Re: Suggestion: Simplify Search options

On Mon, May 12, 2008 at 2:36 PM, Peter Bauer <comicinker gmx de> wrote:
> Hi there, this is my first mail to this list, I'm not a programmer, just
> an enthusiastic user.
> I want to suggest to simplify the search possibilities in F-Spot. F-Spot
> has powerful search options, but they are spread and hidden in the menu
> or behind key strokes.
> I attached a mockup of my idea how I would imagine a simple but powerful
> search capability in F-Spot.

I absolutely agree with you that search needs to be more accessible
through the regular GUI that directly faces the user. It is F-Spot's
most important feature, after all.

I'm not sure I agree with cramming it all into that one bar, however.
The whole thing is very weird because one moves the mouse (and his
eyes) all over the interface to perform a boolean AND search. Dragging
and dropping is finicky because the precise position one drops an icon
affects whether it's an OR or an AND search. I'm going to pretend drag
and drop doesn't exist from here on out because relying on that
feature breaks accessibility.

People who don't know about (or can't use) drag and drop must use
Right click -> Find With in the tags list or, worse, select a tag and
then go to Find -> Find with to add a tag to a search query.
Making matters worse, the Find With submenu is directly tied to the
existing Find operation, listing only tags currently being searched
for. Not that I agree with the many enormous menus full of tags we
have in F-Spot, but this is crazy!

I'll also confirm: the / to type thing is not discoverable. Reading
Peter's post gave me my first ever glimpse at the feature and it is
WAY more accessible than dragging icons. It's also consistent with
most existing photo managers.
What I would love to see across GNOME is a way for applications to
override that automatic searching of listviews when people start to
type in them (currently a small box likes to appear at the lower
right, for example in Nautilus and absolutely any list box), then a
metaphor to be established everywhere in which typing immediately
begins a rich spur of the moment search for any application (instead
of always hunting for a specific search button). Maybe F-Spot could be
the gutsy pioneer of that approach; if someone starts typing something
when the images view is focused, the Find bar appears in text mode.

Really, though, I think it would be a good move to dream up and
implement a more substantial search interface that takes up more rows
in the UI. Your looks like it is really being confined by the existing

Really Interesting things could be done for the results view (outside
of usual browse mode) if the thing was opened up. For example, a group
of results could be visually separated from other groups of results
(groups being delineated with OR) by using whitespace. Meanwhile the
date / import rolls searching stuff could be exposed right there, and
adding tags to a search query could be done through dropdown boxes
within the search interface thanks to the added space. (Instead of
having that done in a completely different place on the other side of
the interface).

Enough babbling from me :)

Dylan McCall

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