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Search: The Next Mac And Windows Battle, And Why It's Not I...

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Oct 19, 2004.

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  1. macrumors bot

    #1
  2. macrumors 6502a

    #2
    Why must *all* the Mac360.com columns be posted to MacBytes? This one is the same as the last. . . useless.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but I'm not a big fan of these articles.
     
  3. macrumors 603

    zelmo

    #3
    The only worthwhile phrase in the whole article:

    "...more folders than Steve Ballmer has trophies from winning Peter Boyle look-alike contests."
     
  4. macrumors Core

    #4
    pointless article, i do use panther's search, i can find stuff on google, maybe its her who just doesnt get how to search for things....and im starting to get sick of her articles personally, but thats just my two cents...
     
  5. macrumors member

    Chobit

    #5
    I'm posting from the WWDC tiger build right now, and I can tell you that search DOES matter. I use spotlight constantly. It's amazingly fast and handy. It is faster to type in the name of an application that I don't have no my dock in spotlight and click on it when it pops up then it is to go to the applications folder and open it. Its that efficient. The one thing i can see it doing is making us WORSE at organizing our stuff because you have such easy access to most things. When I'm on my G5 (I only have tiger installed on my iBook), search is frustrating in comparison. The WWDC build is still unstable and not final enough to install it on my main system, but what is there is handy. Spotlight and dashboard will be like what exposé has become. Though not everyone will use it, those who do will be lost without it.
     
  6. macrumors member

    #6
    Search is useless...

    Most folks won't use search of any kind. They just click all over the place trying to find files, email, documents. Apple is trying to make an application for search integral to the OS. That's a good goal. What the article is stating, as I see it, is human nature will prevail no matter how elegant the technology. As to rikers_mailbox, human nature prevails, bud. Some folks just can't take it when a woman in the tech industry has a perspective and can articulate it with complete, well formed sentences to thousands of readers. Women are often dissed and dismissed by the male dominated techno-nerds of Macdom. While everyone would like to be entitled to an opinion, some opinions are worth reading, most are not. Simply stating that something is "useless" without providing any reasons, alternative perspectives, or justification is, well, useless.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    #7
    seriously rikers,

    why do these opinion pieces get so much cred, especially when those opinions are so poorly formed and researched (if they are at all) as to be at best useless and at worst totally wrong.

    what exactly are tera's credentials? does she have a degree in information architecture? interaction design? human factors? psychology? where's the research to show that people are unlucky with google search?

    --

    i actually think that site is just this side of paul thurott's site. i suspect there is no tera patricks and it's actually ron mcelfresh, the registrant of the domain. check out his other site, http://www.hawaiicam.com/index.php and do a google search. the writing style on the hawaii site is very similar to "tera" and on the google search you can find links to article's on the 360 site that are now credited to other "writers".

    i could be wrong. either way not going back to the site is a good start.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    #8

    True. In a general, broad-brushed sense...

    Well, to all male techo-nerds generally.
    And that goes for car nerds, hifi nerds, and worst of all... sports nerds.


    Sigh... better get back to the kitchen.

    (that's not to say it's a good article, though)
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    #9
    Generally agree... search is no fun... stop whining...

    2 points:

    First, in a general sense I have to agree with the article that search is no fun, and probably won't be even with new OS technology (will withhold final judgement until Spotlight comes out). I search by clicking and trying to find stuff. I know I could do it smarter but usually don't.

    Second, the whole idea of articles of this kind are to raise awareness, share perspective, expose different points of view. To that end it was a good read, as have been many others from that site. They're usually insightful and offer a unique point of view. I took the trouble to post a comment there and found the dialog to be more civil, less critical, more benficial to the "thought process" than some of the above.

    Bonus point: It looks to me like her articles get posted here once or twice a week while that site in general posts a couple of articles a day (by different writers, of course). Stop whining. There's plenty of reading to go around...
     
  10. macrumors member

    tpatricks

    #10
    For crying out loud...

