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Folder Modifier Bug?

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Yes. It is a good start. However, the very subject touches on one issue I see as a new user of FARR. The current organization of aliases is somewhat complex and can confusing to a new user in terms of real useability. The user has to first understand the system before he/she can use it effectively. The idea you propose fits in with what I believe would greatly improve usability, that is, provide 1) a quick way to simply add any alias (keyword)/action pair (whether a file launch or triggering another alias) and 2) to view all of those keyword/action pairs in one place (this is very important). Both those items should be on the same form so rapid modifications can be quickly done.

Let's say you extend the simplicity idea of the special tab to every alias in the system and have a single listbox (a front end to a non-expert mode?) with one line per alias and cols such as: the alias (keyword); the main regEx; the results box; an 'is Active' checkbox; the alias file name(?); and if unchangeable then the row is greyed. Each col. is sortable. A double click on a line gets you to the alias. There could be an 'Add' button at the top and maybe a 'Add Simple Alias' button which only allows adding an alias name and a simple results box entry (which could be another alias). That simpler new alias button form could hide a special keyword such as 'alias' that goes into the actual underlying alias results box to signal the result is another alias. You now have a very simple front end to all aliases that makes the alias system far more usable to the normal user and allows creating simple 'quick and dirty' keyword/action aliases, including an alias to an alias, without changing the underlying alias system.

Just an idea.

that's a very interesting idea.. let me chew on it.

Mouser, another thought.

I was looking at Keybreeze to try to isolate what I liked about it and realized the difference between it and most other launchers is that it limits its normal search to only keywords and when matched takes the desired action (aka FARR results box). It does have 'functions' which somewhat similar to FARR aliases only for web searches.

The advantage I found was the ability to strictly limit what went into the search universe by controlling the keyword/action pairs I used. There is a provision to import all start menu items but I did not want to confuse the search universe so I ignored it. Since I only allowed my important items into the search universe and used creative names in the keyword (including ad hoc keywords) all my searches were instantly focused and rarely 'broke', a failing I found with other launchers that search a much larger universe that changes constantly. I still had Windows start menu search box (and the new Win8 search charm is great) and Everything Search for less common tasks.

A quick way for any FARR user to see if such a focused search universe is useful is to create a separate folder and just add normal shortcuts or url links to that folder. Give that folder a high search weight. You can, if you want, change the names of the shortcuts. You now have an ad hoc keyword/action system similar to Keybreeze where those shortcut names float to the top of search results and the targets can then be launched. I found such focused searches very useful in normal day to day use since it avoids the constantly shifting search universe that requires constant fine tuning of searches to keep what you want at the top of results.

If FARR was to ever be updated to add the ability to have a searchable keyword associated with every alias you could have an extra 'keyword' entry for each alias that is system-wide searchable and a weight score for all keywords. The user could keep the reqular target filename or substitute useful keyword(s) in the keyword field. Possibly, after a keyword floats to the top of results you could then allow a comma that would internally replace the keyword so far typed with the alias itself so that regEx works normally for everything typed after the comma. A user can now tightly constrain his/her search universe simply through the keyword weight score.

I do believe the ability to tightly constrain a keyword based search universe can be very useful for usability purposes for many. It was for me.

to limit the search universe you can also try this alternative (which I use)

In Options>>Search Folders

  Disable/uncheck folders you never want to include in the search universe.
  Assign short and easy to remember (different) modifier keywords to all active (checked) folders. (e.g. my)
  To include certain folder for every search add '*' to the modifier keywords (always in the search universe)

In Options>>Pattern Scoring

  Assign modifier keywords to all (active) pattern scoring (e.g. mp3)

Searching within a limited search universe

  When you search using FARR, FARR will initially only find results in launch history (historyl) and from the alias/keyword/groups, so it does not look into any folders.
  You must specify a keyword modifier (e.g. +my and/or +mp3) to specify a which part of your search universe FARR must investigate . 8)

Hint: modifier keywords do not have to be unique, and you can specify multiple modifier keywords.

  So you can combine folders/patterns by adding a common modifier keyword
  e.g. one folder: my hobby and another folder:  download hobby.

That is a good suggestion. However, my main observation is that it can be very valuable to easily assign an optional searchable custom keyword to each alias/action which now cannot be done in FARR. In that way you can search the keywords that only you defined and allowed into your search universe (which keyword could still be the original file name, a shortcut alias version of the name, several keywords together, or any combination). In that way, your searches will be of your customized keyword universe not limited to the original file/folder names. This can be very useful.

Obviously, there are different ways to implement keyword based weighting, e.g., adding a keyword to aliases or the quick and dirty method I used with shortcuts that are placed in a separate folder and that folder is heavily weighted in searches.

Along that shortcut line, it occurred to me that simply adding a menu item to the context menu in search results that creates a shortcut (which you rename to your keyword or keep the original name as is) in a %FARR_Shortcuts% folder also 'implements' a keyword weighting system. You then weight that folder to emphasize the degree of constraint your keyword universe imposes on searches. Constraining sharply limits the "breaking" of searches as files changes and keywords make your searches much more efficient over time as you add them to your "system". I create many such 'aliased' shortcuts to my key autohotkey scripts, folders I use a lot, folders or other items that are currently important to me (e.g., I might call a shortcut 'current project' and change its target as my projects change). I know that currently FARR can accomplish focusing on certain items by scoring but you still have the problem of a search applying to your entire universe of folders and the fixed names assigned to files/folders, as opposed to having your own custom alias/keywords substituting for those fixed file names and your search limited to only the universe you create over time.


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