KDE Search Widget

Benjamin Meyer ben at meyerhome.net
Thu Jan 20 21:44:24 GMT 2005

On Wednesday 19 January 2005 5:41 pm, Ingo Klöcker wrote:
> On Wednesday 19 January 2005 03:51, Benjamin Meyer wrote:
> > On Tuesday 18 January 2005 6:07 pm, Benjamin Meyer wrote:
> > > On Tuesday 18 January 2005 10:52 pm, Shaheed wrote:
> > > > On Tuesday 18 January 2005 22:05, Benjamin Meyer wrote:
> > > > > I noticed that a number of KDE applications have begun to
> > > > > sprout simple search capability within the main window/toolbar.
> > > > >  For example Konq, KMail, KAddressBook and others.  It might be
> > > > > handy to make a common KDE search widget so that this simple
> > > > > search will look consistant across the desktop. Before
> > > > > embarking on making one or enhancing one I figured it would be
> > > > > wise to solicit suggestions for code already in cvs that would
> > > > > be perfect for this.
> > > > >
> > > > > From looking in kdelibs I see KListViewSearchLine and
> > > > > KIconViewSearchLine which look like helper functions for
> > > > > ListView and IconView and really should probably inherit from a
> > > > > common basic search widget (with the pretty search graphic,
> > > > > list saving/restoring, and clear).
> > > >
> > > > Is KFindDialog what you want (like "find" in konqui)? Or did you
> > > > mean more along the lines of the "search" in kmail?
> > >
> > > Along the lines of the find in Konq.  It should be a single drop
> > > down widget with an icon* showing that it is search on the left and
> > > possibly a clear button on the right when there is text.  Simply,
> > > clear and can be included in any application.  Now of course KMail
> > > would then take that basic text widget and then use it for its line
> > > edit widget.
> > >
> > > Another thing that the usability team should probably handle is if
> > > the search should go in the toolbars (like konq) or in the window
> > > (kmail).  The biggest reason I see for having it in the toolbar is:
> > > easy ability to hide/show and the search widget typically isn't
> > > that wide (see for example konq) and having it be across the whole
> > > top/bottom just takes up screen space.  Again this isn't something
> > > that developers could really decide sense it is a UI thing and the
> > > usability team should probably handle it.
> > >
> > > *The icon is so that it would be instantly recognized and take up
> > > almost no space unlike having a text widget that says Search:.
> > >
> > > -Benjamin Meyer
> >
> > Here is an idea for a search widget.  The KSearch widget contains two
> > widgets, the clear button and the combo box.  The combo box supports
> > the ability to list different searches or sub searches which the user
> > can choose by clicking on the icon.
> >
> > The search on the left doesn't have a menu when you click on the
> > image while the right does.
> > http://www.icefox.net/kde/ksearch/ksearch.png
> >
> > Source and demo application
> > http://www.icefox.net/kde/ksearch/ksearch.tar.bz2
> >
> > So for example KMail rather then having a whole Quick Search line
> > would just have this one widget in the toolbar.  Rather then having a
> > Status drop down box it there would be a dropdown when you click on
> > the search image allowing you to specify a specific quick search.
> > Clean, takes up not much space and is easy to recognize.
> I don't see any advantage over KMail's current Quick Search. In fact I
> only see disadvantages. Remove the "Search:" label? Why?

Because there is a search image.  Why take up all the room of a word when you 
can use an image which is easier to recognize by a scan of the screen?  Also 
the search is suppost to always be on the screen (i.e. the point off a quick 
search) so you don't want it taking up much room, removing the word saves 
some space.

> And what if somebody wants two dropdowns additionally to the line edit?

Getting kind far away from the whole "Quick" search idea don't you think?  99% 
of the time the user wont even bother with any dropdowns that are present 
today.  If way to many of the people who search the billions of documents 
using Google only put in 1 word what makes you think they will do any more 
then that for some application with their 1000 photos?  If you have more then 
one drop down then you start turning into a full featured search dialog and 
if a user is going to go through that effort why not  just pull up the real 
search dialog?  A far better choice is what Juk did and on the right hand 
side have a button for the real search dialog.

> Hide the Status drop down inside the search?  Who is going to find it there?

That goes with a few different ideas.  

One: this is a quick search.  It should be present all the time by default and 
thus take up the smallest amount of room on the screen.
Two: The majority of users, the majority of the time wont filter their search 
even when it is in front of their face, but will just keep putting in one 
word searches until they find what they want (or maybe even _two_ words). The 
status/filter/etc options are advanced search options...

Granted if this was to be used on one application it is kinda silly to do that 
as most users wouldn't know about it.  But if it was used as the basis for 
all the search widgets in the majority of applications then advanced users 
would quickly know that if they want options that is where it is and for the 
rest of the world, they wouldn't care.

The key idea is that it is a quick search.  It should always be present, easy 
to use and take up little to no room on the screen.  If I was able to figure 
out how to get the Clear button inside the line edit I would advocate that, 
as it is simpler.

-Benjamin Meyer

> The only thing I agree with is that the Clear button with icon is
> preferable to a Clear button with the text "Clear".
> Regards,
> Ingo

aka icefox
Public Key: http://www.icefox.net/public_key.asc

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