    ...it's an "opinion" piece, guys. MY opinion. Tera Patricks, Honolulu, HI. So there. I've received six email messages on this board topic already. I'm as real now as I've ever been.

    The whole point is that "Search" is shaping up as another Apple feature battle with Microsoft. A good search tool is certainly needed because most hard drives are so big they let us keep everything and with that much space finding important files becomes more tedious and frustrating. The human nature element should be obvious. We don't change behavior too quickly, despite the advancement of the technology. How many Windows users still "double click" on browser links? Plenty. Will Spotlight change how we organize files? Probably not. Will it help our poor file organization habits? Perhaps for those willing to stop clicking all over the place and learn how to search properly.

    BTW - I visit MacBytes a few times each day because the list of links is selective, most commentary sticks to topic despite writers without the ability to formulate a thought much longer than "useless," and the interchange is often worthwhile, thought provoking. Dashiel, you obviously don't know squat about writing style. Being akin to Paul Thurott is an insult, frankly. Shame on you for stooping that low. Chances are very good I've used Macs longer than you. And, finally, as Teri Hatcher said to Jerry Seinfeld, "By the way. They're real, and they're spectacular."
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    #11

    Chuckle...

    :D
     
  12. macrumors member

    Chobit

    #12
    re: tpatricks

    Good to see you here defending your piece. I enjoyed it though I disagree somewhat. You are probably right that your average computer user will still use their computer the same way as before spotlight. Its the same way with exposé. Most people I know who aren't power users don't use it, whether or not they know that its there. That said, exposé is still indespensible to me, and spotlight is quickly becoming the same way.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    #13
    It is inappropriate for you to assume that I was "dissing" the article because I'm a sexist. How did my original comment have anything to with women writers? Yes, Mac360 is run by Tera and this article happened to be written by her, but there have been other columns from Mac360 NOT written by her that I have also not cared for. It is my *opinion* that the article was "useless" because it's main premise (that Search is not important) is not well argued. Let's take another look at the article . .

    This statement is irrelevant. The point of Spotlight is that average users will no longer need to focus on organizing files. Spotlight is an enabling technology, meaning that it helps to find files and to keep them organized through the use of Smart Folders.

    Wrong. Most internet users *begin* with a search with, for example, Google and then "keep clicking." What's missing is an effective search engine to begin a file search on a local harddrive. Searching a harddrive is analogous to searching the internet, which explains why Google beat both Apple and Microsoft to the punch with their (Beta) Google Desktop Search. They had the technology developed and only needed to apply it differently. Look at Google's $40 Billion Enterprise Value and tell me that search engines are not important.

    There, I have provided you with reasons behind my otherwise "useless" opinion. It seems most other comments on both MacRumors and Mac360 also disagree with Tera's opinion. I hope you are not supporting Mac360 viewpoints mearly because you are (a) a fellow woman writer, and (b) an active advertiser on Mac360. I don't discriminate based on who is writing the article, I suggest you take a step back and do the same.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    #14
    I recently started using Quicksilver. It's an app I imagine has similarities to Spotlight -- you can get at particular files nearly instantly, usually in less time it takes to open a finder window. I'm looking forward to spotlight, but will probably keep QS around, since Spotlight is for data and QS is more for actions.

    In other news, my friend's been a Mac head for years. I saw her for the first time the other day, and even though she's on a 17" powerbook, she stiill uses the finder in the ol' System 7 hierarchal view.

    Spotlight is just an additional feature, not something replacing another feature, so no one needs to even bother changing their habits whatsoever.

    I'm real and I'm kind of mediocre.
     
  15. macrumors member

    #15
    Much ado over not much actually...

    What I wrote was accurate, relevant to rikers or not. I couldn't find anything inappropriate. Are you a native English speaker? While most posters disagreed with the article's premise, not all disagreed. Some bothered to read carefully and post thoughtful responses which pointed out the "human" factor involved in search. Users "find" things by clicking around. That's not likely to change too soon.

    Edit: I'm real, mine are real, but not spectacular.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    #16
    Ziiiing. Good burn.

