Thursday, January 27, 2005

DeskTop Search engines

Are these different from Mac's Sherlock?

Yahoo beta version
Google Desktop
Copernic -- The Slate review (below) gave this one an A

Slate's review of a number of these

1 comment:

esm said...

No experience with Copernic or Yahoo. The Google desktop search *is* different than Sherlock.

Google Desktop spiders through the contents of your hard drive indexing content as a search engine does. In contrast (AFAIK) Sherlock does not provide any searching logic. It relies on other search engines to do the grunt work.

From the horse's (Apple's?) mouth:Sherlock is an application that incorporates Internet search capabilities into [...] channels, which do the work of gathering and displaying information.

A channel is a search-engine interface that uses the Sherlock infrastructure to access network-based resources and display the results to the user. Channels are not search engines in themselves; they take advantage of search engines on local intranets and the Internet to find information. However, channels can do more than just search for strings of characters. Channels can have a context in which to interpret the data they receive from a search engine. Using this context, the channel can then narrow the search criteria or perform additional searches to focus on information the user really wants.
Ok, so Sherlock allows the developer of a Sherlock "channel" to form queries to remote (external, like Google, Yahoo, or the Library Catalog) search interfaces and retrieve the results, mapping the result set into Sherlock's XML-based language. The developer then can use Sherlock's language to design the elements of the channel: search box, column sorting, result set display, etc.

Sherlock is now evolving into a more complicated beast, but it is still presenting clean and quick interfaces to the user.

I was sold on Sherlock as soon as I used it.... but I don't have a Mac (hint hint). Which relates back to the earlier post. More later.