Beagle rocks

A few weeks ago, I installed Beagle, a desktop search tool written for Mono, and it's KDE front-end Kerry. This combination has just blown me away.

I guess desktop search is like the microwave oven, cell phones, and the internet - it's hard to realize how truly useful it is until you've gotten used to it. I know I didn't. But so far Kerry-Beagle has saved me lots of time searching through those hundred-odd PDF files I've been using for research. Now that I'm used to it, I don't think I'd want to do without it.

The user experience is probably the best thing about Kerry-Beagle. Once you have the software and all its dependencies installed (and there are a lot of them - Mono, like the .NET framework for Windows, isn't especially small), it's dead simple to use. There's basically no configuration required, as it will just go right ahead and index your entire home directory. You type in your search terms and wait for the results to come up. They're displayed is a nice, paginated list of files, complete with icons and matching portions of text and sorted by relevance. Easy to read, easy to browse, and just generally great. If you don't believe me, just look at the screenshot:

My only other desktop search experience is with the (apparently now defunct) Kat desktop search application for KDE, which never really worked very well for me. I guess now I'll have to try out some of the Windows offerings. Anyone have any suggestions on which are the best packages?

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