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Spotlight Upgrades in Leopard

anaesthetica (596507) writes | more than 7 years ago

OS X 356

Mac OS 10.5 Leopard is set to feature several new enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's desktop search, according to ComputerWorld. These include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping, server spotlight indexing, boolean search, (sorely needed) better application launching, and quick look previews.Mac OS 10.5 Leopard is set to feature several new enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's desktop search, according to ComputerWorld. These include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping, server spotlight indexing, boolean search, (sorely needed) better application launching, and quick look previews.

356 comments

Beagle allready does this! (4, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976894)

From tfa One of the biggest advances in Spotlight is that it will be able to search remote computers.

Beagle [beagle-project.org] has done this for a while.

Also from tfa As powerful as Spotlight is, it actually offers a somewhat limited set of search options. (then detailing the new, 1996 search engine style AND/OR/NOT operators).

Beagle's also ahead [beagle-project.org] here:

Beagle supports a search syntax similar to the major search engines you are probably familiar with. If you see too many results for a query, consider refining your search.

  Required words: By default, Beagle will return results containing all of the words you specify, with the exception of common "stop words" such as "a", "the", and "is".

  Phrases: To search for specific phrases (one word next to another), place the words in quotation marks. For example:

                    "White Album"

  Partial words: Beagle supports partial word searches using asterisks as wildcards. For example, to find words like "black", "blackbird", and "blacksmith":

                    black*

  Excluding words: To exclude a word or phrase from your search, prefix it with minus sign ("-"). For example, to find items with "Beatles" but not the word "George":

                    Beatles -George

  Optional words: To indicate that the word A or word B be in results, use OR, i.e. to find items which contain either "George" or "Ringo" (or both). The OR is case-sensitive.

                    George OR Ringo

  Property queries: By default, Beagle looks for your search terms in the text of the documents and their metadata. If you want to search for a specific property, use the format property:keyword. You can find a list of supported properties by running beagle-query --keywords. Property queries follow all the rules mentioned above; so you can search for properties by phrase, using wildcards, exclude terms, or provide optional terms. For example, the following query will return all of your Beatles MP3s or Ogg/Vorbis files that aren't on the Abbey Road album:

                    artist:Beatles ext:mp3 OR ext:ogg -album:"Abbey Road"

  Searching file extensions: You can use either *.mp3 or ext:mp3 to search for documents by file extension. (In this example, MP3s.)

I guess sometime's Spotlight's ahead on features & at other times Beagle's ahead.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976944)

I have several macs and linux machines (the macs are laptops, the linux boxes desktops or servers). Everyone says all the time that linux isn't desktop ready, and yet, all these cool things I can already do keep creeping into OSX. I like OSX because I can legally have certain features which I can't on linux (basically mass market media), but I'm always wishing they would add things, like OS integrated multiple desktops (coming soon) and middle click paste. I suppose I'll have to wait to OS X Siamese Cat for middle click paste, but I'm really looking forward to "spaces". That alone will bring OSX 50% closer to the features I enjoy on my linux machines.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (-1, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977196)

You actually think most people care about middle-click paste? Where is the Linux equivalent of Time Machine or Quick Look? How about Core Animation? These claims that Linux features are creeping into OS X is bogus; Beagle only started getting attention after Microsoft and Apple announced their metadata search plans, so if anything, it's the other way around. After all, Linux desktop environments have been cloning features for years from the big boys. It's no coincidence you have a Start menu, task bar, recycle bin, and so forth in KDE, so enough with the claims of theft on the part of Apple.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977618)

These claims that Linux features are creeping into OS X is bogus;

Sensible people realise that all the major Operating Systems copy both from each other and (more commonly) research Operating Systems.

People who see feature X is linux, then see it in OS X & Windows may incorrectly come to the conclusion that OS X & Windows are copying linux.

It's far more likely however that all three operating systems copied feature X from $weird_academic_researh_OS.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976976)

Beagle is fucking difficult to set up.

No really it is.

I've been using Linux for some time now, and I tried to get beagle working. Don't get me wrong, I did, but damn it was tough. If you tell a new linux user, "Oh sorry, your new mono libraries are incompatible at the moment, you'll just have to wait for beagle to catch up" They wouldn't put up with it. Also, telling them to activate extended attributes, they aren't going to know how.

You can't fault apple. Nice friendly magnifying glass, no set up. I hope that in the future my kubuntu release will just have beagle installed by default and working nicely.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (3, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977060)

Dont know what distro you were using, but in Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy), it was as easy as installing anything else.

sudo apt-get install beagle python-beagle

Just put the Deskbar app in the panel and enable the beagle plugin in the Deskbar (for Spotlight-style search-from-panel goodness), and everything works.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977080)

As i said, i'm using kubuntu, but I last tried installing it on 6.04. The interface was horrible because it had zero integration with KDE. Don't take that deskbar app for granted.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977158)

My bad. /me finds his dyslexia pills.
Back on topic, in 6.10, Beagle has a KDE frontend by the name of Kerry, which is more or less a KDEized version of the GNOME beagle app. (the deskbar app is a GNOME thing). It also has a KIO slave, but no OSX-ish deskbar.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977658)

Dont know what distro you were using, but in Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy), it was as easy as installing anything else.

sudo apt-get install beagle python-beagle

I'm sorry, but it's statements like these that make it glaringly obvious why Linux isn't ready for the general public. Who the hell is going to go into the terminal just to install something? Honestly, I think that Linux is best off staying a bit nichey, but why should users who like Free software have to deal with it?

