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Typing characters then <Return> fires the <Return> key before the characters finish appearing


lukecwilliams
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Current Behavior: typing a multi-character keyword then <Enter> quickly selects a seemingly random item.

 

Expected Behavior: typing a multi-character keyword then <Enter> quickly should select the top item for that keyword

 

Repro Steps:

1. Bind a multi-character keyword (in my case bm) to an Alfred item (e.g. "Business Mail")

2. Bind the first character of that keyword (e.g. b ) to a different Alfred item (e.g. "Bluetooth")

3. type the keyword from #1 and <Enter> quickly

 

The problem appears to happen because the <Enter> press happens before Alfred finishes generating the final list.  If the user has typed characters before <Enter> then the use case is certainly going to be that the user expects all those characters to finish appearing before an item is selected.

 

I repro this nearly 100% of the time on the latest Macbook.  This is disrupting my workflow a lot because I intend my business mail to open and something else does.  

 

This seems an essential fix for power users and fast typists.  Hope you can help!

 

Images here for what I get with 'b' only, 'bm' only, and with bm <enter> typed quickly.

https://imgur.com/a/2jUsw

 

Using Alfred 3.0.2

Using El Capitan 10.11.5

 

Edit: I'm only able to repro this with bookmarks that are in a nested folder structure in Safari.  Top-level bookmarks do not repro.  When I move a bookmark into nested folders (e.g. Nested Folder 1 -> Nested Folder 2 -> Nested Folder 3 -> My Bookmark), I can consistently repro; when I move the bookmark to the top level I don't repro at all.  I can solve my issue by just moving all bookmarks to the top level, so this looks like more of a corner case bug.

Edited by lukecwilliams
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Alfred is working precisely as designed, to be honest.

 

It tries to give you results as fast as possible, so it isn't waiting for all its various sources to return their results before it starts showing them. It's what makes Alfred so fast.

 

The flipside is that you have to keep half an eye on what you're actioning.

 

There's really not a lot you can do about it. To get the predictable behaviour you want, Alfred would have to wait till all active sources return their results, and that would basically break Alfred. You can't have Alfred's internal application cache, which returns in at most a few milliseconds, waiting for some webservice-based workflow that takes multiple seconds to return.

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Thanks for the response.

 

"typing somewhat quickly and selecting a Safari Bookmark" is the use case here, which is built-in default behavior if I'm not missing something.  What are you referring to with a web service that "takes multiple seconds to return?"

 

Can you tell me why, when typing "bm <enter>" quickly, per the example above Alfred fairly consistently returns an item that is not the top item either in the "b" list or the "bm" list of Safari bookmarks?  That seems highly unlikely to be the "as designed" behavior.  This is still happening frequently and means I have to type the characters, then wait for the final list of bookmarks to appear, then hit <enter> each time even for a simple Safari bookmark.

 

It's impossible to simply type quickly and hit <enter> even in the most basic case.

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Thanks for the response.

 

"typing somewhat quickly and selecting a Safari Bookmark" is the use case here, which is built-in default behavior if I'm not missing something.  What are you referring to with a web service that "takes multiple seconds to return?"

 

 

Hi Luke,

 

Alfred performs many actions synchronously, but some are run asynchronously. File search is an example of a query that's run asynchronously, as the results are at the mercy of the speed of the index it's provided by, which could be a slow connected drive or a slightly corrupted OS X metadata index. This allows Alfred to return the basic results lightning fast, and add the further results as soon as they become available.

 

I would recommend reindexing your Mac, as this may help improve the speed at which results are returned; You can do this in Alfred's Advanced preferences by clicking the "Rebuild OS X metadata" button and following the necessary steps.

 

You may also want to consider creating a file filter workflow for your bookmarks instead of including them in your default results, unless you need to access a wide range of Safari bookmarks regularly. If you're only accessing one or two, you could create a keyword-based workflow for these, and exclude bookmarks from default results, giving you cleaner and faster results :)

 

Cheers,

Vero
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