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Confused with results..

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When I launch Alfred and type the letters ma, the first result is the App Store. Why is that if there is no letter M in App Store?

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Mac App Store. MAS is a common abbreviation for it.

 

Just “App Store” w/o context refers to the original one for iOS.

 

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@woowoo To be more precise, this is what Apple includes in the metadata keywords for the App Store: 

 

kMDItemKeywords                = "Mac App Store, Software Update"

 

Often when apps show up for characters you don't expect, you'll find in the metadata additional keywords added by the app's creator, either including old names or nicknames.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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@Vero By chance, do you know of a tool that people can use to delete or modify this metadata?

 

I have an app where the developer put a bunch of garbage in the kMDItemKeywords field (which shows up (1) in the Alfred Metadata Tool as kMDItemKeywords and (2) in Finder's Info panel under More Info: Keywords). As a result of these extraneous keywords, Alfred often finds this app when it shouldn't - which drives me crazy. 

 

I tried using Terminal's xattr command to remove the app's keywords, but I couldn't get it to work with either of the following: 

  • xattr -d kMDItemKeywords /FILEPATH/APPLICATION.app
  • xattr -d com.apple.metadata:kMDItemKeywords /FILEPATH/APPLICATION.app

Terminal just indicates that there is "no such xattr ...".

 

I'm not partial to using Terminal, or the xattr command, for that matter. I'd be happy to purchase an app that has an interface that makes this sort of thing easy - i.e., if @Vero or anyone knows of one?

 

As always, thanks for your help!

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On 2/6/2019 at 10:57 PM, Jasondm007 said:

I have an app where the developer put a bunch of garbage in the kMDItemKeywords field

 

When it comes to application bundles, I think that stuff is actually in the app's Info.plist. The metadata index gets a lot of data from filetype-specific importers, not extended attributes.

 

If it's a signed app, I'm not sure you can edit its Info.plist without invalidating the signature, either…

 

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@deanishe Thanks for the heads up!

 

As always, you were correct. I took a look at the info.plist file in the application's contents folder, and these bloody keywords are all listed as a string there. Instead of being called kMDItemKeywords - as indicated above - however, they are located under a heading/key called MDItemKeywords. 

 

If I delete the tag for the key and string from this file, what are the chances that Tim Cook kicks me in the shin and takes my laptop? In all seriousness, I don't want to invalidate the app's signature, but I can't understand why this developer put all this garbage here. Thanks!

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@Jasondm007 We're keeping an eye on this, as we've seen a couple of apps do this recently. It doesn't appear to be a common practice, but I think some over-keen app creators treat it like SEO keyword cramming, and put many more terms than they should in that metadata.

 

As a simple way of dealing with this, you could ignore the app by dragging it to Spotlight's Privacy tab, then press "reload" into Alfred to remove it from results.

 

You can then create a mini-workflow connecting a keyword to an "Open Apps/Files" object where you drag the app, so that you include it in your results for just the term(s) you want it to show up for.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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Thanks for the advice @Vero!! It reminded me of the old SEO garbage in websites, too. 

 

One quick follow up question, when you said to "reload" it into Alfred after adding it to Spotlight's privacy tab, were you referring to the "Clear Application Cache" or "Rebuild MacOC Metadata" options? Or is this something different?

 

Out of curiosity, instead of adding the application to Spotlight's privacy tab, could you also remove it from Alfred's results by adding the following text to its comments: "alfred:ignore"? Or does Alfred not look at this information when dealing with apps?

 

Thanks again for all of your help!!

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@Jasondm007 The "reload" command typed into Alfred simply forces a refresh of the application cache Alfred holds. Alfred doesn't cache most result types, but keeps a cache of your apps for extra speedy results. When you make a change like the one I suggested, you can force the cache to refresh to avoid expired results lingering around until another reload.

 

While the Spotlight Comment is an alternative way to do it, some native apps don't allow comments to be added easily, so I tend to recommend the most straightforward and broadly applicable solution. :) Nothing's stopping you from experimenting on your own Mac.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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