It's a small step only, but at least one step further: During the last week I've integrated Addam Kidder's GSoC 2009 work into Dolphin. I know that some people don't see searching and filtering as "the solution" to deal with the increased number of files and I agree. Nepomuk offers a lot more, still the searching and filtering is a basic feature, that I personally require quite often during my workflow. The current state of the code is far from finished, still the basics are there now. As soon as the search-bar at the top gets focused, the search configurations pop up below as shown here:
Searching for files having the tag "Tree" is very simple. Selecting "Equal to" and the corresponding tag in the combo-boxes beside "Tag:" has the following result:
One goal of the interface was to minimize the number of clicks that are required to specify a search query. That's the reason why per default at least three (hopefully) commonly used search criterions are visible. For sure it is possible to create very complex queries with more criterions too:
Still I think users will use such complex search queries quite rarely. I had some discussions with Sebastian Trüg and Alessandro Sivieri regarding the faceted panel, that exists as prototype currently. The discussion convinced me that a common workflow for users might be:
- Fill the search-bar with some keywords and trigger the searching.
- Only if the number of returned files is too high, start a filtering step by step on those files.
This might sound obvious, but has implications on the user interface:
- The number of clicks to activate a filter must be minimized.
- It should still be powerful: The kind of filters should not be limited.
- Doing filtering step by step means that the user interface may not get hidden after triggering the first filter.
I'm also unsure which data the breadcrumb should show: Visualizing a string like "nepomuksearch:/+lastModified<2009-11-13 +rating<8 +tag:Peter" to the user is something where I doubt Apple would do. Any suggestions would be welcome.
That's also one purpose to write this blog entry: Please let me know your daily problems when trying to search and filter files from your hard disk. I hope that I can integrate your input until KDE 4.4... Thanks!