Windows: Double-click install.exe
OS X: Drag program icon to 'Applications'
Linux: In terminal, type in (without quotes!) "sudo apt-get install beagle python-beagle", followed by your root password

Sure, it's easy enough for geeks, but that's just a bunch of mindless crap to the rest of the world. You tell someone to do that, and they'll ask you why the hell you're feeding your dog a snake (or worse - you know someone's mind will get creative with the 'install').

Re:Beagle allready does this! (0, Troll)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977876)

You know, Windows used to be like Linux back some 12+ years ago.

Click RUN type D:\setup.exe

Re:Beagle allready does this! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977912)

apt-get isn't the recommended way to install applications in Ubuntu. Synaptic, a nice GUI front end to parts of the apt suite, is. No need to type anything except for an administrator password.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977950)

At least you made it to the second line. To me, any sentence that starts with "Dont know what distro you were using..." pretty much sums it up right there.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

theshibboleth (968645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977162)

Unless I'm mistaken, Ubuntu actually already is shipping Beagle by default as of the 6.10 release.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (2)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977188)

Both my FC6 and Kubuntu boxes have beagle running in them. FC6 had it out of the box, and installing on Kubuntu was a simple apt-get operation. I'm using Kerry in KDE to access it.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977418)

Beagle is fucking difficult to set up.

Incorrect. Beagle was difficult to setup in it's early development phase.

I hope that in the future my kubuntu release will just have beagle installed by default and working nicely.

In future? How about the past? The last kubuntu release had beagle installed by default and it does work nicely.

Just how old is your kubuntu install anyway?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977004)

artist:Beatles ext:mp3 OR ext:ogg -album:"Abbey Road"
And you can seriously see some Photoshop-jockey typing that in to find an MP3?

Last time I checked, most graphic designers didn't even know what boolean logic was... most thought it was a font...

Re:Beagle allready does this! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977040)

Sorry, but with the exception of network search, Spotlight's search query engine has been able to do *all* of those things from the beginning, the difference is that this is now supported in the blue menu at the top of the menu bar (not jsut from the command line or code). You can perform incredibly complicated queries in Spotlight that you simply cannot do in Beagle.

Why? Because Beagle uses the Lucene search engine. Speaking as someone who uses Lucene every day, has written numerous analysers, query parsers and filters, it doesn't come close to Spotlight's engine. Examples? Queries can't start with a wild card, queries cannot comprise of a NOT clause by itself, results are stored in an immutable data structure that does not support merging, queries containing wild cards and ranges of values get translated into an enormous query with an OR clause for *every term in the index*. Thats fucking disgraceful. Lucene is also *much* slower then Spotlight, and contains numerous memory leaks relating to index readers and writers.

Lucene is exceptionally easy to use and develop for, and Beagle ain't half bad, but Spotlight is superior in every way (except being closed source, yawn).

Re:Beagle allready does this! (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977560)

Examples? Queries can't start with a wild card,

Incorrect [apache.org] :

Leading wildcards (e.g. *ook) are not supported by the QueryParser by default. They can be enabled by calling QueryParser.setAllowLeadingWildcard( true ). Note that this can be an expensive operation: it requires scanning the entire list of tokens in the index to look for tokens that match the pattern. Currently this code is in the Lucene development trunk but is not yet in any release.

queries cannot comprise of a NOT clause by itself,

Are you sure? BooleanQuerySyntax [apache.org] in Lucene is indeed a little odd, but I'm not sure you're right.

results are stored in an immutable data structure that does not support merging,

Incorrect Lucene supports merging & has done for years. Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

Meh, I don't think you've used lucene for years!

Re:Beagle allready does this! (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977098)

Yes, yes, that's great... but I don't think Apple is CLAIMING that it's doing anything new. It's just adding features to program it already makes.

Frankly, I don't get the point of your post. Does Beagle even run in OS X?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977402)

Frankly, I don't get the point of your post.

A comparison of the proprietary software being discussed with it's open counterpart.

Does Beagle even run in OS X?

Who cares?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977142)

The original article is slightly misleading: Spotlight in Tiger actually already supports AND/OR/NOT:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050 503165951266 [macosxhints.com]

Spotlight can actually already do all the things you mentioned. Unfortunately the syntax is totally whacked. For instance. spaces matter when they shouldn't; e.g. "hello|world" is not the same as "hello | world". (The latter doesn't mean what you think it means.)

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

larkost (79011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977422)

The underlying Spotlight system is very capable of boolean serarches in 10.4, it is just the GUI that does not really support things like this. I think it was a conscious decision not to include this because they could not put a normal-user-friendly GUI on it (in time). It sounds like they might have taken a whack at doing just that, but we will have to see whenever 10.5 comes out.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (2, Funny)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977146)

Beagle sounds very nice. Nothing whatsoever to do with Spotlight, and doesn't run on OS X, but still nice.

