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iSeek hits 1.0.0fc2...
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moki
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Oct 11, 2003, 11:42 PM
 
We just released iSeek 1.0.0fc2 to the testers -- everything is done and polished, we're just doing final QA on it. If it goes well, iSeek will be released next week (10/13...10/18). It's really looking very sweet.

Check out this video of it in action (3.9mb):

http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/news/upcom...k_searches.mov

Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
     
MaxPower2k3
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Oct 12, 2003, 12:41 AM
 
wow, that looks great. i can't wait



and nice music choice for the lyrics search

"I start fires!"
     
Disgruntled Head of C-3PO
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Oct 12, 2003, 01:14 AM
 
Cool, but why is this better then a dockling? Most people don't have that much room in the menubar.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 12, 2003, 01:24 AM
 
Originally posted by Disgruntled Head of C-3PO:
Cool, but why is this better then a dockling? Most people don't have that much room in the menubar.
Actually, I think most people do have room in their menu bar, especially given Apple's penchant for making widescreen monitors over the last few years. However, if you are tight on screen space, you can have iSeek just appear as an icon in your menu bar (it auto-expands and auto-contracts as you use it).

The reason for having it always visible in the menu bar is for ease of use. People always see it there, and it's an easy target to click on. They also are reminded the functionality is there, and use it more often.

For instance, the author of iSeek had it running on his Mac, and a friend walked in while he was away, and despite never having used a Mac before, he instantly knew what to do with it, and was using it to search Google.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 12, 2003, 01:29 AM
 
This little (1mb) shows how easy it is to share iSeek search sites (you can just copy/paste the iSeek URLs into email, IM chat, etc.):

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/news/upcom..._sharesite.mov

...And this little movie (1.1mb) shows how you can add iSeek search sites for any web site you like:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/news/upcom...ek_addsite.mov
( Last edited by moki; Oct 12, 2003 at 01:45 AM. )
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iOliverC
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Oct 12, 2003, 07:27 AM
 
Looks awesome

But the registration icon in the preferences, well...it doesn't fit. How about the one Acquisition uses, the standard accounts one?
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 12, 2003, 02:09 PM
 
Originally posted by iOliverC:
Looks awesome

But the registration icon in the preferences, well...it doesn't fit. How about the one Acquisition uses, the standard accounts one?
Well, that icon is the icon that our registration application uses, so it makes sense in that context...
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theolein
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Oct 12, 2003, 07:06 PM
 
I'm not trying to run this app down, but what does it offer that one can't do from Sherlock or by using the Google field in Safari combined with a set of site bookmarks? I'm sorry, I just don't understand what it offers, apart from having the search window in the menu bar.
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Spliff
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Oct 12, 2003, 08:40 PM
 
Moki,

iSeek looks great. I have Searchling and use it all the time. How much will you be charging for iSeek?
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 12, 2003, 08:42 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
I'm not trying to run this app down, but what does it offer that one can't do from Sherlock or by using the Google field in Safari combined with a set of site bookmarks? I'm sorry, I just don't understand what it offers, apart from having the search window in the menu bar.
In terms of Sherlock, it is infinitely faster, both in terms of starting the search, and in terms of actually performing it. It's always open, always available, just a click or hot key press away. It also allows the user to search sites that Sherlock does not, and allows people to add in sites they want to search easily.

In terms of the Google field in Safari, first, obviously, that only searches Google, whereas iSeek has dozens of search sites built in, and people can add their own, as well as share them easily. It also is more convenient -- you don't have to switch your web browser in to use it.

It is essentially a search frontend tool. Like any such thing, a major part of the value of it is how easy and convenient it is to use. iSeek has that nailed, give it a shot when it comes out, you may be surprised.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 12, 2003, 08:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
iSeek looks great. I have Searchling and use it all the time. How much will you be charging for iSeek?
Yep, iSeek was written by the same person who wrote Searchling. We teamed up with him to redesign the product to make it more accessible and extensible, and I think it turned out quite well.

iSeek will be $15 -- and of course, you can download it and try it for free, to see if it is right for you.
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Spliff
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Oct 12, 2003, 08:53 PM
 
Originally posted by moki:
iSeek will be $15 -- and of course, you can download it and try it for free, to see if it is right for you.
That's a reasonable price, especially now that the Canadian dollar is finally rising against the US dollar (after 10 years of near worthlessness).

