Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Yahoo Desktop Search

The last of the big pre-announced desktop search tools has arrived, that from Yahoo. Its a customized, and slightly cut down version of X1. (Then again, it is free, whereas X1 is not).

Highlights for me include
Although I like the preview pane, and it's quite fully featured, its implementation has a number of problems:
I also get the impression that the system is not able to detect files as they are created or changed, but relies on picking them up when it next runs an indexing pass - which can mean that the index is often out of date.

The system also writes a lot of files to the temporary directory (say from email attachments, or extracted from inside zip files), but does not clean them up. The next indexing pass then includes those files, so suddenly the files you are accessing regularly are appearing twice in your results - the real file, and the duplicate in the temp directory.

I found that the program seems to lock my Outlook folders - if I exit Outlook, and restart it, then I cannot access any of my emails, unless I also stop Yahoo search.

Overall, the decision to buy rather than write from scratch has given Yahoo an offering that is a strong contender in this market in terms of features and supported file types. There are a number of bugs and general very rough edges which are surprising given that, despite the beta tag on this customized version, this is a product that has been shipping for a while in the non customized form.

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