Monthly Archives: June 2012

Freshly-fried Flying Catfish

After quite some time of abandonment of Catfish there’s finally a maintainer. Sean Davis decided to take over the project and started by porting to GTK+3 and adding quite a few nice features (see below).
This is good news for some distributions that still ship Catfish or even use it as default search tool (e.g. Xubuntu).

catfish slim

All in all, the focus of development has been to make Catfish easier to use, power-users can use the command-line. For fetching results quickly, “locate” (which uses a database) has been made the default, but other search engines are in use incrementally. This means that the user doesn’t have to worry about changing/ choosing search-engines anymore and getting different result-sets. In this sense Catfish has become much more like what people are used to nowadays from the web, also in terms of the User Interface.

catfish advanced mode

Features / under the hood:
* Default search engine is now “locate” (“find” can be used as fallback if “locate” doesn’t retrieve the desired file/s)
* Search suggestions as you type (using locate and Zeitgeist, if installed)
* Update the search-index of the locate-database
* Live result-filtering by date and mimetype
* Fulltext search (search file-content)
* Multiple search terms are not treated like a single string anymore (instead connected by “AND”, e.g. “cat fish” searches for files that contain “cat” and “fish”, not just “cat fish”)
* Cleaner user interface

The project is now hosted on Launchpad in bzr:

https://launchpad.net/catfish-search
bzr branch lp:catfish-search

Hacking your search engine

One of the main reasons why I use DuckDuckGo is the instant answers it serves. Without having to do anything I get my wiki, my code questions, my lyrics and whatever else suggested. Lucky enough the company behind the search engine implements those, right?

Wrong. Everyone can write plugins for DuckDuckGo now. It is as hackable as Midori is, except it’s Perl. There’s a tutorial at http://duckduckhack.com/. There are lots of proposed ideas already. s/The sky/Free time/g is the limit!