Given how much I use Searchling, I'll definitely be buying iSeek.
     
Spliff
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Oct 12, 2003, 08:58 PM
 
One of the things I loved about Searchling was how the search window would appear (after pressing a hotkey) in the middle of my screen and then fade away after entering the search.

Does iSeek retain this or can you only enter the search terms in the menu bar?
     
acollins
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Oct 13, 2003, 10:51 AM
 
Moki,

Looks great. I've been following iSeek's development for a while, and I'm excited that it's almost done.

This may be a dumb question, but it will be Panther compatible, right?

What about local searching? Such as a hard drive, or data DVD/CD, or a Local Network? Has Apple made it possible to search the ITMS as well? That would be ´┐Żber-useful.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to the release, and I'll be sending in my fee.
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 11:51 AM
 
Originally posted by acollins:
This may be a dumb question, but it will be Panther compatible, right?

What about local searching? Such as a hard drive, or data DVD/CD, or a Local Network? Has Apple made it possible to search the ITMS as well? That would be ´┐Żber-useful.
Yes, iSeek can search the ITMS. As for local searching that is one of two features we wanted for 1.0 that didn't make the cut. Need something for 1.1, though, right?

And yes, iSeek works fine with Panther.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 11:53 AM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
One of the things I loved about Searchling was how the search window would appear (after pressing a hotkey) in the middle of my screen and then fade away after entering the search.
The actual search field stays in the menu bar, but you can activate it via a hot key, and you can navigate all of the search sites, etc. via the keyboard.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 02:08 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
I'm not trying to run this app down, but what does it offer that one can't do from Sherlock or by using the Google field in Safari combined with a set of site bookmarks? I'm sorry, I just don't understand what it offers, apart from having the search window in the menu bar.
...put another way, how is the Google search field in Safari any different than a bookmark? It isn't -- but it's damned convenient, isn't it?

iSeek takes this convenience and makes it globally available, and also allows it to work with dozens of popular and useful web sites right out of the box. People can also add their own iSeek search sites, and share them easily.
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Thor
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:07 PM
 
Hmmm... looks a lot like Another Launcher ...except with fewer features and (potentially) more expensive.
     
ambush
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:10 PM
 
iSeek is a lot better than AnotherLauncher.
     
Spliff
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:15 PM
 
Originally posted by moki:
The actual search field stays in the menu bar, but you can activate it via a hot key, and you can navigate all of the search sites, etc. via the keyboard.
Moki,

For future versions, could you please consider adding an option to place the search field anywhere on the screen when invoked via a hotkey? Adding that cool fade-out effect from Searchling wouldn't hurt, either
     
ambush
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
Moki,

For future versions, could you please consider adding an option to place the search field anywhere on the screen when invoked via a hotkey? Adding that cool fade-out effect from Searchling wouldn't hurt, either
Like this: ?



     
Thor
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:32 PM
 
iSeek is a lot better than AnotherLauncher.
Why?
     
Spliff
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Oct 13, 2003, 04:43 PM
 
Originally posted by ambush:
Like this: ?
Yes, something very much like that.

( Last edited by Spliff; Oct 13, 2003 at 04:51 PM. )
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 05:44 PM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
Moki,

For future versions, could you please consider adding an option to place the search field anywhere on the screen when invoked via a hotkey? Adding that cool fade-out effect from Searchling wouldn't hurt, either
that's something that was contentiously debated during iSeek's development. The people that wanted that feature were generally the people who had been using Searchling beforehand.

