I’ve just installed Google Desktop after first reading John Gruber’s (Daring Fireball) assurance that the uninstaller actually worked, and after reading in TidBits that some mdimporters seemed to give it problems with it’s initial indexing search. (There are a great number of these by the way: type “mdimport -L” in a terminal window to see the list on your machine). File Buddy 9 finds all the files Gruber reports, by the way.
I didn’t have any of those problems. The initial index search respects your Spotlight preferences for what should be searched (thus omitting some sensitive and proprietary confidential consulting documents in my case - I’d love to be able to search them this way, but I’m not absolutely certain that I would be honoring my non-disclosure agreement if I permitted them to be searched)
My initial impressions are very positive. Google Desktop seems to do a much better job (with a nice interface) of finding my files. The quick search interface is invoked with a double tap of the command key - a nice touch. Spotlight works, but its GUI doesn’t have the full power of mdls and mdfind -onlyin searches in the terminal or an AppleScript “do shell script” construction. Google seems to do better in my tests, and if you find the same thing several times, Google Desktop, like Quicksilver, ranks it higher on the search results every time.
Google Desktop even has an AppleScript dictionary, but other than a straight-forward search (which must involve a lot of Apple Events because it’s much slower than the direct interface) its filtering conditionals don’t seem to work yet (or at least I couldn’t make them work). One big bonus, however: Google searches the text of compiled AppleScripts; you can search on some unique term within one of your scripts and Google Desktop will open the script in your Script Editor of choice. Wow.
[Edit] I should mention that the GoogleDesktopAgent is huge, running over 500MB on my machine, but I think it’s still indexing (my disk is active). I’m running this to watch it:
on idle set LogPath to ((path to desktop as text) & "Google_Log.txt") set now to (current date) as string set OK to false -- decide what to write tell application "System Events" to if exists process "GoogleDesktopAgent" then set OK to true -- If running --> record memory estimate to four significant figures if OK then -- get MB set MB to (100 * ((last word of (do shell script "/bin/ps -xc -o command,rss | grep " & "GoogleDesktopA")) / 1024) as integer) / 100 set msg to now & " ----- " & MB & "MB" & return else set msg to now & " GDA not running" & return end if -- open the log file set L to open for access LogPath with write permission -- update log try write msg to L starting at eof close access L on error e display dialog e giving up after 20 close access L end try return 600 end idle