Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
OS X Upgrades

Spotlight Improvements In Leopard 356

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is set to feature several new enhancements to Spotlight, Apple's desktop search, and ComputerWorld outlines them. The improvements include searching across multiple networked Macs, parental search snooping, server Spotlight indexing, boolean search, better application launching (sorely needed), and quick-look previews.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Spotlight Improvements In Leopard

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:40PM (#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.

  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:44PM (#17977014) Homepage
    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"?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:45PM (#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.


    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!


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


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

  • One phrase.. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:48PM (#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.
  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:53PM (#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.
  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:53PM (#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?
  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:56PM (#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.
  • by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:16PM (#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.
  • by shunker ( 851615 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:19PM (#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.

  • by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:20PM (#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.)
  • by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:45PM (#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?)
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:04PM (#17977618) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:08PM (#17977658) Homepage

    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').
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:16PM (#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.
  • by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:19PM (#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!)
  • by EMB Numbers ( 934125 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:28PM (#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.

  • by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:28PM (#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!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:29PM (#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.
  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:34PM (#17977950) Homepage
    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.
  • by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <aaaaa@nOSpAM.SPAM.yahoo.com> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:44PM (#17978000) Journal
    MOD UP. if only i had mod points. the post you replied to was one of the most unintentionally funny posts ive seen on slahdot. i though it was like the linux quake 4 install troll that tells you to recompile the kernel until i looked at the string and saw it was a legit command to do the task described.

    People who claim linux is ready for the desktop need to figure out how many grandmas want to type "sudo apt-get install beagle python-beagle" in a fricking terminal window to get search working.
  • by A_Primetime_Fool ( 961760 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:20PM (#17978296)

    My wife and my kids get root on their computer. It's theirs, not mine, and what they do with it is their business.
    See the problem that many parents have with that view is that a computer isn't like any other toy where that whole "their property" stance can't cause much trouble. You can't email naked pictures of yourself [slashdot.org] or have conversations with pedophiles [slashdot.org] on your PS2. While a lot of the thinkofthechildren paranoia that permeates our culture is ridiculous, parents being hesitant to give root privileges for such a limitless piece of technology is in no way an overreaction on their parts.

    Of course all parents have the right to do what they feel is right for their children, but in any healthy parent/child relationship the parent needs to be aware that most kids aren't born with a fully fleshed out concept of responsibility and consequence. In my opinion, moderate use of some parental monitoring capabilities is a perfectly legitimate way to help fill in those gaps until these concepts mature in our newly wired world.
  • by Durandal64 ( 658649 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:37PM (#17978428)
    Yes, and we've had this thing called "improvement" since then.
  • by Durandal64 ( 658649 ) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:59PM (#17978612)

    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.)
    The compositor uses the GPU, which is 3-D acceleration. And QuartzGL, the fully 3-D rendering pipeline, was in Tiger in development form.

    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.
    OS X's vector graphics API? You mean NSBezierPath? That's been around since NeXTStep, which far predates Windows XP.
  • by fuzz6y ( 240555 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @12:10AM (#17978690)
    So you're saying an alias has some way of figuring out whether a file is the same as the file you originally specified or not?
    Hey, so does a symlink. It's called the damned path.
    Now, there are lots of times when changing the path of a file doesn't mean to the user that it is no longer the same file, but there are lots of times when it does. What if my editor saved my old file as .bak and created a new one in its place? What if my logrotate script moved my old log to .0 and created a new log in its place? what if my sysadmin moved httpd.conf to httpd.conf~ before creating a new wildly different configuration? In all those situations, I'd be pretty pissed at an alias for going and digging up grandfather's old axe.
  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by westyvw ( 653833 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @12:15AM (#17978742)
    How in the hell you got modded insightful is beyond me.
    Look, for windows:
    1. Search the internet for a program that does what you want.
    2. Read some reviews and see if its a legit program, and not some crappy ad-ware/botware.
    3. do you want to pay for this program? A decision must by made here.
    4. Download the program
    5. Run spyware and antivirus software on it
    6. Click install.exe
    7. accept EULA
    8. Choose if you are installing this for all users or your self
    8. hope and pray that it doesn't affect other programs or change extensions
    9. Use it, and if you dont like it:
    9b. uninstall it and hope and pray you dont have to clean up after it.

    However with Linux, if you know the package you want you could do a command line apt-get install foo
    You can open your package manager (synaptic in my case) and do a search for "search" and read the desriptions of the package, such as beagle, and click on it to install. DONE. Removal is just as easy.

    Thats why windows is a pain in the ass, and Linux is just easy.
    So dont spread FUD. The average linux user gets used to speeding things up, and learns a few shortcuts, like the command line if they are so inclined.
  • by Deliveranc3 ( 629997 ) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:01AM (#17980110) Journal
    I agree Synaptic is the first installation program that has proven superior to my windows software gathering method (piracy).
    It's actually easier than piracy! Go Linux!
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:15AM (#17980174) Homepage Journal

    A rude AC taunts:

    Tell your kids you were only respecting their privacy after they are anally raped by a pedophile, you utter dumb fuck.

    The funny thing is, that's exactly the kind of fear M$ is selling the service on. They are trying to ride the "shark attack" media blitz of fear. Well, it would be funny if it were not so counter productive.

