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Author Topic: FARR feedback/first impressions  (Read 3603 times)


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FARR feedback/first impressions
« on: August 14, 2016, 01:00 PM »

I'm a long time (ex?) user of Launchy. I like tinkering sometimes, but I dislike having to. When Launchy broke for the nth time I set out to find an alternative. FARR seemed to fit the bill - it's way more flexible, powerful, and customizable.

Setup was easy - added folders, executables for some, music from other locations. I like the option to exclude file types as well - filtered out the playlist files for example.

I ran into a few things that I can't do as easy - showstoppers for me. At first I thought I should ask for help here, but a few forum searches convinced me I should just leave some feedback instead. So:

1. there's no way that I found to run a control panel item without having to type some alias name first. I saw some talk about godmode folder, but that's about it. Which is strange - launchers are there to type less, not more. I'd like to type "feat", not "cpanel feat", to access the add/remove program list.

2. FARR doesn't memorize different searches, just the end result. The author of the program liked the idea of learning before:
As is, I should use aliases for each and every typing shortcut I got used to - else an another program might overtake them in the list.

3. Can find, but not launch files with latin alphabet letters with diacritics.

4. I couldn't find an (easy) way to launch something with a parameter - say sending an URL to a non default browser.

A comparison:
in launchy - f <TAB> url opens what I want
in FARR - I have to set F as alias and possibly make an alias/delve into regexps for sending a parameter?

Overall it just feels I'd have to tinker much more to achieve what Launchy does out of the box. Which is a shame - I wouldn't mind using the fancier features later on.


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Re: FARR feedback/first impressions
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2016, 02:23 PM »
I appreciate the post -- your explanations are clear and compelling -- and I have to say when I hear about people who want to switch to one of my apps but find features missing, it catches my attention.

Let me try to address your issues:

1. Control panel without typing alias keyword "cpanel" first.
It's definitely nice to have the "cpanel" alias because you can see all the control panel items at once in an immediate list without any searching.
But I can see how you might not want to have to type cpanel first.  There are two ways around this: First you could create your own subdirectory of shortcuts to control panel items, and then just add this subdirectory to farr search path.  Second, you could make custom aliases for your most common control panel shortcuts.
Having said that, it's not a crazy idea for me to add a feature that says for any given alias (like cpanel), always consider it as a candidate for searching when the user searches for anything.  I will consider that.

2. Farr doesn't memorize searches just results.
Yes, this is something I should probably add.. I may try to bump it up in my priority list and get it done sooner rather than later.  Note that there are a nice little ctrl+up and ctrl+down shortcuts as well as the "historys" command to actually browse the list of previous searches.  But as i understand this request, it's to remember that when you last typed "firef" you ended up launching firefox, so if you type "firef" again, firefox should be an immediate top results.

3. Problem with searching using diacriticals.
Unfortunately this is a more fundamental issue with farr not supporting unicode.  Without unicode, some keyboard layouts will allow diacriticals some won't.  I'm afraid the move to unicode farr won't be happening anytime soon, so that may be a deal breaker for some.

4. Passing parameters to arbitrary file launches.
You can actually do this.  See the help page titles "Passing commandline parameters/arguments": "You can now pass commandline arguments to any launched program by typing "++ any args here" at the end of your search string. For example 'ping.exe ++ -n 2'"  This will work on both arbitrary file find results, and on alias results.  See the help page for more info.


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Re: FARR feedback/first impressions
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 05:50 PM »
Thanks for the prompt reply! Happy to see my feedback was of some use.

1. This seems like a special case to me. I'm not sure it warrants a full 'candidate for searching' feature, unless aliases are commonly used as just lists of shortcuts. I just think that these specific system shortcuts are important enough to appear in the main search results by default, kind of like System Shutdown/Logoff commands already do. The cpanel alias functionality is still nice, I agree.

2. I did not know about ctrl+up/down and historys, thanks. And yes, I meant memorising/weighting by search phrase. I'll try and clarify. I usually launch stuff with very few letters, say 'f' for firefox. The feature would ensure that, for example, even if I launch 'f'-firefox less often than 'fr'-fraps, as long as I type 'f' I'd get firefox, and 'fr' would get me fraps. Current FARR history weighting would still help populate the initial results - firefox might not be immediately available in 'f' search results to start with. All in all it would make the app to 'pick up' on which search phrase is used to launch what without having to make adjustments by hand.

3. I can imagine the unicode move is no small undertaking. Not necessarily a showstopper for me, but definitely a tradeoff/consideration.

4. That works, thank you. I'd probably still make a macro to replace tab with ++ while FARR is active. Old habits die hard :)

Thank you for considering. I'm on the fence still, but I'll definitely bookmark the version history page, for #2. I suspect that's how Quick Search Words feature came to be :)


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Re: FARR feedback/first impressions
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 11:44 AM »
hi paplaukes, I'm just a FARR user but let me jump in here with a friendly tip anyway.  :)

I get your request 3, would be a neat feature. But while FARR aliases need manual setup they can also speed up launching. For example this alias

Regular expression pattern:
dolaunch C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe

Will launch Firefox immediately when the FARR inputbox has "ff", no Enter press needed. But it won't trigger on "buffalo". Similar mnemonic two letter dolaunch command aliases can be set for the program you use most frequently.