So... you're hoping to be modded 'offtopic' I guess.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977218)

Spotlight actually already let you do that kind of specific searching in Tiger when you used the search field of the Finder. As for Beagle, it only came to be after Microsoft's and Apple's announced search plans years ago, so I think it's silly to act like Beagle is being cloned by anybody.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977746)

As for Beagle, it only came to be after Microsoft's and Apple's announced search plans years ago,

Incorrect. Beagle actually predated Apple's announcement for Spotlight by over a year.

so I think it's silly to act like Beagle is being cloned by anybody.

I guess you don't think that's silly anymore then hmmmmmmmmmn?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977884)

Because Microsoft or Apple wouldn't dare start developing something before they announced it, surely?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977926)

Hahahahaha! Feeling pretty stupid now aren't you?

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1, Interesting)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977280)

One thing to note about Spotlight is that you can hook it's network capability into Bonjour (zeroconf) and we can find all sorts of fun applications for that. As for all the AC Microsoft apologists, Windows Search is nowhere nearBeagle or Spotlight. The windows search is more like what was available in Mac OS X 10.0-10.3. The ability to open up a window and do a search of your documents by looking at each and every single file on your hard drive. The thing about Spotlight is that it caches metadata about the files so instead of searching your entire hard drive for an instance of something, it searches a quickly available index.

Now, if you are in a 4Gb/s network or in some kind of Ultra320 SCSI setup, you might not experience any difference in performance. However, if you are on a *normal* computer that has 7200RPM drives, spotlight is much faster than traditional search. Remember- it's the indexing that makes it fast. Windows does not do this.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977554)

Er, indexed search is exactly what Windows Desktop Search and search in Windows Vista do.

Re:Beagle allready does this! (1)

powermacx (887715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977410)

Actually, Tiger's Spotlight has had boolean operators since its first release, back in 2005: http://hiram.nl/ipsedixit/artikel/793/boolean-sear ch-in-spotlight [hiram.nl] http://www.hawkwings.net/2005/08/11/boolean-search es-in-spotlight/ [hawkwings.net] And Tiger also allows the creation of Smart Folders (saved search folders that automatically update their contents) which allow the selection of close to a hundred different metadata attributes AND also allows the use of the "Raw Query" format which can do everything else you mentioned. The catch? It wasn't mentioned in the marketing materials, so most people never found out about it (boolean operators in the general search, raw query format in Finder's search).

What is the point? (-1, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976906)

Yeah, great to have all these new search tools.

Maybe then someone will create more MAC apps that we can use to build shit we might want to search for later on?

Re:What is the point? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976934)

The FBI likes easy search tools the faster they get the easier it is for them to look for stuff it check points.

hi, i'm being tracked by my parents (0)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976908)

The improvements include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping

I'm not sure that's an improvement. a "new addition", but not an improvement.

Re:hi, i'm being tracked by my parents (5, Funny)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977526)

Guess that depends on whether you're paying the mortgage for the basement, or just living in it.

Re:hi, i'm being tracked by my parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977788)

Bear in mind that the group of people who don't think that's an improvement won't be able to afford it, anyway.

No Mention of Vista? (-1, Flamebait)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976928)

Funny, every review of a feature of Windows Vista that I read mentioned Apple and OS X. *Every single one.* It was incredible.

Yet this review doesn't mention Microsoft or Vista once, despite the fact that all of the features are available on Vista right now. (Although the "remote searching" feature isn't as complete as 10.5's, and it won't be until Longhorn Server is released.)

If this was a Vista review, there would have probably been no fewer than 5 comparisons to OS X.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (2, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977014)

That's because while MS is playing catchup feature-wise (you add a nice caveat right to your question). Everyone else is behind market-wise, but enjoys better features and security. Why add in something like "oh yeah, and there's also a POS from MS which doesn't implement this feature fully"?

Re:No Mention of Vista? (1)

ThinkFr33ly (902481) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977048)

Well maybe because 4 of the 5 features have been demoed in Vista for over a year, and if the tables were turned everybody would be screaming "copycat" and "they stole that idea".

Maybe that's why.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (2, Funny)

creysoft (856713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977272)

Ooh, it's been demoed in Vista for over a year. Spotlight's been a real, working product since the middle of 2005. Is it not enough for you that Vista is guaranteed to be the best selling operating system in the history of world to date? You actually feel the need to complain that its crappy, half finished features aren't being mentioned in the same breath as an article talking about improvements to existing, stable features in another OS entirely?

In that case, from now on I demand that every article that talks about Vista's features also talk about my currently-in-planning operating system, Creysoft PsychOSis:

A new patch from Microsoft today gave Windows Vista the ability to connect to, and remotely control Microsoft(TM) Internet Aware Appliances, now you can use your cell phone to make sure you turned off the coffee pot from the airport. In all fairness, ever since a weird dream the other night, the developer of Creysoft PsychOSis has been pondering a feature which would allow PsychOSis to connect to, and remotely control your mom.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (3, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977302)

With all the shameless cloning in Vista, it's just really hard to overlook when comparing it to OS X. Blame Microsoft. Being demoed a year ago doesn't mean much since Apple demoed these things too. Vista only just came out for consumers, and Leopard is due out any month now. No doubt Microsoft will install it on their Macs (ex-devs have admitted they were looking at Macs when designing Vista's interface) and try to find new things to clone in Vienna. It's pretty clear that's how Microsoft operates today under the Steve Ballmer Marketing Regime. Until you guys get rid of him as CEO, you'll continue down this path of lameness. Excuse me, I meant to say "Windows Lameness Home Premium Limited Signed Edition SP2."

