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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: serres on Oct 12, '05 08:31:39AM

Because among other things

– Spotlight so slow, it's unusable. If I need to wait 30 sec min. for simple results like applications I can go there the usual way. Or opening a smart folder containing all applications takes forever here.

– Spotlight very unreliable. You cannot know which ones of your documents get indexed. Spotlight is more like a "Here are some possible related results"-engine.

For the moment you should neither rely on it nor trust it.



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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: statefuldotnet on Oct 12, '05 08:47:46AM
– Spotlight so slow, it's unusable. If I need to wait 30 sec min. for simple results like applications I can go there the usual way. Or opening a smart folder containing all applications takes forever here.
Yeah I will admit the search as you type is ridiculous if you fat finger your search. There should be an obtion to turn this capability on or off.
– Spotlight very unreliable. You cannot know which ones of your documents get indexed. Spotlight is more like a "Here are some possible related results"-engine.
Nah this comes from not understanding Spotlight. Not only can you refine where Spotlight indexes, you can FORCE index files, and you can tell exactly what will be indexed with the mdimporter plug-ins. You should investigate a tool called Highlight if you don't grok what you can do with the command line tools. Although I agree they could make configuration of this easier for the masses, the capability is certainly there and is not a mark against Spotlight.
For the moment you should neither rely on it nor trust it.
You should learn more about the technology before making such claims. The comments made show you do not understand how Spotlight works other then the magical upper right hand corner thingie that produces search results from who knows where and isn't seeming to find documents you know you have.

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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 12, '05 03:22:04PM

In my opinion, if you must "understand Spotlight" or "learn more about the technology" just to search for files, then Spotlight fails its mission. It was supposed to make finding things quicker and easier. We shouldn't have to do research to find out how it works just so we can find our files. I find the criticisms of Spotlight valid.

---
--
osxpounder



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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: AaronAdams on Oct 12, '05 09:09:00AM
– Spotlight so slow, it's unusable. If I need to wait 30 sec min. for simple results like applications I can go there the usual way. Or opening a smart folder containing all applications takes forever here.
And now I will present my anecdotal evidence to counter your anecdotal evidence: Spotlight is fast and completely usable. I haven't seen a Mac yet where Spotlight wasn't quick and reactive. You obviously have some kind of problem with your system.
– Spotlight very unreliable. You cannot know which ones of your documents get indexed. Spotlight is more like a "Here are some possible related results"-engine.
More anecdotal evidence. I've found Spotlight to be completely reliable and it does a very good job indexing all my documents. Again, it sounds like you have a larger problem.
For the moment you should neither rely on it nor trust it.
I neither rely on or trust your assessment. Before I'll consider Spotlight "terrible", as the article author asserts without any supporting facts whatsoever, I need demonstrable, reproducible, verifiable reasons why. Anecdotes that amount to "It doesn't work right for me in particular" and "It doesn't behave in some arbitrary way that *I* think it should" are not good supporting arguments for Spotlight being "terrible". I really wish those kinds of editorial comments would be edited out of the hints. They're irritating and they detract from the value of the hint.

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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: ocdinsomniac on Oct 12, '05 09:25:57AM

I disagree. Spotlight is not a tool that should require knowledge of the command-line, or third-party utilities, in order to be used or useful. There are a number of ways in which Spotlight can fail to work or work improperly for no reason that is obvious to the ordinary user: a Spotlight index, for example, can become corrupt, returning incomplete results, if the indexing process is interrupted, with no warning to the user, and no recourse except a trip to the command-line or a third-party application. This can happen if a firewire drive is ejected or your computer reboots during the indexing process. Spotlight has no error correction in these instances, and must be forced to re-index. But the user is none the wiser when these problems occur. Spotlight just continues to use the incomplete index and return inaccurate results.

Spotlight should "just work" for most people, in most instances, and for many it does not. I've experienced these problems myself in many contexts, and I know all about the command-line tools, and the third-party apps. These issues are documented all over the web. There are many power users who are frustrated with Spotlight. Just because you are not one of them (and there are a number of reasons why that might be) does not make it untrue.

It is, indeed, a "mark against Spotlight" that it can't work properly without constant supervision. So maybe you should learn a bit about the limitations of a technology before you take a condescending attitude towards others who are having real, documented problems.



