod vs other mp3 players, etc).

3.- Better "out of the box" experience:
This is related to #1. There is an enourmous amount of options in FARR. I bet that the options pane is probably overwhelming for many users and maybe you should consider create two separate "simple" and "advanced" "configuration modes" to make FARR more approachable and feel less bloated (often bloat is just a feel, it does not need to be real to put some people off).

However that was not what I mean about a better "out of the box" experience and why I stopped using FARR. I know that I can configure FARR to behave exactly as I want with all the very useful and detailed options. I actually did that when I was using it. However, I often go to new computers and I like to have a keyboard launcher in them. With Launchy, I can just install it and it works very well without any configuration. With FARR I would need to waste some time (probably a while!) to configure it properly in each machine that I install it.

A previous poster mentioned that trying to use his wife's PC without FARR was a pain. I bet that trying to use FARR without any reconfiguration would be a (much smaller) pain too!

I really believe that this last reason is very important and probably something that with some careful thought could be easily improved in FARR. You could think about the most useful scenarios for FARR use and make sure that FARR works seamlessly in those cases. Making google searches, opening firefox/explorer bookmarks, finding start menu items, being able to navigate and find the most important system folders (my documents, etc) out of the box should be a priority.

Ah! There is also another (small) criticism to FARR. The name (at some point I almost convinced mouser to change it into something else! :-). Launchy, Dash, SilverLight, QuickSilver... quite frankly, they all sound better than FARR. OK, I know. That is a pretty stupid complaint, but it is true, nevertheless ;-)

I think that most of this can be easily improved and that _technology_ wise FARR is (under the hood) probably the most flexible and impressive launcher for windows. But these loose ends stop it from reaching its potential, IMHO.



Find And Run Robot / Re: Links to Review and Comments - Add yours!
« on: November 03, 2006, 07:26 PM »
I actually would like this as well. At least it could be an option. What is the point of not reacting to a click on the tray?


Find And Run Robot / Re: Apologies if this is OT...
« on: September 11, 2006, 05:08 PM »
Thank you for the suggestion for the folder opening, but that does not solve the "folder autocompletion issue". I use the Run dialog because it allows me to navigate the file system very easily thanks to the fact that it autocompletes the folder names that I input, which makes it very quick to go to any folder. I don't think that that is currently possible with FARR.

I agree taht FARR's functionallity is farr ;-) more advanced that Launchy's, but as I said I found out that most of the time what I want to do is to launch some program, and for that Launchy works great. Until today in Launchy you could not search for different filetypes in different folders (you either searched for mp3 in all monitored folders or in none of them, for instance). But today they just released a new version, 1.0.0 beta, which adds the capability to select different filetypes per folder. Of course it still lacks the awesomelly powerful weighting capability of FARR (it is really cool to be able to give a -100 weight to anything containing "uninstall", for instance), but even then it is quite useful.

I have all confidence that mouser can overcome all the little things that make Launchy better suited for my needs. But until then, it is likelly that I'll keep using Launchy.

I also understand that for some people looks may not be very important, but they are for me, so the alpha blending in Launchy really makes me "want" to use it. FARR's skins are not bad, but not as neet, more constrained, in my opinion. They look quite similar to each other...

mouser, I hope you see this as a challenge. I'll love to go back to Launchy! :D



Find And Run Robot / Re: Apologies if this is OT...
« on: September 10, 2006, 02:58 PM »
Actually I've also being using Launchy much more often that FARR for a while. The main reason why I use these launchers is to start programs that are in Programs Menu and Launchy is really good at that, plus it looks very, very slick (looks are important to me  :-[).
The other main thing I do is to open folders, and for that I must use the windows "Run..." dialog. I sure with that I could use a single program for this but for the moment I cannot :-(

Sadly, I must agree with nontroppo in that FARR is a bit too slow for this purpose and does not look nearly as good as Launchy. Also it seems that FARR develpment as slowed down quite a bit as mouser has so many other cool projects to deal with simultaneously.

I think that something else that makes me prefer Launchy is that it shows you the program that will be started right in the main launchy window, while "alternatives" are shown a bit later in the dropdown box. Somehow I find this less distracting that the way FARR currently works.

I must also agree with nontroppo when I said that this does not mean in any way that I don't appreciate mouser's work in FARR, which is an awesome program and I still use from time to time. FARR was the reason why I became a donationcoder member and I am still very happy that I did. I don't think that you can say that Launchy is better than FARR or the other way around. They seem to cover slightly different needs and at the moment Launchy works better for me. But I am actually eagerly waiting for the next version of FARR and I'd be more than willing to switch back to FARR if the next version proves to suit my needs better than Launchy.



One more thing that I hope does not get "forgotten" in the midst of all these cool functionnality suggestions is the look and style of FARR v2, as well as the "first impression" that it gives when you first use it.

