Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Indexing private stuff

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:12/1/1998; 8:11:49 AM
Topic:What if there were a third browser?
Msg #:648 (In response to 647)
Prev/Next:647 / 649

Having spent 20 years exploring different ways to organize information thru a PC user interface, I really think all the ideas have been explored, and I know the answer.

We need a really good search engine for our private data. Both Apple and Microsoft are exploring this, Microsoft is shipping an SQL database with the next release of the OS, and Apple is doing stuff with Sherlock. I'm not using either of these, so I don't know how well they work.

But I'm fairly confident I know what the UI looks like. Look at the best web search engines for a clue.

Basically, I want a text box somewhere in a fixed location on my screen, possibly as part of the taskbar at the bottom of the Windows UI, or part of the menubar on the Mac, where I can type a string of characters and quickly get a list of documents, email messages, whatever that contain the search string I entered.

It should be able to reach inside every file format, a set of APIs should be supported in the OS that allows an app to provide a URL and a chunk of text. When the app receives the URL, it opens the file. It could be really simple.

My opinion: anything short of this will too little to be useful.


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