I’m a Mac guy. That means I pay attention to what Apple does, because it pretty much defines my entire ecology. Yesterday Apple launched Tiger, a new update to its system software. While I realize this does not impact many readers of Searchblog, it’s still a big deal, because Tiger has a search feature called Spotlight which, as far as I can tell, is pretty damn cool. Do I have it yet? No. Will I get it? Yup. Stay tuned for more reports. Meanwhile, the strategic importance of search to Apple is summed up in this ComputerWorld piece: “Mac OS X Tiger: All roads lead to Spotlight”. From the piece:
“We think that people using Mac OS X Tiger will be in the Spotlight menu all the time,” said Brian Croll, Apple’s senior director of Software Product Marketing. “You can go there to find documents, pictures, applications or anything else you want. All roads lead to Spotlight.”
Spotlight and its ability to create and automatically update “Smart Folders” in the Finder will help users find and organize files on their hard drives. This has become more of a problem in recent years because “hard drives are so big we never throw anything away,” said Chris Bourdon, Apple’s product manager for Mac OS X.
4 thoughts on “Spotlight on Tiger”
Actually there is available for Windows a new application that will do similar. http://www.winextra.com/Default.aspx?tabid=89 – it’s called Socrates
It’s worth pointing out that Spotlight is in many ways a continuation/extension of the database-like properties that were built into BeOS more than a decade ago. It was difficult at the time to explain to non-BeOS users just how profoundly those abilities changed the way people went about their daily work, but I think Apple has the media weight to make the case. The chief developers of the Be File System and The Tracker (BeOS’ file manager) are now chief developers for HFS+ and The Finder, so I see Spotlight as an evolution of these aspects of BeOS. It will be wonderful to be using them again.
Some of my old Byte columns talked about the flexibility of having a database under everyday applications:
Actually, there have been a number of small apps that do very similar work. I haven’t used Spotlight, but I’m figuring from the reviews and screen shots.
So, in one way, Apple is “taking away” from their developers again. But, none of the apps (not the ones that I’ve used) are anything like the reported performance of Spotlight.
And I’m surprised that you, John, don’t recognize this software. Or am I mistaken? Is this the *first* type in directory of files? And I’m sure I had a text index of a similar nature at one time.
yes, you are right