    Finally, something we can agree on. Spotlight does, at the very least, reduce the 'clicking around.'

    You should set up a poll on BabeTaxi. Let the readers decide. (ah, there goes my sexist side again) :p
     
  17. macrumors member

    #17
    rikers... I squeeze in a few polls, but not about that...

    :) A vote on "before and after" would be good, if I'd spring for the job. We'd probably exceed some sort of daily bandwidth limit or something. Those are photos I'll keep to myself, thank you. :p It's probably a matter of perspective, but they're not spectacular, just real. Do guys talk about "theirs" the same way?
    :eek:
     
  18. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    #18
    The metal hair is real? COOL!
     
  19. macrumors regular

    sockeatingdryer

    #19
    I'm glad to see you defending your stuff, but please remember you are fighting against forum posters on the internet. Armchair CEOs, whiners, fanatics, etc.
    I'm not saying all members of MacRumors are pathetic (heck, I'm on here ;)), but the most vocally shrill are those who are either just immature or those who have something negative to say. They are usually jealous that they can't put up their opinion or make some good piece like the writer.
    I'm a columnist for our local paper(MacWeekly; Lee Ledger), and I'm glad you're fighting the good fight! LOL :)

     
  20. macrumors member

    #20
    tpatricks,
    I usually find your articles fairly interesting (possibly because I like anything Mac), but I have to say that I disagree with this one. You are right that many "average" computer users never fully utilize or understand an operating system (such as double clicking on hyperlinks). However, you fail to see that technologies like Spotlight and Expose make a huge difference to many people. Every-time I get on a non-Panther machine (Windows or OS X) I wonder how I ever got along without Expose. I even installed iEX on my XP machine. Even though it is a poor knock-off of Expose it is better than nothing. 99% of the time I can find exactly what I'm looking for with Google, and usually it's on the first try. I have been at my new job for about four months and have 2,000 emails in my inbox. This is less than 20 emails a day, so I do not consider myself an "email power user". My work machine is running Windows XP SP2 with Outlook 2003. This is the latest and greatest that Microsoft has to offer, and searching through those 2,000 emails is painfully slow and inaccurate. Today I migrated all those emails to my iBook and my email life is has already been much more pleasant. I can not wait for Spotlight so I can search for "Apollo Construction Inc" in my 2,000 emails and 500 contacts at once.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    solvs

    #21
    Well... then why did you click on the link? It clearly says Mac360 on it. That's why I clicked on it, I kinda like some of those articles. They aren't all great, but I like the style, even when Tera herself doesn't write them. Good for you Tera for coming here to put the whiners in their places. Same thing with the searching thing. If you don't use it... great, you don't have to. But it's still there when you need it. I for one search all the time, despite having pretty well organized folders. I thought it was ok before, but Spotlight looks like exactly what I've been missing. Like Expose is for Panther. Sorry Tera, but I disagree with you there. The article wasn't bad though, because it made some good points for those who don't search.

    BTW, is that the same Jack from ATAT that writes articles sometimes? Sure seems like him. That site's pretty funny too sometimes IMO.
     
  22. macrumors member

    tpatricks

    #22
    solvs... thanks... not same Jack...

    I appreciate the support. Generally, this is a good forum. Gets a bit testy at times. Our "Jack" is not the same as AtAT and uses his middle initial to avoid confusion (people still ask); he's the converted Windows writer. :D

    AtAT is easily the most humorous and insightful of Mac 'zines. I never miss an episode.
     
  23. macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    #23
    A display of credentials isn't required to recognize that lots and lots of people experience the frustrations described in that article. Real people in the real world complain about it. The tools included today may theoretically be capable of all sorts of amazing things, but none of that matters if good results elude people in real life.

