Author Topic: Quick-Search Snapshots?  (Read 613 times)

Offline bazography

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Quick-Search Snapshots?
« on: May 06, 2019, 02:59:22 PM »
I was wondering if Camera Bits has considered adding their “Snapshot” feature to searches. I could see having a Snapshot button next to the quick-search field, with their usual pop-up dialog for setting it up, adding variables etc.

In my newspaper days I used Photo Mechanic for most things but cataloged with Extensis Portfolio. The one (only!) thing I liked about Portfolio was the search function. I could customize and save as many searches as I wanted using virtually unlimited search criteria, and I could set a default for quick searches. My default was always set to Keyword – Contains – _________  & Date within the past year, so most of the time all I had to do was start typing. If I wanted a different saved search or if I wanted to start from scratch it was 1 click away in a drop-down list.

I found it all quite indispensable, especially given the size of a newspaper catalog. My catalogs aren't quite that big any more, but saved custom searches would still be extremely valuable.

Offline Marv

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 05:00:47 PM »
I agree -- this would be a nice feature to have. 

Marv

Offline carlseibert

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2019, 03:02:49 PM »
Snapshots for the win! 

Generally, Photo Mechanic has them wherever they're needed. So, I'm assuming that after the basic functional stuff is all under control, the snapshot fairy will fly over and drop them in where they will be useful. This being one such place.

Offline bazography

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 11:34:02 AM »
Snapshots for the win! 

Generally, Photo Mechanic has them wherever they're needed. So, I'm assuming that after the basic functional stuff is all under control, the snapshot fairy will fly over and drop them in where they will be useful. This being one such place.

That sure would be nice, but I haven't seen snapshots mentioned of their to-do list yet. Personally I think snapshots are the greatest thing since sliced bread... and we all know how handy sliced bread is.
I know that they are working on the Searchable Fields pop-up, and they plan to have all those check-boxes selectable. And I can see from the sample searches that we are able to do some fairly complicated searches. Having that ability is great, but the problem I see is the speed of ticking all those little boxes and typing out your search each time, when quite often you are doing the same (or similar) searches every time.

Offline syncrasy

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 11:56:12 AM »
Question for you snapshot advocates: What would be the difference between a Quick-Search Snapshot and a Smart Collection? Would they meet the same need (frequently used searches)? Or are the use cases very different?
-- Mark

Offline bazography

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 04:25:27 PM »
Question for you snapshot advocates: What would be the difference between a Quick-Search Snapshot and a Smart Collection? Would they meet the same need (frequently used searches)? Or are the use cases very different?

I assume you are referring to the type of Smart Search used in Photo Mechanic 5 (the Mac version at least)? I did make use of them occasionally in PM5, so I can appreciate that they are helpful. But there's a fundamental difference to what what I'm suggesting.

With a Smart Search / Smart Album you enter all your search parameters so you can do a search with one click, for example:
Keyword > Contains > auto racing
Date = in the past year
Camera = Nikon D5

But what I'm suggesting is being able to configure and save MOST of the search parameters so that you only have to fill in the blank. For example, my default Search Snapshot might be:
Keyword > Contains > _____________
Date = in the past year
Camera = Nikon D5

To perform a search, all I need to do is type in a keyword into the Search field.

The Searchable Fields pop-up window shows just how many options there are to customize a search, which makes it very useful and very powerful, but I just can't imagine having to set all those options manually every time. I can't think of a better place to utilize PM's Snapshot system.

As far as UI goes, the search function in PM5 (Mac) was already good... just add a Snapshot button for easy recall and maybe the ability to use Variables, and we’d have one seriously powerful tool. Or, it looks like the Searchable Fields window is already going to allow for some customization of searches, so maybe all of this could be accomplished in one place. At first I thought it could utilize the existing Quick-Search field, but maybe that's best left as is for quick one-off searches.


Offline carlseibert

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 04:32:41 PM »
Mark - I think there would be some overlap, but the use cases for saved searches and smart collections are separate.

You would use a smart collection where you are willing to invest real estate in your UI for a window full of whatever-the-search-is. Your portfolio, maybe.  Or all pictures of a certain topic above a certain rating. These would be the kind of things where you would go back and forth between the smart collection and contact sheets full of something else. Or return to the smart collection and choose another frame to edit. That sort of thing. At least, that's how I use smart collections.