In the end, it was decided that the UI inconsistency it introduced wasn't worth having it as a feature. The hot key still functions as it does in Searchling, the only difference being that it doesn't appear where your cursor is, but in a consistent, static place in the menu bar.
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Catfish_Man
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Oct 13, 2003, 06:27 PM
 
Originally posted by moki:
Yep, iSeek was written by the same person who wrote Searchling. We teamed up with him to redesign the product to make it more accessible and extensible, and I think it turned out quite well.

iSeek will be $15 -- and of course, you can download it and try it for free, to see if it is right for you.
I'll be interested in seeing the local search. My friend and I got tired of how slow the OSX search was, so we're in the process of writing our own right now, and I'm quite interested in how other people are doing it as well. Basically the idea behind ours is to make something similar to locate, with a daemon that updates the database as the filesystem changes (we're probably going to use kqueue/kevent in 10.3 to do this, but it's giving us a lot of trouble).
     
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Oct 13, 2003, 07:08 PM
 
Originally posted by moki:
The hot key still functions as it does in Searchling, the only difference being that it doesn't appear where your cursor is, but in a consistent, static place in the menu bar.
Andrew,

I'm not sure exactly what part of having a text field spontaneously appear and disappear from the already overcrowded menu bar is "consistent" UI. Perhaps you should point me at the Human Interface Guidelines you're using, they seem to be even less sane than Apple's.
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 09:42 PM
 
Originally posted by Angus_D:
I'm not sure exactly what part of having a text field spontaneously appear and disappear from the already overcrowded menu bar is "consistent" UI. Perhaps you should point me at the Human Interface Guidelines you're using, they seem to be even less sane than Apple's.
It doesn't appear/disappear, it merely gains/relinquishes focus... try it before ya bash it, the UI is quite nice.
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moki  (op)
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Oct 13, 2003, 09:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Catfish_Man:
I'll be interested in seeing the local search. My friend and I got tired of how slow the OSX search was, so we're in the process of writing our own right now, and I'm quite interested in how other people are doing it as well. Basically the idea behind ours is to make something similar to locate, with a daemon that updates the database as the filesystem changes (we're probably going to use kqueue/kevent in 10.3 to do this, but it's giving us a lot of trouble).
that's exactly what we were working on for iSeek, but decided to wait until a later version to implement it. Gotta have a cutoff somewhere, or it'll never ship...
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ambush
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Oct 13, 2003, 10:23 PM
 
I don't know why one would feel the need to use iseek for local searches.

Apple's 10.3 search is pretty darn fast, even on my ibook.

not to mention it would probably require a kext to track fs changes.. kext means os9, os9 means bugs
     
Catfish_Man
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Oct 13, 2003, 10:34 PM
 
Originally posted by ambush:
I don't know why one would feel the need to use iseek for local searches.

Apple's 10.3 search is pretty darn fast, even on my ibook.

not to mention it would probably require a kext to track fs changes.. kext means os9, os9 means bugs
Actually, no, it doesn't need a kext on 10.3 (we got that much working, scaling it to the whole drive is what's giving us trouble). Kqueue and kevent allow you to recieve kernel notifications when various event happen (including file modifications). The trick is that it seems that it can only track one file per kqueue or some such thing (I'm not the guy who wrote the test app for this, so I'm a little foggy on it), and each kqueue requires a vnode (iirc), and the max # of vnodes on my system is just over 9,000. What we're planning on doing is increasing that number, but in theory that can lead to some performance changes with the VM system, so we're a little worried about that. Ideally there'd be a better way of tracking changes (a kext perhaps, or reading the journal file on journaled disks, or some other API we missed in our research).

As for fast, have you ever used Locate? Now that's *fast*.
     
ambush
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Oct 13, 2003, 10:39 PM
 
Yes, well except locate has to update its DB every week.

and you might not be able to find files you recently created.
     
