Home > Graphics > Finding a good Find Finding a good Find Eugenia Loli 2004-09-17 Graphics 16 Comments Bryan Clark is discussing what a good “Find” dialog would be to be used with applications. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 16 Comments 2004-09-17 10:08 pm I liked the shown approach of firefox developers who made a “bar” of it lying in the bottom of the window instead of a floating window. Would like a lot to see that one in editors! 2004-09-17 10:08 pm One of the real annoyances is missing in his article though. Result visibility. I don’t know how many times I’ve searched for something in various application, and the content is scrolled to show what it found. But the application fail in varios degree to show the user excatly where it found it(e.g. not highlighting found text, and similar). Amazingly annoying. Oh, and the type of “new” search approach he’s talking about seems similar to greping in vim/emacs, “Find in Files” in Visual Studio and many other IDEs 2004-09-17 10:32 pm I hate that! And no, I can’t say why. 2004-09-18 12:44 am I agree. That’s pretty awesome, but I would rather have consistency. If every program had a find like that, I would be quite happy. 2004-09-18 1:08 am I really can’t stand any kind of modal find dialog box. It is also pretty hard beat incremental searching. The modal non-incremental finds seem to be a throw back to they days when good interactive finding was just too CPU intensive for old systems. The linked article shows an improvement over the old style modal find box by grouping results in a panel for you. I think the next step is to just put a text box on the main interface (ala iTunes and all the knock-offs. There’s a reason everyone copied the iTunes interface) that does incremental searching. As you type in the text box the window that groups the results would be updated. No modal dialog at all. It doesn’t look like there’s enough context in the panel at the bottom for some kinds of searching (single lines of code all look pretty much the same). So the document should also automatically scroll the document so the matching text is highlighted and in the middle of the page, ala VIM. That would be a sweet find dialog. I’ve yet to see an application that got worse by implementing a non-modal incremental find. 2004-09-18 1:09 am Adding to a theme, I saw the headline of this piece and thought “Firefox” F/Fox is almost like a mac application now – the redesigned functionality is just amazingly usable. I think you need to get the 1.0PR build to have the new search though….. 2004-09-18 1:10 am Hurm. My firefox (0.9.3) just has a plain old find dialog. What version are you using? 2004-09-18 1:13 am It’s 0.10PR release that just came out earlier this week. Awsome new feature…I love it! 2004-09-18 1:33 am The “find” dialog of Firefox 0.10PR is very very nice compared to his antecesor, check it now! The GNOME ‘find’ dialogs (and some other apps) is very horrible and i hate it. But the ‘mc’ (midnight comander) it’s fine too for my 😉 Greetings from Basque Country! 2004-09-18 1:56 am SCiTE does it with increamental search (ALT+CTRL+i). I fell in love with this editor a while ago. http://scintilla.sourceforge.net/SciTE.html 2004-09-18 4:15 am F/Fox is almost like a mac application now… Indeed. My thoughts when reading the first half of this article were, “Hey, Apple solved this problem with their drawers in OS X.” My thoughts when reading the second half were, “Ah, so he’s advocating a copy of Apple’s solution.” It’s not quite the same, though; some things Apple’s Preview.app does, his example does not; some things his example does, Apple’s Preview.app doesn’t do. It’s interesting. Still, it’s nice to see that Apple’s good ideas are still influencing the rest of the world. 2004-09-18 10:47 am Scite is nice, indeed. Love it too… It has good search capabilities though. 2004-09-18 5:50 pm I liked the shown approach of firefox developers who made a “bar” of it lying in the bottom of the window instead of a floating window. MS Outlook (not Express) had this feature before Firfox. I’ve also seen it in other software (so Outlook was probably not the first either) 2004-09-18 7:34 pm This is bit off-topic, but my favourite search tool is FileLocator Pro. The general line is that one is able to search in Windows using regex, and results can be shown with the matched files on one hand, and relevant matched lines of text (with context) on the other. For most tasks I think it is superior to using find and grep. I am not affiliated, just a happy user. http://www.mythicsoft.com/default.aspx 2004-09-19 1:21 am A neat effect to highlight the found phrase, would be a screen (or window) sized haircross ending in a box surrounding the phrase. This could be animated to provide that hollywood feel about it. 2004-09-19 8:50 pm Windows 2000 find sidebar is very good, too bad MS hides it in XP with that mutt dog.