Spotlight Revisited

See? Now this is what I'm talking about. Spotlight just doesn't work right. Now, I will admit, I've been using it a bit, and a couple times, over the past couple months, it's actually come in somewhat handy. But today, it lied. And I can prove it.

I was installing the nifty GoogleMaps plugin for Address Book. And I was looking around for the old GoogleMaps install, because, at least in the past, finding files whose names I knew on the filesystem was easier than reading a maunal. Lucky for me, today I got to do both. So, I open a Finder window, navigate to my home directory, and in the little search bubble thingy, I type these exact letters:


Now, I know that the letters "g-o-o-g-l-e-m-a-p-s" exist in the files I'm looking for, because I have the replacements right there in front of me. So when my search does not yield the files I want, I modify the search. In the same window's bubble-search thingy, I type:


And now my files turn up.

Now wait. Doesn't "BTgooglemaps" contain the term "googlemaps"? So, shouldn't searching the latter yield the former? Yes, it should. In fact, if I just search "maps", I get my "BTgooglemaps" in the results, and lots of other crap, but not, for instance, my "com.briantoth.addressbook.googlemaps.plist", which does appear when searching "googlemaps".

This is just... Uh... How you say? Oh, right: Fucked.

If I can't trust my search engine to yield results that I know are there, then its usefulness is severly compromised. The old version of the Finder window search bubble was flawless at this. I used it all the time and it never failed me. And its functionality still exists somewhere in the Finder. We know this, because when we turn Spotlight off, the old functionality resumes. But for some reason, Apple has chosen to completely replace this functionality with a deeply flawed, and not always appropriate, method of searching: Spotlight.

Call me greedy, but I want both. I'll say it again: I want the old Panther-style, find-by-name in the Finder window toolbar search, and then I think I could live with Spotlight everywhere else. Although, in an ideal world, I would have preferences that let me define how each search method works: Finder window find, command-f find, Spotlight find. All these (or at least some of them) could (dare I say should) be configurable via preferences. And that would be sweet.

What we have right now is not sweet. It's a kludge.