Catfish_Man
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Oct 13, 2003, 10:40 PM
 
Originally posted by ambush:
Yes, well except locate has to update its DB every week.

and you might not be able to find files you recently created.
Which is why tracking filesystem changes is so important.
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 14, 2003, 12:35 AM
 
Originally posted by ambush:
not to mention it would probably require a kext to track fs changes.. kext means os9, os9 means bugs
It wouldn't necessarily require a kext... and btw, if a 'kext' means OS 9, we're all in big trouble. Type this into Terminal:

ls -al /system/library/extensions

On my machine, which has no third party 'kext's other than our own "AmbrosiaAudioSupport" (which is kid-tested and dolphin-safe), I have a total of 180 'kext's

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moki  (op)
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Oct 14, 2003, 01:00 AM
 
Originally posted by Angus_D:
I'm not sure exactly what part of having a text field spontaneously appear and disappear from the already overcrowded menu bar is "consistent" UI. Perhaps you should point me at the Human Interface Guidelines you're using, they seem to be even less sane than Apple's.
Here are two movies that demonstrate how iSeek can be used via the keyboard.

The first video shows how hitting the iSeek Hot Key gives the iSeek search field focus, so you can type in it to search for something:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/news/upcom...otkeyfocus.mov (39K)

The second video is the same as the first one, except that iSeek is set to be condensed into a menu bar icon except when it is in use. It's expanded when you hit the hot key (or choose a search site to search), and automatically contracts afterwards:

http://www.ambrosiasw.com/news/upcom...otkeyfocus.mov (48K)

In both movies, I'm just using the arrow keys to flip between the search sites (hot keys are available for each site, too, if you want).
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moki  (op)
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Oct 14, 2003, 09:57 PM
 
Originally posted by phillryu:
To tell you the truth Moki, this is one case of an Ambrosia product where I don't see the big deal. Why is it worth 15 bucks? All it does basically is save you the step of going to a website to type in the search box.
Yeah, I can understand that -- it's one of those things that until you actually try iSeek, it doesn't quite gel.

Let's put it this way, the Google search field in Safari is a bit superfluous, is it not? It's just as easy to click on a bookmark and enter your search, right? Well, no, as it turns out, the Google search field is quite useful in Safari.

The same applies to iSeek, only it is even more convenient, because it is always available, and searches dozens of sites, not just Google (and you can add as many sites as you like, and share them easily with people).
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phillryu
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Oct 14, 2003, 10:15 PM
 
Heheh might as well say BUMP!

Eh, I guess this doesn't apply to me, since I usually just type in google. (I use it for image search as much as regular, and the google bar can't be used for images.) Nice thing about google is that unlike some other sites, it's incredibly fast and light weight, so the difference in speed is negligable. Maybe 2 seconds lost. But that's just me

Searching things like mac os x hints and rottentomatoes is more where this app might shine, as well as chercher, but in these cases, the sites are usually slower and more bloated because of news. I usually like to check out the front of rottentomatoes to check the box office and tomatoe ratings of the newer movies anyway. But again, that's just me, so good luck on your sales, and I'm out of here!

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moki  (op)
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Oct 14, 2003, 10:21 PM
 
Originally posted by phillryu:
Heheh might as well say BUMP!
Nah, just seemed more appropriate to discuss iSeek in here, no?

Eh, I guess this doesn't apply to me, since I usually just type in google. (I use it for image search as much as regular, and the google bar can't be used for images.) Nice thing about google is that unlike some other sites, it's incredibly fast and light weight, so the difference in speed is negligable. Maybe 2 seconds lost. But that's just me
Well, on that we agree -- Google absolutely rocks.
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Spliff
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Oct 17, 2003, 04:23 PM
 
Moki,

I just downloaded and installed iSeek. I love all the search engine choices, but damnit, the decision not to allow a separate floating search pane (like Searchling) strikes me as a mistake.

My 15" monitor's resolution is only 1024x768, and the iSeek search window erases an applications menu when active. It's aesthetically-annoying. Sure, when I'm done with the search, the search pane shrinks back down, but I don't like the way iSeek's search pane pollutes the menu space of an application's menus.

If I didn't already have so many menu items, this wouldn't be a problem. But the menu bar has become the OS X equivalent of the control strip from OS 8/9. There have been many excellent and useful menu items released for OS X, so it's not hard for it to get crowded, especially if you use the network monitoring feature of Menu Meters.

