Jump to content
jackbrannen

Fuzzy matching doesn’t work (?) as expected

Recommended Posts

I have fuzzy matching turned on for my files, but I’m having trouble getting it to work as I want. Not sure if the problem is me or Alfred.

 

I would like ‘pc’ to return as its first result my “Production Calendar” file.

 

Right now, that file is the first result for the following searches:

  • p
  • p c
  • pr

etc.

 

However, when I type “pc,” the file doesn’t show up at all. Shoudn’t fuzzy matching cover this?

 

Thanks!

Edited by jackbrannen

Share this post


Link to post

Fuzzy matching only applies to applications and preferences, files do word based matching but not fuzzy otherwise the results become overwhelming and therefore inaccurate.

 

If you are launching Production Calendar quite a bit and would like 'pc' to match, you could add a Spotlight Comment, which Alfred also matches against :)

 

Cheers,

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post

Hi again Andrew,

 

This is randomly failing for me. Spotlight comments are still intact, but suddenly Alfred won't be able to find the folder with them. It can find the folder, just not with those comments.

 

Screenshot: http://take.ms/y1cty

 

 

Try typing 'reload' into Alfred to refresh the cache. If that doesn't work, try finding the file first by name, then seeing if the spotlight comment works after that.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post

Try typing 'reload' into Alfred to refresh the cache. If that doesn't work, try finding the file first by name, then seeing if the spotlight comment works after that.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

 

Hi Andrew,

 

This is happening again for me, and reloading the cache is not fixing it.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, just wanted to check in again about my question above.

 

I am also having problems with Alfred randomly escalating uncommon search results over others when I use common shortcuts.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, just wanted to check in again about my question above.

 

I am also having problems with Alfred randomly escalating uncommon search results over others when I use common shortcuts.

 

 

Is latching working as expected? I.e. use the exact typed keyword and select the result you want two or three times, that should then latch to that combo.

Share this post


Link to post

Is latching working as expected? I.e. use the exact typed keyword and select the result you want two or three times, that should then latch to that combo.

 

 

Latching appears to be working.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Andrew, just to be clear, my original problem is not resolved. Alfred continues to forget top results.

 

 

Hi Jack,

 

Two things that come to mind when looking at the issue you're having:

 

1. Are the "uncommon" files regularly accessed by Finder or via other apps, causing their "last modified" date to be updated? This could cause Alfred to weigh some files higher than you might expect.

 

2. If the knowledge feels like it's being periodically cleared, are you running any cleaners/organisers that could be causing your knowledge files to be deleted? Can you identify a frequency or situation where this happens (e.g. when you restart your Mac, every week, every month?)

 

Cheers,

Vero

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Vero

 

1. Are the "uncommon" files regularly accessed by Finder or via other apps, causing their "last modified" date to be updated? This could cause Alfred to weigh some files higher than you might expect.

 

2. If the knowledge feels like it's being periodically cleared, are you running any cleaners/organisers that could be causing your knowledge files to be deleted? Can you identify a frequency or situation where this happens (e.g. when you restart your Mac, every week, every month?)

 

1. I don't think so, but let's suppose that they are. Is Alfred supposed to weight them ABOVE a direct match to spotlight comments?

 

2. I'm not running any cleaners or organizers.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

 

Any new thoughts here? I'm frustrated that this isn't working.

 

Just now I typed "dd" which is supposed to latch to my Dropbox Documents folder. It has been doing this for months with no trouble. Then today, all of a sudden, the top result was "DVD Player," which shouldn't be anywhere NEAR the top, as I never open it.

 

What's more, the "Dropbox Documents" result is missing entirely.

Edited by jackbrannen

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

 

Any new thoughts here? I'm frustrated that this isn't working.

 

Just now I typed "dd" which is supposed to latch to my Dropbox Documents folder. It has been doing this for months with no trouble. Then today, all of a sudden, the top result was "DVD Player," which shouldn't be anywhere NEAR the top, as I never open it.

 

What's more, the "Dropbox Documents" result is missing entirely.

 

 

Out of interest, do you have the "Features > File Search > Advanced > Touch folders after opening them" option ticked? If not, OS X may have been gradually de-ranking these folders over time such that they are no longer seen as relevant when Alfred requests for search results matching.

 

If this is unticked, tick it and then find the folder using its original name. Once you've opened it (and Alfred has fettled with it), OS X should see this as relevant for Alfred again.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post

Out of interest, do you have the "Features > File Search > Advanced > Touch folders after opening them" option ticked? If not, OS X may have been gradually de-ranking these folders over time such that they are no longer seen as relevant when Alfred requests for search results matching.

 

If this is unticked, tick it and then find the folder using its original name. Once you've opened it (and Alfred has fettled with it), OS X should see this as relevant for Alfred again.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

 

 

Hi Andrew,

 

Thank you. Yes, it is ticked.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Andrew,

 

Thank you. Yes, it is ticked.

 

 

Hi Jack,

 

As per Andrew's post on 23rd June, could you download the Metadata tool and drag in one of your problem folders so we can take a look at the metadata for it?

 

Also, when Alfred can't find it based on the Spotlight comment, could you check whether Spotlight itself is able to find the folder using the same spotlight comment?

