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Ultra Recall search flaws?

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Posted by karel
Jun 29, 2018 at 03:30 PM

 

Hi,

user 22111 complained about problems with Ultra Recall’s search (see an excerpt below) in this thread: http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/5136/30

I am on a verge of actually buying UR so I would like to learn more about this if there’s somebody who can comment, pls?
My needs are simple (considering I won’t get much anyway) - being able to search (incl partial search e.g. *linerSoftw*) in note titles, bodies and attributes/keywords. UR seems to be doing it ok. Where does its search fail, pls?


Thanks in advance for your kind help!

Best regards,

Karel

22111 wrote:
jimspoon wrote: “Infoqube and Ultra Recall are quite slow to sort or
>display a grid of thousands of items.  I guess the key is to refine my
>search so that fewer items are displayed.  The underlying database
>structure is obviously very different.”
> >I’ve complained about it elsewhere: UR does not “translate” the search
>functionality of its underlying database, SQLite (some other outliners
>do also use that since it’s free AND it’s real good, quite perfect for
>this task (desktop, not too much collaborative), entirely, but “shields”
>it from you.
> >And then, this is not new either, its search functionality is the only
>element of UR that is not rock-solid; in fact, search results can be
>unpredictable, which is one of the reasons I’m not so happy with it
>anymore, all the less so since the developer, while eager to de-bug his
>program any which way he can, does NOT do anything about UR’s search in
>spite of the reports about its problems he gets.
> >Now let’s see into this: If we hadn’t the tree frontends set upon those
>sql databases, but some classic frontend you would have for the bigger
>databases and which are often also available for SQLite, you could do
>SQL searches, instead, and we all know that here, mainly two, three
>factors concur to give you search speed:
> >First, the repartition of your data within the relational database. Of
>course, this is a design decision, here of the UR developer, and you
>cannot blame the underlying database for possible data repartition (I’m
>not saying you try to do this, I’m just speaking in general); also, one
>user needing particular searches often, is “offered” the “general”
>database architecture, not something adequate to his needs, as if he had
>set up the database himself, according to these.
> >Then, more or less parented to the first factor, is the maintenance of
>indexes, meaning, which possible info is indexed, which is not, and we
>recall UR does not offer any options here: Again, it’s the standard fare
>you’ll be served.
> >And third, we all know that there are often lots of different ways to to
>sql searches, very “dumb” ones - let’s call them “beginner style”, and
>then, very smart ones, that often might not be tenfold as fast, but
>hundredfold or even faster - or let’s say the “beginner style” can be
>very, very slow!
> >Now if you do sql searches, direct, you will “learn” from your response
>times, meaning if your search is too slow, you will try to find a better
>way to do the “same” search, and here, many web sites and advanced books
>on sql will be of big help (if you can justify the buying and reading).
> >Now back to UR. I strongly suppose its search panes (regular and
>“advanced”) do translate your search wishes, in the most inflexible,
>rigid, “stupid” way possible, into “dumbest” sql search commands, or
>let’s be nice and say, UR does standardize your sql searches to the
>core.
> >I’m perfectly aware that in such an environment, there are not 51
>possibilities, but there would be SOME possibilities at least, but which
>would need to be implemented and coded, and you cannot expect this from
>UR.
> >Technically, it’s perfectly possible to predict some MORE standard uses
>of the database, and to have at least additional indexes built and
>maintained by option. Then, it’s possible to introduce some more search
>search panes, not just “standard” and “advanced”, but to have several
>“advanced styles”, for different, typical tasks, and for which the
>translation into sql would be quite different = optimized for the main
>elements of your different searches, since of course, it’s quite another
>task to just combine different key words, or to select/sort by some
>attribute, and then only be interested in key words, to give an example.
> >And then, it also would be perfectly possible to implement “stored
>searches”... but for sql searches: Have a search “line” (in fact, since
