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improved search
Settings Manager


Description Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2014-02-16 16:25:13 CET
xfce's settings manager has a few icons that lead to applications which have many various features in them, but unfortunately, searching for those particular features dont return the parent icon that the feature is held in. for example, i search for 'fonts', it will not display the appearances icon, though fonts is a tab in the appearances dialog. i'm assuming the search is reliant on xdg .desktop files, and think the keywords key can be utilized to improve the search. doing this will also help the xfce based whisker search menu found in distros like linux mint. i believe this suggestion would help not only the settings manager, but all the software that is part of xfce desktop, as well as software bundled with the xfce desktop.
Comment 1 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-02-28 21:28:11 CET
Up until now only the title and comment field of the desktop files are being used to construct the search string.

The reason seems to be that garcon (the menu library of Xfce) doesn't support keywords (yet) so you cannot even easily add this feature to the settings manager without patching garcon.
Comment 2 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-02-28 21:38:52 CET
I was mistaken - garcon does have this feature (after reading the code), but it was undocumented:
Comment 3 Git Bot editbugs 2020-02-28 22:06:51 CET
Simon Steinbeiss referenced this bugreport in commit 8f1c9f36cb79ec7ae128061cd5ab272d772cebcd

settings-manager: Improve search by including keywords (Bug #10694)

Comment 4 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-02-28 22:08:25 CET
Looking forward to your patches for adding keywords to *actually* improve the search ;)
Comment 5 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-02-29 19:03:36 CET
Created attachment 9501 
patch for xfce4-settings repo

The .desktop specification mentions a keywords key, which whisker menu already supports (bug 15047) and settings manager search presently don't.
Comment 6 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-02-29 19:19:34 CET
I'm not sure if the redundancy of certain keywords really helps the search, e.g. "default fonts;font anti-aliasing;font hinting"
Instead I'd go with nouns or single words like "fonts;anti-aliasing;hinting;" etc.
But this is more my feeling - depends on how whiskermenu handles those keywords (don't have time to test right now).

In the settings manager the case doesn't matter - does whiskermenu take those things into account? (e.g. HiDPI is probably not something everyone spells correctly at the first try)
Comment 7 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-01 01:15:19 CET
I've mailed Graeme to see how the search in whisker is intending to work as it doesn't seem to work presently with Keywords or across the various searchable keys and hopefully with his answer we'll get to know if the redundancy is necessary or not.

Tried your patch and it brings up things in the keywords key quite well, but fails when the search includes things from across the multiple searchable strings. For example 'desktop theme' resulted in no results, though 'desktop' is in the comment key and 'theme' is in the keywords key of Appearance. So ideally all three need to merged together and searched together as if it were a single string.
Comment 8 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-03-01 20:53:14 CET
Well those keyword items will never really work like natural language search and I'm a little hesitant to touch the existing search/matching algorithm (string stuff isn't much fun in C).

I'd still go with single words because just typing in "font" will leave you with one item only (at least on my system) and I wouldn't want to encourage users to try to type in multiple words anyway - you can check your installed apps in /usr/share/applications or your $HOME, but almost none of mine has multiple words as one keyword...
- mate-calculator: "calculator,MATE,scientifc,arithmetic,financial,calculations"
- Firefox: "Internet;WWW;Browser;Web;Explorer"

Please don't forget that these keywords will also have to be translated.
Comment 9 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-01 21:40:32 CET
Created attachment 9507 
Keywords key with single word keywords

For me, the only ones with two word keywords were simple screen recorder and the libreoffice apps
- simplescreenrecorder: "screen recorder;screencast;live streaming;"
- libreoffice-writer: "Keywords=Text;Letter;Fax;Document;OpenDocument Text;Microsoft Word;Microsoft Works;Lotus WordPro;OpenOffice Writer;CV;odt;doc;docx;rtf;"

So i guess we can just to the single word keywords and see how well it works and adjust accordingly.
Comment 10 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-03-01 23:05:29 CET
Sorry to paddle back half a notch after reading that patch. So I think we're on the right track, but some of the words which don't make much sense without each other should probably still be *one* keyword (like "open;with;" or "double;click;").