If I had a larger monitor, iSeek would be awesome for me. I love the weblinks database you have set up for sharing search sites.

iSeek Help does a pretty good job of explaining how to add your own search urls to iSeek, but it may need to be expanded because some site's search engines are tricky.
( Last edited by Spliff; Oct 17, 2003 at 05:38 PM. )
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 17, 2003, 05:59 PM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
Moki,

I just downloaded and installed iSeek. I love all the search engine choices, but damnit, the decision not to allow a separate floating search pane (like Searchling) strikes me as a mistake.
Go to iSeek->Preferences, and uncheck the checkbox labeled Always display search field ...and I think you'll be happy
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Spliff
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Oct 17, 2003, 06:08 PM
 
Originally posted by moki:
Go to iSeek->Preferences, and uncheck the checkbox labeled Always display search field ...and I think you'll be happy
I already did that, but the search pane still pollutes application menus when I hit the hotkey.

I'm going to play around with it and may just have to learn to live with it until I upgrade my computer.

Otherwise, I really like it. The instructions for extracting the search prefixes and suffixes from a website are very helpful, although I can't get the search for SciTechDaily Review (http://scitechdaily.com/) to work in iSeek.

Also, I submitted a site (Guardian Unlimited) at the iSeek weblinks page and it screamed at me to stop "flooding!" That was the first link I submitted.
     
iOliverC
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Oct 17, 2003, 06:13 PM
 
Just a few quick things.

Im an interface fiend and have a thing where i wont buy an app that doesn't keep to atleast Interface Builders guides.

iSeek in some cases doesnt and I have some suggestions (which probably arent the best but I think they look cleaner).

iSeek preference pane:

Notice the button in the bottom left corner, it should be big like the ones opposite, it should also be the right height above the bottom.

My suggestion:
     
moki  (op)
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Oct 17, 2003, 06:29 PM
 
BTW, some other cool features iSeek has that may not be as obvious:

-- Spell checking in the iSeek search field (can actually be quite handy also as a scratchpad to get the proper spelling for something)

-- Auto-complete in the search field, so you don't have to retype your common search requests

-- The ability to encode the URL in any encoding system, so that iSeek works great for Japanese, Chinese, or any language for that matter (and is localized for Japanese out of the box)

-- You can share iSeek search sites you create by simply copying the iSeek URL (from Preferences->Search Sites) and giving it to someone who has iSeek, via IM, web board, or email. All they have to do to add the search site is click on it -- no messy exchanging of files

The latter feature should make it incredibly easy for iSeek search sites to promiscuously spread
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moki  (op)
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Oct 17, 2003, 06:30 PM
 
Well, since people seem to want to post here instead of the release thread I posted, I guess I should put this here too

.....

Rochester, NY -- October 17, 2003 -- Knowledge may be power, but in today's information-saturated world, finding the knowledge you seek is both challenging and vital. Today Ambrosia Software, Inc. announced the release of iSeek, a searching tool that gives you the power to sift through the Internet effortlessly, like grains of sand cascading through your fingertips.



Look up a word definition in the dictionary, or a synonym in the thesaurus, or even famous quotes that reference the word. Search for information on Google, in popular news sites such as the BBC News, The Economist, MacNN.com, or even search for software on MacUpdate.com or VersionTracker.com



iSeek is an indispensable tool that allows you to instantly search for anything on the Internet, no matter what program you're running at the time. iSeek puts a familiar search field in your menu bar, always at your beck and call, needing just a click or keystroke to start your search. No lengthy startup times, no cumbersome interface to navigate, just streamlined Aqua goodness.

Check it out here:

http://www.AmbrosiaSW.com/utilities/iseek/
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moki  (op)
Ambrosia - el Presidente
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Rochester, NY
Status: Offline
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Oct 17, 2003, 07:24 PM
 
For instance, let's say someone made a nice search site for MTV, they could just do this:

Hey, check out this new iSeek search site for MTV! and if you're running iSeek, all you have to do is click on that URL and it's added for you. No fuss, no muss.

The same thing can be done via email or IM, too.
Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.
     
   
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