Re:No Mention of Vista? (2, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977092)

It's because OSX is the new watermark instead of the other way around. Everyone has admitted Vista is mostly security and has few new features. Both Tiger and Leopard have new features many of which don't exist in the Windows world. It's debateable how many new features will be added in the next Windows release and yet there's little doubt there will be new features in the follow up OSs out of Mac. Windows really isn't trying to compete on features they are largely trying to play security catch up. It's not a troll it's a simple fact. Mac still won't replace Windows but they are starting to get like apples and oranges comparing them. The primary benefit to Windows is software and hardware availibility selection. If you want lots of user oriented features Mac wins hands down.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (1)

fthomas64 (473342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977100)

Do you really think that "all of the features are available on Vista right now" if MS hadn't seen what Apple was putting out, and tried a preemptive strike?

Remember, these are improvements to Spotlight, which has been out since April 29, 2005. In other words, refinements to what's existed for about 2 years. MS has had the advantage of watching their Cupertino R&D lab work out the kinks.

That's why no fair-minded journalist would claim that OS X is following Vista's lead.

(BTW, I'm not claiming that Apple has created everything great and magical in the world. Everyone stands on the shoulders of giants; MS just happens to make a stomping motion when they do it.)

Re:No Mention of Vista? (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977262)

All these features, except network search, are available in Tiger too. They're just updating the Spotlight search field so you can input them more easily.

Funny, every review of a feature of Windows Vista that I read mentioned Apple and OS X. *Every single one.* It was incredible.


That's because the media has woken up and taken Microsoft, supposedly the #1 software company in the world, to task for not being able to update its aging Win32 codebase when their most well-known competitor has been cranking out successful updates every 2-3 years and are still years ahead.

If this was a Vista review, there would have probably been no fewer than 5 comparisons to OS X.


Because for Mac users, it's a case of "been there, done that." The majority of Vista is an indisputable clone of OS X features that Mac users have taken for granted for years, from hardware-accelerated desktop compositing to vector-based graphics APIs to non-admin user accounts to shiny two-tone plastic highlights and translucencies. And on and on.

Christ, even the filesystem layout was shamelessly cloned from OS X.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (3, Informative)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977866)

The majority of Vista is an indisputable clone of OS X features that Mac users have taken for granted for years, from hardware-accelerated desktop compositing to vector-based graphics APIs to non-admin user accounts to shiny two-tone plastic highlights and translucencies.

Christ, even the filesystem layout was shamelessly cloned from OS X.


I don't even know where to begin with this, but to say...

Your facts are really, really wrong.

OSX only has a bitmap composer that does nothing more than use the GPU textures for double buffering, it is NOT 3D accelerated, nor even 3D rendered. (Vista is BOTH.)

OSX's vector based graphics API is EQUIVALENT to GDI+ that has been available in Windows since 2001. Go look this up, please. Additionally, the Vectoring API of OSX is NOT EVEN close to the WPF vectoring concepts in Vista, from animation constructs to true 3D rendering and hit checking and is TRULY 3D accelerated.

Non-Admin accounts... Hmmm. Windows NT 3.1 (which is what Windows is based on, has had non-Admin accounts since 1992.) Far before Apple even moved from the 'single' user metaphor of their System software of the 90s. Old school Windows NT users have ALWAYS setup their company and user accounts in non-admin modes, just like *nix people have as well. It was WindowsXP and its use in the Home market where it became 'normal' to run under administration level, even though if anyone had any sense they would NOT let even their family members have Admin accounts on XP either. (This is NOT about MS not having the functionality, it is about end-user education that failed, hence Vista forces it.)

The FS was NOT cloned from OSX. Have you ever used anything but a freaking Mac? The only reference I assume you are referring to is MS changing the name of the "Documents and Settings" folder to "Users" to make it easier and it does borrow the name "Users" from a *nix standard that has been used for a LONG LONG time. However, there is NOTHING in this that comes from OSX.

Please do your own research, don't even believe me, and certainly stop believing the crap facts you would find in a normal Mac Site Forum.

PS There is so much to Vista that is far beyond OSX, it is really sad that Mac and other closed minded *nix users will NOT GET IT, until MS leverages these technologies to once again ensure their market dominance. Little things, like how the new Video subsystem in Vista can easily scale across multiple GPUS without SLI or Crossfire types of technology, making the new ATI multi-core GPU cards only workable on Vista without 'specific' application coding for the cards. Vista users and games will automatically just get access to the extra GPU power even on their OLD games.

(See Vista already multi-tasks GPU and GPU RAM on single core cards, much like the jump to preemptive multi-tasking CPUs had with OSes in the 90s, which to date is something no other commercial OS can do. As an example, OpenGL as OSX uses exclusively, is just now starting to take advantage of multithreaded OpenGL, which is just starting to take advantage of multiple CPUs, let alone multiple GPUs.)

Re:No Mention of Vista? (0, Flamebait)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977888)

Dude, what the fuck are you talking about? Accelerated window manager thingie, ok, OS-Eks had it before Vista. But the rest is just apple-fanboy bullshit. Non-admin accounts? I'm sure the first NT had that. Or do you mean running applications as admin from a regular user account? Windows 2000 had Run As.
"shiny two-tone plastic highlights and translucencies." Again, WTF? At least you don't claim they stole the fugly brushed-metal style. Besides, Win2k had window translucency.

