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Any way to get persistent latching?


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I want to map search terms to applications, so if I open Alfred and type `sa` I want it to open safari each and every time, not only if I've recently used `sa` to launch safari. In the preferences this is called "Top Result Keyword Latching". Is there a way I can make this permanent?

 

My issue is that I have a laptop I don't use very often, and when I return to it, these matches have been lost. I use alfred to switch applications instead of cmd-tab, and so it breaks my keyboard based workflow if I can't reliably know which shortcut to type to launch a specific application.

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And is there a timer for this latching? I find that on my often-used laptop, Alfred forgets my search terms for some consistently used items. For example I use deanishe's convert workflow always typing "co" then finding that and selecting it so I'm hoping "co" is now latched to convert, but if I haven't used it for a couple of weeks then it seems to have lost its latch and typing "co" the workflow is way down my search results again?

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Alfred's rolling knowledge lasts around a month, including any latching. If you use any items in Alfred's results during this time, the latching and weighting is refreshed, so that will last out a further month.

 

Here is a document I wrote to help better understand how Alfred ranks and latches results:

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/kb/understanding-result-ordering/

 

Even when Alfred's internal knowledge expires, he still uses underlying heuristics to do basic ordering (falling back to using a similar method to how Spotlight operates), so you should always get a somewhat satisfying result, even if Alfred hasn't built knowledge on your usage.

 

If there are more specific cases where latching isn't working outside of this one month window, let me know.

 

Note: for latching to work effectively for workflow filter's placeholders (e.g. list filters, script filters), they need to be set to argument optional or argument required.

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@Andrew thanks for the explanation and the link to the detailed article on result ordering.

 

Is there any way to ensure that latching persists indefinitely? Or put differently, is there any way to ensure that `sa` always has Safari as the first result no matter when the last time it was used?

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I do understand why Alfred wants a dynamic window by default. But I also have cases where I really want an ability to manually set the latch override. IIRC Quicksilver used to allow you to modify the weighting values assigned to entered values (you could set this dynamically within the floating window, no need for prefs etc.). But something as simple as "pinning" (using a key binding) would be enough?

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It's rare that people have asked for permanent latching, and in Alfred's eyes, if something hasn't been used in a month, it's better to retire that latch so that other results can assume it more easily. Having said that, I do see that it could be of use to some people.

 

I'll add a ticket internally and have a think about it once I get through the plethora of really quite exciting things which are in the works for Alfred 5.

 

I am also going to move this to Feature Suggestions to see if there is any other interest from other users.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks so much for considering this further @Andrew and good luck with all the other exciting features in the cooking pot!

 

Latching is quite a selective term, and I suspect some people do not link the reliability over time of mapping of terms to items with the concept of latching. I think "pinning" is a more general and potentially easier word to employ if this feature were to be refined in the future.

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