I've recently given a try to Launchy, which by the way is and excellent launcher although it is way less powerful and even less configurable than FARR v1. However it has 2 things that make it give a much better _first_ impression than FARR v1:

1. Cool skins (specially the default one): FARR v1 has skins but these are nowhere as good looking as the ones that are available for Launchy. This is even truer for QuickSilver, whose interface is very stylish and makes you almost want to use it all the time :-)

2. Speed: As Launchy only indexes the startup menu (and only the shortcuts) by default (although you can also tell it to index other folders) it can use an indexin mechanism which yields instantaneous results. Although FARR's search is pretty fast, you can see the results being refined which gives an impression of it being slower.

The index vs search thing has been discussed here a lot so I will not say much about it other than perhaps a hybrid approach, where an index is used for the initial results and a search is performed after than to look for additional results.

But for the "look and style" part I hope that FARR v2 improves its skinning engine and in particular comes with a kick ass default skin! :-)

And please, please, make it so that the config menus are usable when using big fonts in windows instead of the default ones (and hopefully fix this for all your programs which suffer from this same problem, lake the fabulous ProcessTamer v2)! :-)



P.S..- I'm looking forward to an intermediate release of FARR!

Find And Run Robot / Re: Thoughts of a new comer
« on: July 20, 2006, 11:34 AM »
the real mental block i've had with v2 is all the conflicting issue and trying to solve some user interface issues.  these are not programming issues but user interface design decisions.

Mouser, it seems that perhaps you should borrow a trick from the Open Source community and follow their motto: "Release early, release often". It is almost impossible to get a program with such a big scope right on the first try. It is good that you take your time to think about the basic _philosophy_ of the program, but not about the actual implementation details, because those will only fall into place when people try to use them and discover whether they are useful or not.

So my advice, from a fello coder, is: Get the basic idea of what you want, make a prototype, something that takes FARR forward from what it it today, release an alpha version, listen to our comments, rinse and repeat.

Also you should probably try to draw inspiration for the "concept" from other programs that have tried to do similar things like FARR, with QuickSilver being, in my opinion, an obvious source of inspiration, as it has achieved the feat of being both useful and easy to extend.

As for your "caching" dilemma, I would suggest, as cnewtonne did, that perhaps you might want to pre-cache or index only the filesystem and the progra files shortcuts and do a search for the rest of items. That would make FARR great for file browsing and as good as FARR1 for searching. Keeping full indexing as an option seems a good idea as well.



Find And Run Robot / Rank higher executables in the PATH?
« on: July 11, 2006, 12:51 PM »

it seems that currently FARR does not search for executables on the PATH. For instance, if I type cmd it does not find cmd.exe. Instead it only finds the last command that I typed on the run window.

So, is there some way to make FARR search and hopefully rank higher the executables that can be found on the PATH? If not it'd be great to add this to FARR v2.

Also, I think that there should be some way to "edit" the results of a FARR search. For instance, when I type cmd and I get: cmd /k "cd c:\"
I'd be great if I could somehow put that whole command into the FARR editbox, change it and run it.



Find And Run Robot / Re: Progress?
« on: June 26, 2006, 03:26 AM »
i should probably just add it to v1 right away and give the people what they have long waited for..

I think that would be a great idea, as it seems that people really want that feature!  :D
But please, please! make FARRv2 your next update!

Cheers :)


Find And Run Robot / Progress?
« on: June 25, 2006, 09:08 PM »
Hi Mouser!

I'm just curious as for your progress on FARRv2! Do you have any idea of when you might release the first alpha or beta? Otherwise, are you thinking about perhaps adding the folder search to FARRv1? It seems that everyone here is holding their breaths for that feature!



Find And Run Robot / Re: New version?
« on: April 25, 2006, 09:13 PM »
Oh! you are right, there is a "Mercury WinRunner" already  :(

What about "Hermes Runner"? Hermes is the greek name for the roman god Mercury. It is often represented as being a very fast runner (with winged boots), so "Hermes Runner" makes sense... Perhaps it doesn't sound as good as "Mercury" (which I loved) but I still like it... It is hard to come up with a good name!  :D

As for release date, maybe if you released some alpha or beta you would keep us entertained while we wait for the final version?


Find And Run Robot / New version?
« on: April 25, 2006, 07:02 PM »
Hey mouser,

any hints on when the new veersion of FARR will be ready?
Also, what happened with the new name? Are you going to stick with FARR or are you going to use Mercury Runner as you once said? I quite liked that new name!

Find And Run Robot / Alpha versions
« on: March 07, 2006, 08:38 PM »

when you have some alpha version of your programs (FARR or other) do you write a message on the corresponding forum or is there an "alpha" forum where you announce such news?


Find And Run Robot / Beta version of v2?
« on: February 22, 2006, 06:58 PM »

when do you think that you'll release the first beta of Mercury Runner (aka FARR v2)?


I want to tell you guys about this amazing little piece of software that I recently found (actually a little over 2 months ago). If you use iTunes to handle you music collection and listen you your music you should give it a try.