And the filesystem layout is cloned? So MS changed "Documents and Settings" to Users, and now it's cloned from Mac OS? Most Unix systems had a very similar layout (to Mac OS, not Vista), way before the Apple boys decided to drop their PoS OS and start over. Who's cloning now, bitch?

Re:No Mention of Vista? (2, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977290)

Although the "remote searching" feature isn't as complete as 10.5's, and it won't be until Longhorn Server is released.)


Actually, remote searching works quite well on Vista. In both a peer to peer and client to server environment.

Vista computers looking for network content can easily be told to search other computers on the network, and the systems use the localized index cache to return the results.

The same happens in a server environment when Windows Desktop Search is install on the Windows Server, which will be included by default in Longhorn as you note.

This also includes WindowsXP users that have Windows Desktop Search installed.

A person can easily hit their start button and type and get results from not only their computer, their server store, and even shared resources on all computers on the network.

This is just a feature MS hasn't 'trumpted', but it is there and works well.

MS just needs Apple's PR department and spin factory. I think it was Paul Smith's blog that also recently pointed out the insane Mac marketing and touting of features, and then even discounting the same features when other OSes have them.

http://www.dasmirnov.net/blog [dasmirnov.net] (Be sure to scroll down to see the Mac Switch ad, it is funny even if you are a Mac user.)

Re:No Mention of Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977542)

If this was a Vista review, there would have probably been no fewer than 5 comparisons to OS X.

Well said, Citizen. Here is comparision #1.

Vista has some half-hearted features like this copied from OS X Tiger, but it really sucks compared to the Apple version.
There ya go.

Re:No Mention of Vista? (1)

taoman1 (1050536) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977622)

You are absolutely right. That will never change no matter what Vista (or whatever) can do that the current Mac OS can't.

Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976932)

I'm still somewhat of a Mac n00b, so perhaps I don't get it right now (using Tiger), but when I type in something in the search field at the top of a Finder window when I'm in a particular folder, why doesn't it just search in that folder instead of using Spotlight to search the entire computer?

Or am I missing something?

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977030)

>Or am I missing something?

yes, the bar that pops up under the search box and lets you select the search source.

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (2, Insightful)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977808)

Yeah and it's *so snappy* when you select "Search just this folder" - ie it still freaking searches the whole computer but just displays results from that folder! (or at least it takes long enough that it might as well have!)

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977058)

It doesn't by default but you can just click on the folder name that appears at the top, as it's searching, to limit it to the folder. Other buttons are automatically created to limit it in other ways (to your whole computer, to your home folder, to the current folder, to "others" that you specify, ...).

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

limecat4eva (1055464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977082)

Maybe I'm out of line here, but welcome to the platform. Don't let the overzealous Johnnies-come-lately scare you off.

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977122)

Yes, this:

Finder sucks ass.

That's pretty much all there is to it to answer your question. Most things on OS X are great, but Finder is a huge, festering piece of crap that doesn't handle network drives worth crap, doesn't handle large folders worth crap, and doesn't have as many features as Finder in OS 9 did. And 5 releases later, Apple still hasn't fixed it.

It's infuriating.

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977604)

Mod parent up.

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977316)

It already does search that folder only and not the entire computer. You can change sources in the little metal bar that appears at the top of the window. Notice that it defaults to the current folder.

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977828)

It feels like it displays results just for that folder (intermixed with all subfolders - URG dont get me started) but it really still takes as long as searchnig the whole computer! (I'm not convinced it doesnt still do this!)

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977392)

I'm still somewhat of a Mac n00b, so perhaps I don't get it right now (using Tiger), but when I type in something in the search field at the top of a Finder window when I'm in a particular folder, why doesn't it just search in that folder instead of using Spotlight to search the entire computer?

Or am I missing something?


This is how searches work by default in Vista. Too bad Macs aren't easier to use.

Maybe it is time to switch to Vista?

Non Troll point of this post is...
Why doesn't MS Marketing slap back at Apple on tons of crap like this instead of taking the nice guy route?

Everyone says MS is evil, too bad their marketing team isn't...

Re:Spotlight in Finder windows (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977766)

Point #1) You're a knee-jerk reactionist idiot. Next time you have an opinion about something with which you have no experience, let it go.

Point #2) Searching using the search bar *in an open Finder window* (a folder), the search automatically searches that folder and its children. You can change the focus of the search in the search parameters box that appears when in search.

Point #3) The OP is undoubtedly speaking of the search bar that pops ups when clicking the Spotlight icon in the upper-right corner of the window, which searches everything.

Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (5, Interesting)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976938)

...it'd be great if they also indexed your offline media too?

The number of times I have to swap out CDs trying to find an image file or an old piece of code - it drives me nuts! Now with DVD it gets worse, HD-DVD, Blu-ray - forget it, that's a needle in a haystack. How difficult could it be to have the drive index offline media too - a bit like some tape library software or the like? Maybe it could index when you burn? The last time I saw something like this was when I got a Zip drive back in 1997 and some nifty free software came with it. Now, it seems that you can only search your local drive - a bad idea when removable media is the norm.

So, at the risk of sounding like a total banana; why doesn't anyone do this, or am I missing some glaringly obvious checkbox somewhere in OS X/XP/Fedora/Vista?

