Is this the right place to start a discussion or should I move it to a mailing list/another wiki page?
Improving the search in Nautilus is a good idea. Especially with great tools like Tracker available. I've tried to google for discussions regarding these topic and have found a few, but it's also very likely, that I've overlooked some. I have written down a few things, that seem important to me and might be worth discussing:
Sorting & filtering options are two basic features, that should be available in a modern desktop environment search, before we start thinking about the possibilities of semantic desktop powered search etc.
I like the idea of Spotlight, which tries to stay consistent with the file browser.
1. Users can use the nearly same interface they already are familiar with.
2. [Sorting] Items can be sorted pretty effectively by sequential attributes (e.g. date), the same way as in Nautilus.
3. The mapping of search for files or folders is straightforward, but what about the representation of items like emails, notes or bookmarks?
Getting [Filtering] right is also important. There is a number of research papers on desktop search, with interesting ideas, that are not obvious at first. E.g. a research with hundreds of participants had shown, that a substantial part of the queries (1/5) was carried out without any keywords - only by using filters.
Why spotlight is powerful?
Hei, Here is the right place for discussion, right?
I'm a Archlinux&Mac user for 4+ years, in my opinion, spotlight is powerful for the following reasons:
1. All files, fulltext, mail, note, web history, nearly everything in one search box. Like Peter referred.
2. real-time search, the time you move a file, you get the search result immediately.
3. Give the best hitting suggestion, spotlight give the first 10~15 matches quickly, covering files, web history, mail, dictionary, etc. Generally speaking, you can find what you want in the first several matches.
There are several existing search tools, like Tracker, Beagle, Strigi, Google Desktop for linux, covering different usages. But all of them should be installed as a isolated software. Make enhancement on Nautilus is a good choice, as peter said, stay consistent with the file browser.
I'm reading more materials about implementation on real-time, full text search. If you have some suggestions, Let me know.