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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: AaronAdams on Oct 12, '05 01:54:55PM
I disagree. Spotlight is not a tool that should require knowledge of the command-line, or third-party utilities, in order to be used or useful.
It doesn't. The problems you've described here don't require any kind of command line intervention. I agree that unfinished or corrupted indexes are a problem, and those errors should be handled better, but they don't make Spotlight "terrible" and they don't require the command line to fix. Indexes can be removed and rebuilt via the GUI.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301562

Spotlight should "just work" for most people, in most instances,
It does.
and for many it does not.
And for most it does.
There are many power users who are frustrated with Spotlight. Just because you are not one of them (and there are a number of reasons why that might be) does not make it untrue.
Again, because some user(s) (power users in this case) want something different than what Spotlight provides doesn't make Spotlight "terrible". It makes it possibly not useful to some people, but not "terrible". I've never asserted that anyone's problems were untrue. I've stated that just because some users have problems doesn't mean that Spotlight is "terrible". The author of the original hint states "Spotlight is terrible" as his first line of the story without any supporting evidence and questionable relevance to the hint.
It is, indeed, a "mark against Spotlight" that it can't work properly without constant supervision.
Yes it can, and it does.
So maybe you should learn a bit about the limitations of a technology before you take a condescending attitude towards others who are having real, documented problems.
I know plenty about the limitations of technology, and I know plenty about the limitations of users. I'm asking for some kind of reproducible and objectively verified set of problems with Spotlight that rise to the definition of "terrible". You've explained a problem here - Spotlight's indexing behavior. While I agree that it certainly is an issue, that single issue is far away from making the entire scope of Spotlight technology "terrible".

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Spotlight still has a ways to go...
Authored by: Hal Itosis on Oct 12, '05 02:10:26PM

Hey Aaron,

Can you stop cluttering this tip with useless chatter?
(Start a thread in the forums if you want to preach).

Please? Thanks.

-HI-



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Spotlight still has a ways to go...
Authored by: dave1212 on Oct 14, '05 02:09:28AM

you must have meant to post a reply to the parent, and got the name wrong too. Opinionated bashing of a technology is pointless in the articles provided here, and on top of wasting reading time, provokes others to respond in kind.

Yes, discussions about relevant issues should be brought to the forum, but when deliberate misinformation is posted in the comments (or in the article) here it either needs to be corrected or edited. I doubt the strongly opinionated persons in this thread (anti-Spotlight, for voodoo reasons, won't listen to others' opinions) are about to comment in the forum, since it would seem to lessen the impact of their statements compared to making them here on the main site.

Perhaps the machines in question have other issues. It's too easy to blame on Spotlight. Ignoring the pointless bias in saying 'Spotlight is terrible' , this hint is quite useful overall, it will be nice to have all that is listed on hand for quick editing.



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Spotlight still has a ways to go...
Authored by: raider on Oct 14, '05 10:57:47AM
I am the original author, and here I will defend my statements. First of all, you and Aaron seem to have not got past the "Spotlight is terrible." and never made it to the "But at the same time, very useful. Let's hope Apple cleans it up a bit in a future release."

Spotlight *is* terrible. For crying out loud, there are 700 hints on this site alone trying to make it work better. Search the web and you will find thousands of people talking about the problems they have with spotlight.

An Apple product should be cleaner, simpler, and more consistant. PERIOD.

Some people claim there is no problem with speed. While *I* have not experienced any problems with speed, it would be silly for me to claim that there are no problems, simply because of the massive numbers of people who claim otherwise. This is not like the "iPod battery" issues where there were tiny numbers of people speaking loudly. This is a good 25% of the spotlight discussions revolve around people having issues with it's performance. This area needs improvement.

Spotlight's interface is terrible. It just simply is. It is inconsistant, acting one way in the Finder, a different way in Mail, and yet another way in the Spotlight app itself. And to get it to do what you want is undocumented and confusing. It just is. Maybe YOU don't find it confusing, but when you look around and tons of people are having a hard time getting it to work right or find what they want - that is enough evidence to say Apple can do better. Did you see the special presentation for the new iMac and iPod with video? Steve puts up the slide showing the Microsoft media center remote control with 50 buttons and compares it to the FrontRow remote control with 6 buttons, and he says "This slide more than anything shows what Apple is all about. Well my friends - Spotlight is like the 50 button remote, and half the buttons are not labled and the other half don't do what they say...

And finally - Spotlight results are inconsistant. I don't know why - but it needs to be fixed. I can get different search results on the same search two times in a row... I have a smart folder that I set up. It found all the images I wanted it to find. Then I added two more to the source folder, and tagged them appropriately - and the smart folder will NOT find them. I have forced a re-index of the source folder. I have restarted Finder, and restarted the machine. The smart folder will not "see" the two that I added. They have the exact same comments as the other images that the smart folder finds fine. In fact I even tried copying the comments directly from a working image into the others, and no luck. WHY THE HELL IS THIS? Is this a "smart" folder? No. This is a pain in the ass.

Spotlight has a hell of a lot of potential. It does. And it curently *can* be used well, as many of the hints here help out. But Absolutely Apple needs to improve it..

Something Apple touts as being so great - should be much more polished than Spotlight.

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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: MrSandman on Oct 13, '05 01:13:04AM

This is strange. Spotlight is INSTANTANEOUS on all my Macs, for all types of applications.

So far, spotlight has been the raw model for reliability. It *always* finds what I am looking for.



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Re: What's so terrible about it
Authored by: serres on Nov 02, '05 10:46:56AM

As of the Mac OS X 10.4.3 spotlight is no longer slow. I'm very pleased. Spotlight is now usable for me and it's great.



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