    If you live in Stephen, Minnesota and put the obvious terms into Google to aid an employment search, you're going to get tons of entries about a obnoxious smug man in a black turtleneck, and very little work. You could add Minnesota to the query, but that can miss pages that identify the state as MN or don't happen to mention it. Hey, I know, let's try substituting different combinations of the ZIP and area codes! Forget it! People who don't know how to think like a search engine (any why oh why would any normal person have developed that skill?) are already lost by now.

    It's obvious from the writing tone on that site that the primary audience is normal people, not CS researchers. Good, that's where the Mac is primarily aimed too. But perhaps more people working on interface implementations should pay attention to articles like this one -- if complaints are raised and there seem to be comments agreeing with the premise, then maybe something really isn't as good as it could be and it's worth looking at the problem.

    We've already seen what happened to Apple when researchers took the driver's seat and real people were given secondary consideration: products that never shipped and a company that almost disappeared. We see it in the MS Cairo/WinFS approach to search too: lots of focus on the technical details and not enough on delivering what people want done.

    Anyway, as silly and weird as Mac360 can seem to be at times, there is good stuff in there. There's some fluff too, but you know, all work and no play...
     
  24. macrumors 603

    solvs

    #24
    No problem, rock on girl.

    It's not the same writing style exactly, but you do have similar tastes. I saw a hint of that humor in your Jack's last article, thought maybe that was the side job he had mentioned on AtAT. Compliments to both though, always try to catch up when I have the spare time. Didn't mean to come off rude to the complainers, but... well... (I don't really have a way to finish that sentence).

    I still wouldn't downplay Spotlight. Could be a new extension to Sherlock the more I think about it. Especially when you bring Dashboard in to the picture. The geek in me is salivating already at the possibilities. True, most people won't know what their doing, but I have a feeling Apple will intergrate it so well, most people won't even realize they're using it. It'll just become another part of the OS. May be no big deal now, but I can see where they are going with this. And it's the big picture that will count in the long run, as you pointed out at the end of the article. I'm just hoping it's sooner rather than later.

    As far as (whatever Microsoft calls their search function in Longhorn) is concerned, you can probably downplay that. From what we've seen so far, it ain't great. :p
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    #25
    a) credentials are important in an opinion piece if you want any sense of credibility, particularly when it comes to analysis of a new interface technology. especially when that opinion article makes statements of opinion as facts. example:

    really? says who? my success rate is i would say 80%. sure i know what i'm doing, and would say that friends and relatives not as good are probably 60%. not great, but imagine internet searches without google, what would the success rate be of randomly typing in domain names, 10%? the argument that google/longhorn/spotlight aren't 100% perfect and so should be used is spurious.

    totally bogus argument and factually wrong. apple has for two decades been fundamentally changing the way people interact with the computer since day one. the GUI, the mouse, file/folder metaphor, drag and drop, cut and paste, wysiwyg, and on and on.

    the point of advanced search technologies are that you no longer need to organize your work in a granular manner. a point proved in the next paragraph. traditionally recognition vs. recall has been a strong argument in the file/folder/icon metaphor, however as the number of files on the computers move in to the tens of thousands, recognition becomes difficult if not impossible. a litany of identical icons with only a file name to differentiate them. and so we must rely on recall and as it is the tools to aid us in recall based interaction are sub-par.

    and itunes manages the files for you and then with an advanced search engine (itunes itself) allows you to find and play very quickly a song you want to listen to via what you remember about the file (title, date, artist, album, etc... same with iphoto.

    and because they are difficult they should not be attempted. because it will take years to change behavior it should be ignored? that is again just silly. as for changing human nature and it taking years. of course it takes years! the GUI was introduced in 1969 by doug englebart, but it took 25 years before a vast majority of people embraced GUIs. that itunes/ipod has only taken 3 years is an astounding testament to its success.

    ideally we are working towards a system where we can interact with the computer the same way we do with a human. where the computer acts as an agent for us, keeping our files and work organize, providing us with the information we want when we want it. spotlight and before it vtwin and google are important steps in that direction.

    and fwiw, i apologize for the paul thurott comment and questioning your existence. to answer your question, i have been using apple computers since 3rd grade and my first apple II+
     
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