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977070)

I think the obvious point you're missing is that harddrives are huge and cheap. Disks are fine for backup, but if it's anything you might conceivably need ever, just keep it on the drive.

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977114)

True, but don't you think it'd be cool if it did index offline media? Imagine a quick "don't worry, you've got another copy of it on blah blah CD..." message popping up when you'd searched for a file name and it returned no results. So you plonk the correct media in and voila! You find your file.

That said, I'm thinking purely in filename terms here, if you stretched it to the kinds of data that say Google Desktop Search indexes, I'd imagine your repository of info would get large pretty fast if offline media were included.

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (2, Informative)

fontkick (788075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977244)

Searching offline files can be done with CDFinder:

http://www.cdfinder.de/ [cdfinder.de]

It's an excellent volume catalogue utility. I use it to search through the 1000+ CDs and DVDs that we have burned for backup. Searching the entire catalog produces almost instantaneous search results.

It can also be used as a replacement for Spotlight by dragging your hard drive icon into the main library to make a catalog of it. Searching by filename is also extremely quick - the fastest I've used on any platform.

I've had Spotlight turned off for a year ever since I figured out that you could disable it. Frankly, I think Spotlight sucks. 95% of the time when I want to search for something, I already know the name of it (because I name files well) and I just want a basic file search to open the containing folder.

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

lamasquerade (172547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977556)

I think the obvious point you're missing is that harddrives are huge and cheap.

At some point this really has to stop being considered a valid answer. In reality I download five or ten movies a week, some which I watch immediately, some which I don't and watch later. In that same reality I can't be arsed setting up a RAID and buying a 200GB drive every year or so when it's so easy to burn to DVD every week, update my crappy plain text file index (really should use a Db, see above laziness) and when I want to watch a movie I just pull out the disk.

I know, it would be more convenient to have that TB of storage and just be able to pull it up, but for some people (i.e. me) the little inconvenience each week or so is outweighed by the bigger initial inconvenience of setting up a RAID and adding hard drives to it ad infinitum. The other point is that not everyone has the inclination or budget to have enterprise grade storage systems at home;) I know HDDs have a constant rate of failure but I'm still using an 80GB from 2001 in a box from same and hoping it'll keep chugging away for another couple of years...

So my point is, OPs idea is a good one, no doubt fairly trivial to implement, but would be good integrated into Spotlight or Beagle, and would help out those among us without TBs of storage or the desire to acquire it. Horses for courses, eh?:)

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977820)

Why bother saving the movies to DVD-R? If you ever want to watch it again, you can just download it again, right?

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977346)

So, at the risk of sounding like a total banana; why doesn't anyone do this, or am I missing some glaringly obvious checkbox somewhere in OS X/XP/Fedora/Vista?


Vista does index offline content; however, I think it is only network resources. (And it is on by default, so you can search your network offline files no matter if you are on the network or not.)

I never tried to make removeable media marked as Offline available, but this is an interesting thought.

In today's world I think you would be better off to archive your CD/DVD contents to a large removeable HD. It is far cheaper and more reliable if you keep a mirror of the removeable drive. (And then you could "Click to Add to Index" the entire removeable drive in Vista. And bingo, contents are always available and always indexed.)

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977412)

What I need isn't better searching - but better sorting of search results.

Not just by category (name, size, date, etc.), but by subcategory -- preferably as many subcategories as one wants.

Re:Spotlight, Windows Search, here's an idea... (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977502)

Not just by category (name, size, date, etc.), but by subcategory -- preferably as many subcategories as one wants.


Um, try Vista, you can do this type of searching, and it also has a very rich search syntax system to filter to your heart's content.

Spotlight Is A Piece Of Shit (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17976984)

Yes, that is big ol flamebait title, but back when Spotlight first came out I was one of those foaming at the mouth Mac lunatics modding up every remotely positive Apple comment and down for anything remotely negative. I sat on the edge of my seating with my little old heart going piterpater hitting refresh when things like Spotlight were unveiled.

But after having used it for a long time now after all the hype and the koolaid having worn off for me, Spotlight is easily the worst of the search solutions for all three major platforms. Hidden by the usual Apple good choice of product name and UI polish.

yeah... (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17976996)

but will it find widgets by 'wdgt' in /Library/Widgets? Will it find files inside .app? I'm unimpressed with spotlight in it's current form, especially the widgets.

In Vista (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977026)

The bias is crazy. Windows Search (in Vista) does all of these fantastically well already, but no-one even mentions it.

Is It Me Or Does Spotlight Really Suck? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977032)

I do a search and bring up the Spotlight results window. The window is some sort of 'special' window that doesn't act like a real window where you can tab back and forth.

Why?

I want to look for something in the current folder. If there happens to be, usually, a folder selected Spotlight will only search in that subfolder. Arrrrrggg!

Why?

I want to look for *.cpp files. It looks like this is possible but a complete pain to do.

Why?

Where are all these amazing search plugins that we were promised when Spotlight was released?

File Buddy works for me (2, Informative)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977038)

I've used File Buddy exclusively since spotlight became the standard OS X search. I've only used spotlight couple times and I hate it.

