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Order of results


dgbeecher
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Hello.

 

I'm using Alfred v2.2.2 (432), Mac OS 10.11.3. I have been having issues with the order of results. Below are two examples, which I am putting in the same bug report with the assumption that they are closely related. 

 

1) I have my preferences set to include Bookmarks in the Default Results. When I invoke Alfred and type "n", I always want the first result to be a bookmark titled "New York Times". Most of the time Alfred remembers this. But sometimes he forgets. Usually when he forgets, I can find this bookmark by typing a bit more of its title ("new") and selecting it; I'll then invoke Alfred again and type a little less of the title ("ne") and select it again; and finally, at this point, typing "n" will usually remind Alfred that I want "New York Times" at the top of the list.

 

First: I'm not sure why this should ever be necessary. I never type "n" and then select any result other than "New York Times", so it doesn't make sense to me that Alfred should ever forget to put "New York Times" at the top of the results list.

 

Second: These past couple days I've been unable to re-teach Alfred to put this bookmark at the top of the list. I've tried to re-train Alfred as described above. As a result, "New York Times" again appears at the top when I type "new" or "ne". But when I type "n", the bookmark is nowhere to be found in the list! What's going on? (Note: some other bookmarks do appear in the list, just not the single one I want.)

 

2) The order of results is even less predictable when it comes to searching for files or folders. For example, I often want to open my "/Applications/" folder by typing "[space] a" (or "ap" or "app"). But Alfred very often puts "~/Applications/" rather than "/Applications/" at the top of the results list -- even though I never want to open my user application folder. So, if I've only ever selected the "~/Applications/" folder via Alfred by accident, and if I've very often arrowed down to the "/Applications/" folder in an attempt to teach it that that's the folder I want, then why hasn't Alfred learned by now  to show me "/Applications/" at the top of the list every time?

 

I realize that I could create custom workflows for the above cases. But there are other cases too, and it gets tedious making a workflow for every one. And why should I need to do this when, according to your website, "Alfred learns how you use your Mac and prioritises results when you type"?

 

I'd appreciate some help. Thank you.

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Alfred can only prioritise results if OS X returns them as being relevant for a search term... I suspect that 'n' sometimes doesn't return the bookmark to Alfred from OS X which means he can't put it at the top, even though Alfred's internal knowledge says "If this bookmark is in the results, sort it to the top". First thing I'd try is up the number of matches returned from OS X into Alfred in the Features > File Search results from 20 to 40.

 

It's also worth mentioning that when opening these files, the 'last used' metadata should be updated in OS X which means it SHOULD be an underlying relevant match and SHOULD be returned to Alfred for subsequent sorting. If this isn't happening, there may be and underlying metadata issue on your Mac (corruption / permissions issues). To address this, I would use the rebuild index shortcut in Alfred's Advanced prefs. Be sure to tick the option to delete the .Spotlight-V100 folder as this will force a full low level reindex (this can take some time).

 

After reindexing, make sure the "Touch folders after opening them" option is checked in Alfred's Advanced prefs, and this should fix issue no.2.

 

Let me know how you get on!

 

Cheers,

Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

 

Thanks for the tips and explanations. They help me understand a little better how Alfred works.

 

I upped the File Search results to 40, and forced a full low level reindex, but "n" still did not return the bookmark I'm looking for. So then I deleted and re-saved the bookmark, and now it shows up as expected, and is back to the default for "n". That's nice! Not sure what may have gone wrong with the original bookmark.

 

Enabling "Touch folders after opening them" seems to have fixed the sorting issue of my Applications folders.

 

Thanks again, and happy 6th birthday to Alfred!

 

Devin

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