Thanks for your effort!
Comment 11 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-02 00:28:11 CET
Created attachment 9508 
minor tweaks
Comment 12 Git Bot editbugs 2020-03-02 23:22:51 CET
Yousuf Philips referenced this bugreport in commit 477094089d35d8619d074feb8cf87fa8c52a0897

Add keywords to .desktop files (Bug #10694)

Comment 13 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 01:17:47 CET
Created attachment 9513 
patch for xfdesktop
Comment 14 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 01:43:01 CET
Created attachment 9514 
patch for xfce4-session
Comment 15 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 02:18:57 CET
Created attachment 9515 
patch for xfce4-power-manager
Comment 16 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 02:34:44 CET
Created attachment 9516 
patch for xfce4-panel
Comment 17 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 03:13:16 CET
Created attachment 9517 
patch for missing semicolon in xfce4-settings
Comment 18 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 14:29:57 CET
Created attachment 9520 
patch for xfce4-appfinder
Comment 19 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 18:32:03 CET
Created attachment 9526 
patch for xfwm
Comment 20 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-03-03 19:42:31 CET
Created attachment 9531 
patch for thunar
Comment 21 Git Bot editbugs 2020-04-01 00:20:29 CEST
Simon Steinbeiss referenced this bugreport in commit 03e2e126003320f35f5bf3b8920a2cde949ff015

settings: Add keywords for discoverability (Bug #10694)

Comment 22 Git Bot editbugs 2020-04-01 00:24:42 CEST
Simon Steinbeiss referenced this bugreport in commit 8b9a2c51d21f66f495c25a4fedd9e08ec8c0e409

settings: Add keywords for discoverability (Bug #10694)

Comment 23 Git Bot editbugs 2020-04-01 00:29:14 CEST
Simon Steinbeiss referenced this bugreport in commit a39e549a1b2e52cbf96dcbc30d621779e13a2720

settings: Add keywords for discoverability (Bug #10694)

Comment 24 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-04-01 00:31:10 CEST
So I reviewed your patches, fixed some mistakes and reduced the amount of keywords to a meaningful minimum (things like "size", "width" etc seemed far too generic and things like "display" seemed misleading for the power manager).

I pushed those that belong to components I feel responsible for but I would ask you to create individual reports for the remaining patches so that the individual maintainers of those components see them and can review them.

Consequently I'm closing this report. Thanks!
Comment 25 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-04-01 05:50:50 CEST
(In reply to Jay Philips from comment #17)
> Created attachment 9517 
> patch for missing semicolon in xfce4-settings

Please send this patch in.
Comment 26 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-04-01 07:49:53 CEST
That's exactly why one bugreport should always only concern itself with one component - it becomes easy to overlook stuff :)

Anyway, I fixed the missing semicolons and also marked them as translateable.
Comment 27 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-04-01 07:52:09 CEST
Thanks. I've filed bug reports for the others. :D
Comment 28 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-04-11 18:24:13 CEST
Simon can you confirm that all of the patches were also pushed into 4.14.
Comment 29 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-04-12 01:49:45 CEST
No. I generally try to limit the backporting to things that are bugfix, not features.

Features mean you have to take much more care, wait for translations etc. I'd rather focus on getting 4.16 out sooner than we did with 4.14.
Comment 30 Marcel Partap 2020-04-14 21:49:57 CEST
Beyond the welcome keywords addition, it would be great if the search would also match on names/comments in other languages (f.e. for the enabled locales) ..
Comment 31 Yousuf 'Jay' Philips 2020-04-15 17:05:31 CEST
(In reply to Marcel Partap from comment #30)
> Beyond the welcome keywords addition, it would be great if the search would
> also match on names/comments in other languages (f.e. for the enabled
> locales) ..

Don't think its a good idea to match multiple locales. What would be your argument of why its good to have this option.
Comment 32 Theo Linkspfeifer editbugs 2020-05-16 13:39:20 CEST
*** Bug 14745 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Bug #10694

Reported by:
Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
Reported on: 2014-02-16
Last modified on: 2020-05-16
Duplicates (1):
  • 14745 [minor] search settings for 'DPI' gives no result


Simon Steinbeiss
CC List:
7 users




patch for xfce4-settings repo (6.18 KB, patch)
2020-02-29 19:03 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
Keywords key with single word keywords (6.04 KB, patch)
2020-03-01 21:40 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
minor tweaks (6.05 KB, patch)
2020-03-02 00:28 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfdesktop (939 bytes, patch)
2020-03-03 01:17 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfce4-session (1.34 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 01:43 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfce4-power-manager (1.05 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 02:18 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfce4-panel (848 bytes, patch)
2020-03-03 02:34 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for missing semicolon in xfce4-settings (2.84 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 03:13 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfce4-appfinder (1.24 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 14:29 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for xfwm (2.35 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 18:32 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags
patch for thunar (1.53 KB, patch)
2020-03-03 19:42 CET , Yousuf 'Jay' Philips
no flags

Additional information