Friday, September 11, 2009

I feel vindicated:

Background: I was satisfied with Windows 2000 find-files function. I still have trouble with XP's, but was totally stumped with the search function on Vista.

So I google for "vista search files" and the first link has a post by someone (Dave Taylor) who must have had the I-love-Microsoft chip inserted in his brain. To wit:
Performing searches has drastically changed in Windows Vista; what used to be a nightmare is now an easily accomplished task using Vista's powerful new Search features.
And if you read further, you are told about one particular search capability, but can it be that easy? I had trouble trying to use it. Is it me?

No. If you look at the follow-on comments, they are uniformly hostile, all complaining about how poorly Vista search works (or more likely, doesn't). My favorite: (emp add)
Vista file search is useless. It seems that everytime Microsuck 'improves' something it only gets worse. "FIND" in Win9x was far superior to any "SEARCH" that has come since. I am looking at dozens of files that Vista cannot find with "search". I have been using computers since the 70's, so I'm not new to this. Vista sucks and it's file search engine does too.
I was talking to a software professional earlier today about this and he said that Microsoft seems determined to make things harder for programmers to use. This remark from a positive review of Vista Search over at Computerworld seems to confirm that view (at least for one particular flavor of search):
Searching inside a lot of stuff, like Windows's own operating-system files and the guts of your software applications would be sort of pointless to anyone but programmers, so Vista doesn't bother.
That is a questionable practice, having a Search (one of many!) that returns a subset of possible returns as the default behavior and without clearly displaying that fact to the user.

Perhaps this is the new approach. Don't give people control over anything. If, for instance, you are looking for a suspected Trojan on the machine, don't even try. Everything is done at the app level. Got a suspect Trojan? Under Vista the "solution" is to download another app that you are told will fix the problem. This leads, naturally to you loading a ton of apps (practically one for each suspect situation) that clogs the machine and probably interferes with whatever security software you already have running.

Anyway, it was a treat to read the comments from disgruntled folks who clearly know what they are talking about with examples of failed searches or missing functionality compared to the earlier Windows platforms. The comments, by the way, were posted from as far back as March 2007 up until a few days ago (175 of them).

QUESTION: These complainers are smart people familiar with computers (e.g. trying to search for strings within PHP files). How can the typical non-specialist be expected to get the hang of it?

CODA: I love this from Microsoft:
The new Windows Vista Explorer showcases Instant Search in the top-right corner. It's always with you when you're using the Documents Explorer, Music Explorer, Pictures Explorer, and the new Search Explorer.
How about all those Explorers?


And then there's Spotlight....

By Anonymous Mark Centz, at 9/12/2009 1:16 PM  

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