One phrase.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977044)

Apple Sux. And yes. I am posting it from my mac. This shitty piece of personal computer doesnt have good drivers using which I can view all the *videos* I lay my hands on. I need to transfer files over to my *win2k* machine to do so. Search? What for? There isnt much happening here anyway! Quicktime *grey screened* my mac! Yes - it halted the mac!!!! And I have a paid version of it. Everytime I play many files on it and do a full screen, it crashes. It doesnt have a playlist!!! God, when was it invented? Like in 200 AD? All the "cool stuff" on Apple can be found on windows or other *nix platforms. I dont use their browser either. If I get IE7 on mac, I would use it. For now I had to be content with using Firefox. For the closed piece of crap hardware, in which I can change only the memory, this is too expensive. All idiots who support mac can blow themselves.

Re:One phrase.. (1)

RFaulder (1016762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977324)

All idiots who support mac can blow themselves.
But... you're using one right now. I hope you use protection.

Re:One phrase.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977878)

Thank you, Mr. Steve Jobs.

Next on our program, Mr. Steve Ballmer will give his thoughts concering in an essay entitled, Gnu/Linux: Nefarious Communist Plot or Satanic Evil?

Spotlight Is The New AppleScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977106)

Now that Spotlight has been around for a while the parallels to AppleScript are amazing. Both products were announced and massively hyped in comparison to other platforms. If you believed what Apple was saying or implying other platforms were years behind with similar solutions.

Both AppleScript and Spotlight have the usual Apple polish as end user products with the usual Apple poor quality implementation.

This just in! (4, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977192)

New version of program contains features and bug fixes not present in previous version of program.

Snooping? No Thanks! (0, Flamebait)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977250)

From the fine article:

The new and improved Spotlight will even offer some unique parental monitoring capabilities because you can remotely search your kids' computers if you suspect they're downloading files illegally or saving files that you feel are inappropriate.

I'm supposed to treat my kids like criminals now? No unmonitored phone conversations, mail and all of that? Publisher's profits are more important than my family's privacy and dignity? No thanks, my house is not a jail. I have respect for the people who live here and my visitors.

It's stuff like this that keeps me away from non-free software, regardless of how difficult publishers and non free software companies would like to make my life. I'm not going to trust my life to software that comes with wiretapping as a feature. If Apple lacks respect for my kids, what kind of respect will they have for me? Well, not much considering the restrictions they put into unFairPlay and their OS in general. Apple can keep their pretty laptops and DRM crippled music players to themselves. Make no mistake, this is just one more step in removing your rights, and the future will be worse with non free software.

My wife and my kids get root on their computer. It's theirs, not mine, and what they do with it is their business. No one is downloading music and movies here because it's easier for us to get free stuff at archive.org and netflicks. They are free to share what they want and keep the rest to themselves. Anything more invasive than that, outside evidence of real wrong doing, is for paranoid control freaks.

Respect has to go both ways. If I don't have it for them, they won't have it for me.

Re:Snooping? No Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977444)

Congratulations on the most psycho response yet! I think you forgot your meds today - we don't want to have to call the doctor again, do we? Just because software gives you the ability to violate the privacy of your children doesn't mean that you have to. Have you also deleted the "find" system utility on your machine, lest it be used to find your children's copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook? Be glad that you have children who deserve your respect and trust... some parents have to monitor their children's behavior online because their children apparently can't make the correct decisions for themselves (what that says about the parents is a different argument). If your pre-teen daughter was sleeping with 35 year old men she met online, would you still have so much respect for her privacy? Well, don't answer that, from your crazed original comment I probably don't want to hear the answer.

Re:Snooping? No Thanks! (3, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977478)

I'm supposed to treat my kids like criminals now?

No, the easier option is to make the switch to Vista now.

Then you could search your kids stuff if you wanted, but if you didn't want to treat them like a 'criminal' it is easier to just use the parental controls so you know they aren't into crap an 8 year old shouldn't get into even accidentally.

BTW, Parenting is a bit like treating your children like criminals, it is called caring for them and actually trying to protect them from perverts. (Your real name isn't Bill O'Reilly is it?)

Re:Snooping? No Thanks! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977536)

That sure is an awfully heated and lengthy post about a feature that nobody is forcing you to use.

Re:Snooping? No Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977810)

You sound like a fifteen year old that just got grounded by Mommy and Daddy for doing something you shouldn't have and who has sworn that his children will never suffer the outrages that you've been subjected to.

How many times have you heard, "But we didn't know! He seemed such a good boy, and didn't give any indications..." from parents after some horrific event instigated by a child doing something makes the news? How many times have you heard the very same parents blaming the Authorities for not doing what should have been the parent's responsibility?

Sorry, but the Free Range approach to child raising is not the best way to be a parent. If you think that not keeping track of your children is unfairly intrusive and the right way to approach childrearing is to let them do as they will unsupervised, I hope you never become a parent. If you already are one, I pity your children.

Re:Snooping? No Thanks! (3, Insightful)

EMB Numbers (934125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977890)

Dude! Don't use the feature if you don't want to. And what's with the irrational music player comment ? If you don't buy songs from the iTunes Music store, you will never encounter DRMed music on you iPod. The iPod will happily ply your pirated mp3s. Or do what I do, just buy CDs and copy the music onto you iPod. iTunes will do it all for you...just put the pretty CD in the slot.

Does this mean they'll fix the "alias hole"? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977258)

Apple's aliases bypass traverse checking. This is not the case for UNIX symbolic links, and is a problem that Apple created when they decided to stick with the single-user-oriented HFS+ and not use the more reliable and security-minded Berkeley fast file system from NeXTStep and FreeBSD.