It is called iTunesKeys ( and it is a freeware software that sits on the system tray and lets you control iTunes. You can play/pause, go to the next song and show iTunes by simply clicking or double clicking on the tray icon. You can also use the trayicon menu to set the song rating, etc. It also shows the current song info (name, album, artist and rating) on a tooltip.

If you use iTunes but are tired of having to show the iTunes window just to pause/continue playing music you should try this little program.

If you decide to use it, I'd recommend that you enable the iTunes "Minimize iTunes window to the system tray" option (on the Advanced tab of the preferences) and also configure the system tray to always hide the iTunes tray icon. That way you can just use the iTunesKeys tray icon to control iTunes.

I hope you guys like it! ;D


P.S.- By the way, the developper is super-nice. I contacted him to ask him to add some little functionality (notably, make it possible to skip to the next track by double-right-clicking on the iTunesKeys tray icon) and although it took him a while to answer me he made the change and was very open to comments. :)

General Software Discussion / A definitive solution!
« on: February 17, 2006, 12:31 PM »
Actually it is possible to fix this program completelly, so that the menu is kept always sorted. Check this out:


You have to do some registry modification. I did it some days ago and it's work as a charm!


This program is great. What a pity that it does not work with the Microsoft Office File dialogs!  :(

If the main problem shown by this thread is how to distinguish between the "main case" where FARR must do a regular search and the "5%" case, in which we must provide FARR with a "verb" (or command), why can't you just select a "escape character" that must be used for commands?

For instance, maybe we could use ">" which is not allowed in any Windows filename. If ">" is the first character on the command line, assume that it is followed by a command (like "define", for instance). Otherwise, assume that we are in "normal" mode.

Of course, while in normal mode, you could still be able to stack "commands" as it has been discussed above (QuickSilver style).

Does this make sense?


ContextMenu Commander / Re: ContextMenu Commander
« on: February 04, 2006, 06:55 PM »
There are 2 things that I'd love to add to my explorer context menu:

- A folders submenu with all my favorite folders that would allow me to navigate to them with a simple right click (and it should be able to reuse any open explorer window if I want it to)
- A "Create folder" button (as the windows "New>" submenu is sooo slow!!!).

A tool that adds those two (and perhaps "command promt here" although there is already a Microsoft PowerToy that does that) woul be perfect!


P.S.- When is the first release of this program expected?
The thing that I'd like the most wou

OK. I really think that allowing both would be better, as it works for most cases (when you are searching for a program or file). I also think that we should allow more complex actions (like filename email address or filename copy foldername, etc).

Man, this is becoming a very ambitious project, mouser!!! :)

i think its impossible to do what we want and have subject first.
the only choices are always verb first, or combined verb+subject first.

why cant you do subject firt? well because we want to support things like being able to say:
"email [email protected]"
"define subjunctive"
"google happiness"

ie after you type the verb only then does it know how to interpret what you type.

but we could stick with the approach we have now which combines the two and tried to guess what you want.

requiring a verb first (which would default to "launch" if you hit space or tab) would make life a lot cleaner.

the main problem is it makes the 95% case more troublesome.

OK, I understand the issue. However, I still believe that there must be a way to cover all cases and keep everybody happy.

As you say, the cases in which we absolutely need the verb to come first correspond to perhaps 5% of the functionality of FARR. Those, I believe, can be covered as "special cases" where the user can define "keywords" that when selected would require some additional parameter.

But if the user types/selects any other item, it could then simply type the name of one of the actions linked to that action, and perhaps follow by another parameter.

For instance:

Type: tax<tab>(finds "tax plan.doc") em<tab>(finds "email to")[email protected]<ENTER> (eventually FARR could even search in the addres book, but that's another issue). This sends "tax plan.doc" by email to "[email protected]".

But you could also type:
define<tab>(finds "action define:", stops searching for stuff)rose<ENTER> which fires the default web browser and looks for the definition of "rose".

I think that this method has the advantage of being very intuitive, covering all cases and requiring very little keypresses. Of course if at any point there is some ambiguity (like for instance if there were both a "tax plan.doc" and a "taxi address.txt" the user would need to use the keyboard arrows or the Ctrl+number technique to select the one that he wants. Same thing for actions, where instead of typing "em" you could simply use the arrows to select "email", "copy" or whatever other actions supported by that file type.

I agree however that this might be complicated to code, but hey, you are the wizard coder and the one that seemed eager to solve a complex UI puzzle! :)

Wow! This is an interesting thread!

mouser, you talk about having the first word be always a verb. In my opinion that causes a problem because most of the time what you want to do with FARR (or at least that is what I want) is to find SOMETHING. So why not do as QuickSilver does, and require always to have first a "SUBJECT" (i.e. what we are going to work with), then a verb (what we are going to do with it, which by default would be launch) and finally an object (if the VERB requires another parameter, like where to copy a file for instance).

I think that would solve the problem because you would get the current, default behaviour (which is what you normally want) but can still add modifiers to the task at will. Also it does not limit you to actions that work on a single file.


Pages: [1] 2 3 4next