    Of course, it's total bullshit. [theregister.co.uk] The actual chance of anyone being molested by a computer creep is vanishingly small.

    When you treat your kids like criminals you do real harm to their trust in you and their own dignity. Those are exactly the things they need in abundance if they ever are approached by a pervert. If they don't trust you, they can't get help. If they have low self esteem, they will put up with abuse and think it's normal.

    That register article is so good, I think I'll journal it up and see if I can't work it into another front page article you M$ paid turds hate, insightful commentary that shows M$ and non free crap in it's correct light.

  • by asdfgl ( 891883 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:12AM (#17980722)
    Now, it is a bit unfair to rebut the parent poster by saying that a feature is in an unreleased development trunk.
  • by Terrasque ( 796014 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:21AM (#17980766) Homepage Journal
    What is it with you people?

    Do you really need to look down on other OS'es all the time? Can't you just be happy with what you have?

    Now, as many here have already said, apt-get is just one way, and there's at least two good click'n'drool programs for people with a deathly fear for terminals.
    Let me take an example for windows on this. How do you get the IP address? If you're telling some other techie, you'd probably just say "start -> run -> cmd -> ipconfig" - now, does that prove that windows isn't ready for the general public? Would you react if someone answered you with "hah, windows is clearly not ready for normal people"? The other alternative is
    "start -> control panel -> classic -> network connections -> double click on the right one -> Support".
    But it is twice as long, and more hassle for most techies than just doing it via the command line.

    Now, read that again. Think WHERE the poster you replied to posted. Does your grandma read slashdot? Not likely. I expect most people here to be able to copy/paste some text into a terminal, maybe the one you replied to expected that too?

    What's worse, your post actually got modded +5 Insightful of all things. I just get the feeling that there are a lot of people needing something to look down on..
  • by Weedlekin ( 836313 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @07:03AM (#17980940)
    "OSX's vector based graphics API is EQUIVALENT to GDI+ that has been available in Windows since 2001. Go look this up, please."

    And I suggest you go and look up the 110,000 pages Google gave me when I entered "GDI+ slow", because developers have been complaining about this since it was introduced (Microsoft admit that the most commonly asked question about GDI+ is "Why is it so slow?)". Yes, it has lots of nice features that aren't in standard GDI such as anti-aliased drawing and alpha blending, but the drivers don't use a graphics card's accelerator features, and although Microsoft promised that this would change, nearly six years later we're still waiting (it also has a nasty memory leak which still AFAIK hasn't been fixed yet). .NET developer sites have thus been suggesting ways to avoid using it, including going through the DirectX 9 layer, which offers many of the same features without the performance penalty, but isn't as easy to use.

    NB: .NET Windows Forms used GDI+, and MS received many, many complaints about their slow drawing compared with (for example) VB6 forms. Despite several years of promises that this would be fixed, they eventually simply deprecated Windows Forms, thus leaving all the people who they initially told to "keep using Windows forms because the performance issues will be resolved by an update in the near future" with a slow mess that will probably need converting to their very different XAML-based system at some point.
  • by istewart ( 463887 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @07:36AM (#17981102)
    NeXTSTEP was pretty far beyond the contemporaneous X11 offerings and NT probably through at least NT 4, and numerous reviews from the period state as much. (They also remark on the very steep price, but it's arguable that Jobs wasn't a really good businessman until he returned to Apple.) Your point about Cutler, and most of the points you're trying to make, was lost in your own hyperbole and overeagerness to fight Slashdot's institutional bias against Windows.

    The only reason we're talking about NeXTSTEP is because you wanted to argue architectures and APIs in the first place. Like it or not, OS X IS directly descended from NeXT's codebase, and it's a testament to that codebase that the core APIs remain similar even if a substantial portion of the code behind the scenes has changed. By your own admission, Microsoft has changed Windows more often and more drastically than Apple has OS X, and all it's bought them is a couple months of clear technical superiority. DirectX 10 may be a strong technical advantage, but it's one that matters to a vanishing portion of the desktop market. All the other new bells and whistles in Vista are superficially different from the alternatives that are available or will soon be available, and your arguments have done little to convince me otherwise.
  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @08:39AM (#17981416) Homepage

    The thing to keep in mind here is that for most users of Mac OS X (and Apple customers in general), "more features" does not equal "better" - see also: iPhone, iPod.

    If you're one of those people who like tons of features, being able to replace system-level functions, tons of settings (possibly in arcane text files), the Mac may not be the best OS for you.

    Apple's claim to fame is not "we have the most features," it's "we have the features you need, and we make them usable."

  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @08:42AM (#17981422) Homepage

    Apple fanboys like to think Apple invented everything good about technology.

    No, actually. Apple "fanboys" don't think that. You must be thinking of one specific Apple fanboy, Artie MacStrawman. [crazyapplerumors.com]

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @10:26AM (#17982278) Journal
    How many grandmas can figure out a Windows "next, next, next" type install?

    Er, all of them who speak English? Or if they can't figure out clicking "Next" to proceed, they'll have trouble using any platform, including your applet, and certainly remembering a set of commands to type.
  • by Khuffie ( 818093 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @10:46AM (#17982514) Homepage
    Don't you mean: "we have the features (we say) you need, and we make them shiny." ?

    Fixed it for ya! (Now I can't wait for people to miss the joke and flame me to hell :D)

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde