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aaronsurrain

Change in capitalization of directory name causing problems

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My Dropbox folder, now Dropbox, used to be DropBox (note the "B"). When I search files in that folder they appear. The ones that appear with the old capitalization scheme (DropBox) take me to the parent directory of Dropbox--not the file I searched. Unexpectedly, searching the same thing and selecting the same result a second time will take me to the correct place. Alfred doesn't learn from this. A later search will cause the same problem.

 

What is the least destructive way to correct the path in Alfred's index?

 

Thanks,

Aaron

-- NORMAL --

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Alfred doesn't have an index. It uses OS X's own metadata index (i.e. Spotlight).

 

This, however, may indeed be a bug with Alfred. Filepaths are case-insensitive (by default) on OS X, so Dropbox and DropBox are the same as far as the filesystem and most APIs are concerned.

 

If Alfred is treating them differently, that's quite likely a bug.

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Hi Aaron,

 

As deanishe said, Alfred doesn't have an index of its own and relies on the OS X metadata index, and has no concept of case sensitivity/insensitivity. However, it is possible that you're seeing some duplication because OS X is still storing two entries in its index.

 

Here's what I suggest...

- First, restart your Mac (which in itself may sort the index)

- Secondly, go to Alfred's Advanced preferences and rebuild your OS X metadata index. This can take a little while so let it complete.

- Finally, if you sync your settings, go to Alfred's Advanced preferences again and re-set your Dropbox sync folder to be sure the path is correct.

 

As I can see you've also started a bug thread, I'll be closing the bug thread (as it's not an Alfred bug) and keeping this thread open - so let me know how you get on :)

 

Cheers,

Vero

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-- NORMAL --

Thanks. I'll try what you suggest. The reason I thought it was a bug is because it seems like Alfred should be able to open a folder if the capitalization is off if it has no concept of case sensitivity.

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Yeah, these kinds of issues (data on disk out of sync with Alfred's results) are often due to out-of-date metadata in the index.

 

For future reference, you can re-index individual folders by dragging them to Spotlight's Privacy pane and then removing them again. It's often worth giving that a try before rebuilding the entire index because it's a hell of a lot faster.

Edited by deanishe

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I tried the 3 recommendations from Vero and they did not help. I didn't see a way to determine whether or not step 2 was completed successfully. I couldn't find a way to check the progress.

 

I just got the 2:59 post from deanishe and tried dragging the parent directory of the problem directory to Spotlight's privacy pane and that removed all results related to my problem search. I removed it and it has yet to reappear if Alfred's results.

 

I hope I don't lose all of Alfred's learning by doing this. I'm still a little bit hung up on the idea that Alfred can't open a path if the capitalization is incorrect. I'm missing how that makes sense if Alfred is case-indifferent.

 

Thanks again for your help Vero and deanishe.

-- NORMAL --
Edited by aaronsurrain

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It may still take a while for Spotlight to reindex the files if the parent directory is large.

 

Also, doing the Spotlight privacy thing is pointless if you've already started a reindexing of the system: it's just a relatively easy way to reindex a subset of your files (which is why I said "for future reference").

 

If it still isn't working when the reindexing is complete, come back and we can look at some other potential solutions.

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Something worked. Thank you.

 

I wouldn't say the privacy thing is pointless because it gave immediate feedback where reindexing the whole thing gave me none. Without feedback, I have no way of knowing if something silently killed the process.

 

I do appear to have lost history knowledge--Alfred's learning--of my usage with the reindex. When I search for "IFFB" Alfred offers results of files and folders in the IFFB folder but not the actual IFFB folder which seems weird. You'd think an exact match would be a top result--at least higher than children of an exact match. After going to the folder in finder and opening it, it now appears as a top result.

 

I do think this is a bug. If Alfred is case-agnostic, changing the capitalization of part of a path should not require a reindex and the loss of history. I'd be curious to hear the position counter to that.

 

Thanks again!

Aaron

-- NORMAL --
Edited by aaronsurrain

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Something worked. Thank you.

 

I wouldn't say the privacy thing is pointless because it gave immediate feedback where reindexing the whole thing gave me none. Without feedback, I have no way of knowing if something silently killed the process.

It does give you the feedback, but what's the point in kicking off the reindexing of one folder when the whole system is already being indexed?

Even if the indexing process is silently killed for whatever reason, OS X will immediately restart it.

 

I do appear to have lost history knowledge--Alfred's learning--of my usage with the reindex. When I search for "IFFB" Alfred offers results of files and folders in the IFFB folder but not the actual IFFB folder which seems weird. You'd think an exact match would be a top result--at least higher than children of an exact match.

Yeah, there's definitely some room for improvement there, imo. If you haven't trained Alfred to prefer a different result, exact matches really should be the top results.

 

I do think this is a bug. If Alfred is case-agnostic, changing the capitalization of part of a path should not require a reindex and the loss of history. I'd be curious to hear the position counter to that.

Alfred's history is stored in memory. It gets reset every time you restart Alfred.

 

Alfred's knowledge contains data from the Spotlight index. If you rebuild the index, that also invalidates other data based on it. Resetting the index but not Alfred's related data could cause more issues.

 

That said, if you just want to rebuild the index and not nix Alfred's data, use Spotlight's Privacy pane as described above. If you're comfortable using a shell, it's easier to do with mdutil.

Regarding the index itself, as I said in my first post, that has nothing to do with Alfred. If there's something wrong with the indexing, that's an issue to take up with Apple.

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