Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Ask Jeeves why their app crashes

I installed the Ask Jeeves Desktop Search - actually install itself is a good experience, its a small download, and actually asks where I want to place the software.

On first running, it offered me its option panels, which allowed me to select custom indexing, but they are simply not custom enough - the choice is between just the default Windows location file locations (which I never use if I have a choice), and "all my files". The email is likewise all, or nothing - so I cant exclude things like my deleted mail folder.

The results screen does offer a preview panel, which is its one plus point, but also its undoing - an image search gave results that the preview panel not only failed to display (which I can probably live with), but which took the whole program down with it. (The image in question was a jpg file in the browser cache - which was corrupted by being truncated - a regular occurrence when downloading files. The standard Windows XP image view can show the file fine - with the missing blocks just "chunkier" than the rest).

Not only did the crash kill the Jeeves.exe program, but since it went down whilst still holding handles to my Outlook email, Outlook was unusable until I rebooted my machine.

I'm not the only one to find this program crashes on them - InsideGoogle has a similar experience.

Since I dont expect to be keeping this program on my machine much longer, I'll quickly see how it stacks up against my review checklist of a couple of days ago. Lots of dont knows, since I'm not spending time getting too deep into this program - I already know its not for me.

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