Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Looking Filter fields from Address Book, iTunes, Mail, Rechnungs Checker, Finder at many recent applications you'll see that many of them sport fields for instant filtering of the content displayed. iTunes kicked this off with its fast and efficient search field a few years ago. Since, we've seen this kind of instant filtering added - perhaps with inferior speed - to the Address Book, Mail, the Finder and even my own Rechnungs Checker.

Todays computer are fast enough to allow for this kind of filtering giving you instant feedback on what you're doing and I find it a very efficient tool. It's also nice to see that Apple tries to establish a rounded text field as some kind of standard UI for searching. A similar kind of filtering has been present in web browsers for a while in the form of combo boxes, which mostly (I think everywhere but in OmniWeb work in a more restricted way though, as they do (and probably should) match what you search for only against the beginning of whatever data you have, rather than giving you a free-style search as in iTunes.

I recently read someone (can't remeber who) commenting that there should be some kind of meta-search field. I have to agree with that. It seems that these days there are so many kinds of information on your computer, stored in many different places that it sometimes seems more efficient to just quickly type in a couple of keywords until you have a few objects left than navigating through different applications or a huge folder hierarchy. I guess the infrastructure for that isn't quite there these days (and possibly was very close to being there in BeOS and from what I heard may even be there in Windows in the future) but it should be worth having.

Perhaps I'll have to seriously try out Launch Bar after all, though I wasn't too convinced the first time around.

Ironically this would mean that a typing based interface may be more efficient for finding infomation than a GUI. Will listen to The Hives' I hate to say I told you so now.

January 19, 2003, 17:36

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