 

All of the replies we've provided in the thread above is pretty much exhausting the suggestions we can make; Alfred is essentially at the mercy if the metadata provided to him by OS X, so if you find that results are periodically not returned, the culprit is the metadata index. There are numerous things that could cause issues with metadata that are outside of Alfred's control. 

 

If the results ARE available via the metadata and it's just a case of presenting the results you want at the top of your search, one of the easiest ways to do this is to create a file filter for the exact file type(s) you want to search. You can search specifically for Spotlight comments, and you can set a keyword as simple as a single character (e.g. using the \ or ! character).

 

You can find out more about creating file filters here: 

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/workflows/inputs/file-filter/#workflow

 

Cheers,

Vero

Share this post


Link to post

 

Hi Jack,

 

As per Andrew's post on 23rd June, could you download the Metadata tool and drag in one of your problem folders so we can take a look at the metadata for it?

 

Also, when Alfred can't find it based on the Spotlight comment, could you check whether Spotlight itself is able to find the folder using the same spotlight comment?

 

All of the replies we've provided in the thread above is pretty much exhausting the suggestions we can make; Alfred is essentially at the mercy if the metadata provided to him by OS X, so if you find that results are periodically not returned, the culprit is the metadata index. There are numerous things that could cause issues with metadata that are outside of Alfred's control. 

 

If the results ARE available via the metadata and it's just a case of presenting the results you want at the top of your search, one of the easiest ways to do this is to create a file filter for the exact file type(s) you want to search. You can search specifically for Spotlight comments, and you can set a keyword as simple as a single character (e.g. using the \ or ! character).

 

You can find out more about creating file filters here: 

https://www.alfredapp.com/help/workflows/inputs/file-filter/#workflow

 

Cheers,

Vero

 

 

Hi Vero,

 

Thank you.

 

It looks like Spotlight is also having trouble finding the files. So maybe this isn't something we can fix.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi guys,

 

Today Alfred suddenly lost the ability to find my "Design Inspiration" folder with the Spotlight comment "di" attached to it. I ran the folder through the Alfred Metadata tool:

 

/Users/jack/Dropbox (Personal)/Design Inspiration

 
Internal File Metadata
======================
 
 Display Name: Design Inspiration
    Alt Names: 
    File Type: public.folder
     Comments: di
     Keywords: 
    Last Used: 2016-08-29 20:45:12 +0000
 
Raw mdls File Metadata
======================
 
_kMDItemOwnerUserID            = 501
kMDItemContentCreationDate     = 2014-06-04 18:05:01 +0000
kMDItemContentModificationDate = 2016-08-29 20:45:12 +0000
kMDItemContentType             = "public.folder"
kMDItemContentTypeTree         = (
    "public.folder",
    "public.directory",
    "public.item"
)
kMDItemDateAdded               = 2014-06-06 01:40:25 +0000
kMDItemDisplayName             = "Design Inspiration"
kMDItemFinderComment           = "di"
kMDItemFSContentChangeDate     = 2016-08-29 20:45:12 +0000
kMDItemFSCreationDate          = 2014-06-04 18:05:01 +0000
kMDItemFSCreatorCode           = ""
kMDItemFSFinderFlags           = 1034
kMDItemFSHasCustomIcon         = (null)
kMDItemFSInvisible             = 0
kMDItemFSIsExtensionHidden     = 0
kMDItemFSIsStationery          = 1
kMDItemFSLabel                 = 5
kMDItemFSName                  = "Design Inspiration"
kMDItemFSNodeCount             = 2216
kMDItemFSOwnerGroupID          = 20
kMDItemFSOwnerUserID           = 501
kMDItemFSSize                  = (null)
kMDItemFSTypeCode              = ""
kMDItemKind                    = "Folder"
kMDItemLastUsedDate            = 2016-08-29 20:45:12 +0000
kMDItemUseCount                = 8
kMDItemUsedDates               = (
    "2016-08-22 04:00:00 +0000",
    "2016-08-23 04:00:00 +0000",
    "2016-08-26 04:00:00 +0000",
    "2016-08-29 04:00:00 +0000"
)
kMDItemUserTags                = (
    Inspiration,
    DGN
)
 

 

 
Looks to me like the Spotlight comments are in there, intact. So is this a problem we can solve?
 
Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

 

Looks to me like the Spotlight comments are in there, intact. So is this a problem we can solve?
 
Thanks!

 

 

 

I'm wondering, is it possible that your Dropbox folder is a symlink to a different location? Have you tried adding the Dropbox (Personal) folder directly to Alfred's Features > Default Results > Search Scope?

 

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post

I have to be honest, there isn't much else I can do to help you here. There are no constants for me to focus on to find a robust solution - i.e. it sometimes works in Alfred, sometimes doesn't work in Spotlight. The only thing which is clear is that the underlying metadata index in OS X which Alfred relies on is working intermittently - This is outside of Alfred's control.

 

If there are certain folders which you call often which you want to open with abbreviations, it might just be best to create a workflow with a keyword connected to an open file, with the keyword fixed to e.g. di and the open file as "Design Inspiration". This way, the results will always match regardless of whether the Mac's metadata is broken or not.

 

Cheers,

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...