>we’re speaking of sql, a search field with perhaps twelve lines) for
>entering sql blocks, and have a pane to which you can store, and from
>which you can then retrieve both stored searches with theirr content,
>and just skeletons, or combinations of real search “terms” and just
>empty command parts first to be filled up and/or to be adjusted to any
>new search, meaning you will store some dozen such sql searches, grouped
>by kind/complexity, and then retrieving one will place it into the
>search field, where you will probably want to do adjustments (or even
>not, for your most standardized, recurring searches), and then a key
>(perhaps a double return) would trigger your “optimized” sql search,
>optimized if you took the effort to optimize it.
> >Such an approach would also eliminate the unpredictability of UR’s
>current search, since you can be 100 p.c. sure that these bugs don’t
>come from SQLite, but from UR’s “translation services”.
> >And again, we face the old problem that we don’t constitute enough of a
>“market” in order for developers doing the work, and thus we live with
>sub-standards that technically could be easily avoided. We just ain’t
>worth it.
> >This reminds me of MindJet: In so many years, with so much money earned,
>they weren’t able to introduce inter-illustration clones, which for a
>mind-mapping system are so necessary though, since the philosophy beind
>mind-mapping is certainly not to create monster maps with 5,000 items,
>but to discard anything not relevant in a given context to another
>context, but since things are interrelated to other contexts, too, this
>supposes clones updated in different maps.
> >In fact, the absence of this feature invalidates the whole concept, but
>without them being bothered by such considerations. I say it reminds of
>MindJet since some days ago, I got a mail praising the newest version,
>now with a better database, of a macro program that tried to update such
>things, from the outside, in your MindJet map collection, be it for your
>own use of “cartography” of your things, or for collaborative tasks.
>This macro program, costing several hundred dollars, is expected to be
>run before 9 in the morning, then again around supper, and then perhaps
>again in the evening, instead of next morning before work: As said, it
>maintains its own database in order to do all this that should be done
>from within MindJet’s database in real time, from the outside,
>“manually”, when there is a break in your work.
> >So this ridicule is proof that our not getting needed functionality has
>not too much to do with our being too small a “market”, but if we were a
>great many (as paying MindJet users are), the return maximization
>efforts of the developers/suppliers would assure we didn’t get our
>needed functionality there either.
> >Technically, it’s almost always possible, and more often than not, it
>would be even rather easy to code. Evernote is a good example: It has
>certainly got some new, state-of-the-art functionality, so they prove
>they are technically able to do a lot of things, and then many “basics”,
>also needed, have even been eliminated, instead of having been developed
>to a higher degree.
> >Anyway: My starting point was, don’t blame the database here, blame
>stupid frontends.
>

 


Posted by Jon Polish
Jun 29, 2018 at 04:02 PM

 

My usage is complex. I have found no issues with search. Constructing a complicated search requires some thought and awareness of how and in what order the commands will be executed. Others have commented that some pdf files are not searchable because they are not indexed. If the pdf in question is a non-ocr’ed scan, then it will not be indexed or searched.

UR is a great tool. Don’t be put off by its lack of active development. It is a mature product. I wish Kinook was able to implement more of the items in its roadmap, but I would not hesitate to purchase it.

Jon

 


Posted by Jon Polish
Jun 29, 2018 at 04:11 PM

 

Not to throw another variable at you, but have you tried CintaNotes? You can edit multiple notes in their own windows. Notes are not organized by trees but through a combination of tags and tabs. Not as robust as UR and it lacks several formatting features, but it is very good.

Jon

 


Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
Jun 29, 2018 at 04:39 PM

 

Hi Karel,

InfoQube should be able to do all UR does, have you considered it as an option for your information management needs ?

Pierre Paul Landry
IQ Designer
http://www.infoqube.biz

 


Posted by Jon Polish
Jun 29, 2018 at 06:17 PM

 

Yes, Pierre is right. But since you asked about UR’s search, I thought I would tell you of my experience.

Jon

 


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