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Michael Griffiths Michael Griffiths Fatalism.
  • Sanity in Starter Edition, huzzah!

    Yes, it's a good move. People will complain less, though from what I've heard the 3-app limit was hardly onerous. Still, this is a better idea.

  • Kumo vs Live Search

    CannotResolveSymbol said:

    From how it appears right now, it's not.  All indications show (although nothing's been officially announced) that Kumo is a codename for changes they're making to Live Search (particularly around the layout of search result pages), not a completely different search engine.


    I hope they change (improve) quite a bit more than the layout - screenshots of which look unimpressive. I think they look fine, but boring.

    Live Search has been getting consistently better since it came out. Unfortunately, Microsoft started out 18-24 months behind Google (made up estimate based on my subjective and flawed interpretation of their respective search qualities), and they've stayed at least a year behind since. Google has matched or exceeded Microsoft's investment into search - moving into more areas of vertical search/etc - while Microsoft has done nothing special. Indeed, Microsoft has closed off vertical search products which compete with Google (book search, academic, etc).

    WolframAlpha looks cute, and it's the type of experiment Microsoft should be performing. Or doing things that Google is doing - which is taking more risks with its search results, such as voting on links or adding notes - for all Steve Ballmer's claims that Microsoft is taking more risks. Microsoft is doing, or at least has done, nothing of the sort.

    In any event, I currently expect Kumo to be disappointing - to move the bar forward a little bit, but still remain behind Google. A design change does not a product change make.

  • Is Windows 7 notepad going to support unix/mac style line endings?

    PaoloM said:
    wkempf said:
    The thing is, if you are in a position where you need those features, you probably also know where to find alternative text editors that provide them to you.

    Notepad is simple, fast and that's why it's still immensely popular Smiley
    Notepad2 is fast, simple, and supports pretty much every feature I want in a simple text editor (including Regex find/replace!).

    I happen to think the built-in Notepad should resemble it far more.

  • Vista's Natural Language Search is Sloooow

    W3bbo said:
    Michael Griffiths said:
    I was using SQL as an example. But I'm thinking of something like AppleScript: it resembles English language anyway, but it's a very strongly structured language that has zero ambiguity.

    But anyway, how about introducing a simple criteria engine that accepts data like so:

    "type={extension or mime-type},contains={wildcard or regular expression},in={directory wildcard},modb4={date}"

    Doesn't Windows Search already accept simple criteria?

  • Vista's Natural Language Search is Sloooow

    W3bbo said:
    PaoloM said:
    Wouldn't it be more pragmatic to let people type in say... raw SQL? (or some more appropriate search instruction).

    You get the benefit of knowing exactly what the computer is searching for, simpler parsing, and if it's well done it should closely resemble English anyway.
    You can:


    .... just not in the main interface. It'd be rather trivial to create an interface to return the results of a SQL statement.

    Most people, needless to say, don't know SQL; and while I'd love some of the features (group, rank) I don't really want to type a long SQL statement for a rather simple query.


    Paolo, it's interesting that keywords like that are so hardcoded. Natural Language is a bit more ambiguous than that; I'd expect something more along the lines of defaulting to searching for the word, and only using certain words-as-types when the grammer supports it (I would assume you have some sort of grammer parser that deconstructs the search string).

    Or doing both - returning all "movies" while at the same time returning everything that contains "movies." i.e. the more general the search is, the more general the query and this the results. A highly specific one (e.g. "all emails sent to microsoft yesterday") would also be easier to parse and "get" accurately, because there's more natural language detail.

  • Vista's Natural Language Search is Sloooow

    BHpaddock said:
    Parsing should take exactly the same amount of time whether it's using NQS (natural language queries) or AQS (regular searches / advanced query syntax).

    If you're waiting 10-15 seconds for search results something is wrong.  How many items are in your index according to the control panel?

    What sort of machine specs are we talking about?

    That's precisely what I would have expected - NQS taking no extra time - it's simply not what I'm experiencing.

    I'm running a Dell Latitude D620; Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM; 80 GB 7200-RPM HD; Vista 32-bit. I have 56,077 items in my index, according to your Sidebar gadget. This is a rather small index; at least to my thinking.

    If I turn Natural Language search, my minnimum time for a search jumps to 5 seconds, with searches of up to 15 seconds (for 3 word queries!) occuring with some regularity. This compares to under a second without NQS.

    It also fails to find basic things; if I search for "movie" it won't find Windows Movie Maker. Search for "photo," it doesn't find Windows Photo Gallery (or Windows Live Photo Gallery), etc. Things like that. AQS works perfectly; finds everything.

  • Vista's Natural Language Search is Sloooow

    A few months ago - in May - I turned on Natural Language Search in Vista.

    I thought it was a good idea.

    I didn't notice anything initially, just a failure to work very well when I tried things like "all documents created yesterday."

    In June, I installed Windows Search 4.0. I noticed no speed up; if anything, the speed was terrible.

    Today, once again waiting for the start menu search to respond after 10 seconds, I finally had enough and set out to make search faster. Needless to say, the first thing I did was go and restore defaults.

    Which lead me to disable Natural Language Search.

    Which lead to Vista's search response time going from 10+ seconds to under 1 second.

    I must conclude that the Natural Language Search option is really bloody slow.

    Seriously, what kind of parsing is Windows doing? I can think of a few things I'd like it to do - entity extraction in search string matched to entities extracted from documents, common language components, e.g. support for "all," "only", etc - but how on earth does that take 10 to 15 seconds?

    Anyone else get the same speed decrease when Natural Language Search is enabled?

  • Why can't I fullscreen the NBC Olympics Silverlight Player?

    NBC's Enhanced Silverlight video player for the Olympics, developed by Schematic, happens to be very nice (whereas the ordinary one is simply ordinary).

    The Picture-in-Picture is cool, and allows you to keep an eye on "live" events while watching older videos. The video browser - by popularity, sport, etc - is also well done.

    However, I am unable to fullscreen the video player. This rather reduces the quality of the experience for me.

    I can only imagine that this limitation is built-in, as every other Silverlight video player I have ever encountered allowed easy fullscreening. Is there some reason for this?

  • Hurrr, maybe messenger 9 won't suck?

    dentaku wrote:
    I just hope they can make it look as good as Yahoo Messenger for Windows Vista.

    Which is vaporware; a WPF concept developed by an outside development firm that has either been put on hold indefinitely or killed.

    There better be a damn good reason it's going to take them another year, minnimum, to release Messenger 9. Yahoo IM 9 came out a few days ago, and it's pretty good. There are rumors Google Talk is being revamped with integration for multiple protocols and tighter Gmail options. Meebo and other online IM sites are gaining (very small) traction, and Trillian Astra (online/offline client) will be done before too long.

    Personally, I'd like rich text editing in messenger conversations at the least.

    If they're changing the back-end as well as the client (if the Mac client is "awesome," the Windows client better be bloody good) then I can see it taking that long, but Messenger has always seemed to have long development times with regard to the features they add.

  • Leopard 10.5

    The 300+ new features page demonstrates just how much better Apple is at marketing that Microsoft.

    It's also interesting to see how many of the features are directed at making tasks easier. Apple seems to spend much more time making things easy after they've created the feature; far more than Microsoft.

    I do have to say: the Enhanced Find in Safari is really cool. It's perhaps the only thing I like about Safari.