Saved searches don't take up space in the UI. They would be probably some hard-to-keystroke searches that you may use from time to time, or searches that you want to be consistent every time you use them (like metadata templates), or simply searches that you wish to document for some reason. Or, of course, searches that you use a ton and just don't want to type over and over. You might have dozens of them.

Different things. One could be a workaround for the other in a pinch, I suppose. (With a rude gesture toward Lightroom, where you can hardy search at all except in a smart collection. What a pain that is.)

Mostly, Snapshots are just the Photo Mechanic way. There is a Snapshot button basically for every function that has parameters.



bazography - The Searchable Fields dialog is really a preference. In a lot of big systems, this would be a behind-the-scenes pref for an admin to set for all users. It basically defines what fields are included in an all-fields search. (A default Quick Search in PM+ terms.) I understand that there's a performance cost to having too many fields turned on at once.

If you only want to search the Byline field in a particular search, you just go ahead and do that. No need to touch the Searchable Fields dialog. We won't have to touch it very often. Which is good, because setting it will take a while. And it absolutely, positively needs a Snapshot!  You might want to have presets for different purposes, or you might/will need to have a default to return to if you need to modify the settings for some particular task.

What is a debatable question, though, is should the Searchable Fields dialog control which fields can be explicitly searched? Usually, you can explicitly search any field, the logic being that you are explicitly doing so. If you didn't want to, you just wouldn't.

I mean, you're not going to accidentally type "keywords headshot", so that logic says that the fields-to-include-in-an-all-fields-search preference is redundant. But that might tread on somebody's use case, or it might be hard to implement always-on explicit searches.

In which case, Kirk might not want to go that way. If that turns out to be the way, it would be no problem to have a Snapshot that turns all the fields on and another that turns on a default set. There's a precedent for that in the color labels pref. Photo Mechanic ships with several Snapshots that set the color labels to interoperate with this, that, or the other third party program.

So, there, I would say that the "normal" way is fine, but as long as we have a Snapshot, we're good either way.

Hehe - -We're typing responses at the same time. And saying some of the same stuff :-)  And yeah, the Quick Search window allows for a ton of customization of searches. I've never seen a desktop product with the power that it has. And the syntax is dead easy. With a popup cheatsheet right next to the field, no less.






Offline carlseibert

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 09:28:14 AM »
You know, you're right. That was a pretty good example of a repeater-based search dialog.

Offline syncrasy

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 09:37:33 AM »
Question for you snapshot advocates: What would be the difference between a Quick-Search Snapshot and a Smart Collection? Would they meet the same need (frequently used searches)? Or are the use cases very different?

I assume you are referring to the type of Smart Search used in Photo Mechanic 5 (the Mac version at least)?  I did make use of them occasionally in PM5, so I can appreciate that they are helpful. But there's a fundamental difference to what what I'm suggesting.

No, by "Smart Collection," I was referring to a (potential) PM+ feature for cataloging, an automated collection to complement the current "dumb" Collections (which are just as important). Carlseibert understood my meaning in his response after yours.

With a Smart Search / Smart Album you enter all your search parameters so you can do a search with one click, for example:
Keyword > Contains > auto racing
Date = in the past year
Camera = Nikon D5

But what I'm suggesting is being able to configure and save MOST of the search parameters so that you only have to fill in the blank. For example, my default Search Snapshot might be:
Keyword > Contains > _____________
Date = in the past year
Camera = Nikon D5

To perform a search, all I need to do is type in a keyword into the Search field.

The Searchable Fields pop-up window shows just how many options there are to customize a search, which makes it very useful and very powerful, but I just can't imagine having to set all those options manually every time. I can't think of a better place to utilize PM's Snapshot system.

As far as UI goes, the search function in PM5 (Mac) was already good... just add a Snapshot button for easy recall and maybe the ability to use Variables, and we’d have one seriously powerful tool. Or, it looks like the Searchable Fields window is already going to allow for some customization of searches, so maybe all of this could be accomplished in one place. At first I thought it could utilize the existing Quick-Search field, but maybe that's best left as is for quick one-off searches.


Apparently I misunderstood your meaning of Quick-Search Snapshot. I thought you were were describing a saved search in which both the fields and the values were remembered for later recall, so you wouldn't have to reenter any values at all. (Media Pro has a "Save this query" function in its Find dialog; it functions this way.) That's why I thought it would be very similar to how a Smart Collection would work.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:52:56 AM by syncrasy »
-- Mark

Offline pablogg

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Re: Quick-Search Snapshots?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 10:02:46 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.
Regards,
-Pablo