So, will they fix the "alias hole" while they're doing this?

You don't want a situation where someone is denied access to a file while browsing through the Finder because they lack permission to an enclosing folder, but can access that file through a Spotlight search because of permissions on a subfolder or even on the file itself. Apple's Leopard Server Sneak Peek page for Spotlight states that Leopard Server will ensure that if you cannot browse to a file, you will not be able to locate it with Spotlight. No doubt, this is a challenge for Apple's engineers.

Aliases are a lot better than a symlink (4, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977420)

example:

  prompt% ln -s /tmp/already.exists /path/to/symlink
  prompt% mv /tmp/already.exists /tmp/this.is.a.new.name

The symlink is now screwed. An alias set up to point at /tmp/already.exists would work just fine and peachy when the file was renamed (or moved elsewhere on the disk) as above.

Simon.

Re:Does this mean they'll fix the "alias hole"? (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977446)

Ok, I'm not the total Mac nerd at the company, so when I read your post, I was OMG, surely OSX isn't this stupid and insecure.

Well as it turns out, you are right, OSX is this stupid and insecure.

MS takes crap for Voice Recognition actually working well enough a sound file could prompt the computer to do something(Assuming the user doesn't have Mic cancellation turned on and has their speakers turned up all the way.)

However, if MS ever left a security hole this big, the industry would have a field day with it.

(It should be noted that Vista properly handles security on searches, in fact the Windows Desktop Search add-on for XP also works properly and doesn't allow a way to violate FS security rules like OSX does.)

Re:Does this mean they'll fix the "alias hole"? (1)

wayneo13 (950853) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977570)

Yeah but Windows Desktop Search is less than a quarter as good as Spotlight is. The fact is OSX is still more secure as there are less users and is therefore much less of a target.

Can't argue with that logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17977826)

The fact is OSX is still more secure as there are less users and is therefore much less of a target.


That, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of rabid fanboyism.

Re:Does this mean they'll fix the "alias hole"? (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977916)

Yeah but Windows Desktop Search is less than a quarter as good as Spotlight is

You could convince me, name the ways it is better...

Also be sure to note how it is also better than the inherent search abilities of Vista.

Incorporate Quicksilver/Launchbar technology (3, Insightful)

shunker (851615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977284)

Currently, I hardly use Spotlight on my iBook G4 800 MHz. The application launcher capability is what I need most, and I find Launchbar [obdev.at] to be far faster than Spotlight for this. Launchbar even does a decent job for many of the searches I need, at the same speed as application launching, but Spotlight search for the same can take very long.

Can't Apple employ the technology used in Launchbar or Quicksilver [blacktree.com] along with their existing technology to make the searches faster? I know Spotlight is lower because it has to index far more data as it searches inside files. However, most searches perhaps don't need the data that is inside files, but merely the same metadata that is indexed by Launchbar/QS. So, why not have a two-step search: first search the data that is not inside the file and give results as quick as Launchbar/QS, then search inside the files to give other search results?

I understand this may be a non-issue for the latest Intel Macs, and so, Apple may not bother.

Re:Incorporate Quicksilver/Launchbar technology (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977710)

I understand this may be a non-issue for the latest Intel Macs, and so, Apple may not bother.
Hate to break it to ya, but as an owner of a C2D Macbook, I'd have to say, yeah, Spotlight still takes too long to not optimize... faster than my G5 iMac, but could definitely use improvement

Can't Apple employ the technology used in Launchbar or Quicksilver along with their existing technology to make the searches faster?
Sounds like an awesome quick improvement. I'd be all over that in 10.5 if they could add that.

The need for speed (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977408)

I am hoping Spotlight will be consistently fast in Leopard, rather than the current situation where sometimes it's instantaneous and other times it takes many seconds to display results.

I've tried getting rid of Quicksilver, since launching apps and finding docs is all I ever use it for; but Spotlight just isn't consistent enough speed-wise for me yet. Quicksilver's searches are reliably fast.

Re:The need for speed (2, Interesting)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977588)

If the elimination of filesystem lag when opening folders is any indication, then Spotlight should be much faster as well.

It's the little things that matter... (3, Insightful)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17977898)

and I'm not convinced anything mentioned in the article is going to make the different and make me like Spotlight.

The Spotlight UI is what needs the major overhaul - it's freaking ANNOYING and inconsistent with the Finder. If you do a spotlight search from the menu bar, items in the drop down list cannot be dragged and dropped or have their path shown. You have to go 'Show All' if you want to actually USE that image you found.

If you do go to the 'Show All' window (which doesn't appear in CMD-Tab) then you have to click the stupid huge "I" to get the path - unlike in the Finder version where it appears at the bottom of the window.

I hate the Finder search - it is so slow that even if you just want to search that directory, it feels as though it is searching the entire computer and just filtering the results. It also recursively searches without any decent feedback as to where the files it finds actually ARE (and you can't turn it off). And the worst part is - if you trash something IT STAYS IN THE SEARCH RESULTS. That really fucks me off.

It's the small details that make using Spotlight (and spotlight-as-part-of-the-finder) absolute Hell. They have better fix that sort of stuff (and the whole freaking finder....) before stupid network searching!
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