Monday, February 27, 2006

Wilbur, Wilma and The File Seeker

Continuing with the last post here are two more open source applications which can be used to search the computer for files and contents of those files.

Wilbur: Supposed to be a file assistant to search for files in your system drive. According to the developers "Every office seems to have one vital person who is the only one who can find anything in the file cabinets. Wilbur wants to be the electronic equivalent of that person for your computer." I was not impressed much with this as far as looks go. And neither have I run a timing test to check its indexing speed or result return rates. If anybody has then do post the find. The features are listed here and some of them like the quick mini preview of the contents is a neat feature not found in the others.

The File Seeker: It is an application to find files in hard disks quickly. Neat looks and a quick index makes it promising. Yet like the others need to work up on a lot more features still.

Wilma:Wilma is a program for quickly finding text lurking in the files on your computer. It does this by creating an index of what words are in which files and this allows it to later find files containing a given word or set of words almost instantaneously. Somehow I still have to get used to the browser based search of my desktop. But like GDS many find it more easy to get it done from their browsers and with a tabbed Firefox it can be done from a single window. The application will need to support more file types before people can take it as a alternative to Google's GDS.

Carry on ye eager seekers!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Open Source Desktop Search Applications

I had mentioned about open source desktop search tools before.
Today I found few desktop search utilities from sourceforge.net These applications are similar to the more popular X1, Google Desktop Search(GDS), Copernic Desktop Search(CDS) and Yahoo Desktop Search(YDS). Most of them are based on Apache's Lucene search engine a open source search engine. Its supposed to be fast and has a very small memory footprint.

I was able to run and try out DocSearcher. Its very simple and intuitive and seems to be OK for the list of supported file types it indexes. I was able to index my drives/folders very fast which are all in GBs.

The other one is MaxFisher and I was not able to test it out as I failed to get a search result. It comes with a small webserver called Jetty as the search results and query boxes are presented in a web browser, almost similar to GDS.

Both of them are in Java(hence run anywhere where theres Java) and the GUI seems to be very simple. They still have a very very long way to go before they can catch up to the functionality or features the other desktop search utilities provide. But yes its definitely a start and am looking forward to the later releases of these applications. It should not be long before we see stiff competition from them to the closed alternatives.

I would be looking at things like "search as you type", indexing of PST (Outlook mails) and auto indexing before I can permanently have them on my machine.

Find the two new open source aplternatives to desktop search in the list here...

Happy searching till then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

News feed: Open Source Applications for Windows feed

Open Source Applications for Windows feed
I have added the list of open source applications mentioned in my blog to this list.
You might be able to rank them and vote the applications to the top. If required we can add more such open source applications for Windows to the list too.

The feed is at www.listible.com