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 Post subject: CSearcher
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
To search files, I always used windows explorer but it was slow, sometimes it did not return all the expected results, and it uses lots of RAM.
I tried some freeware non-indexing searchers but some were slow, and others did not have all the features I wanted.
So since I develop some application in my work I decided to create my own portable program: CSearcher.
CSearcher is a simple & fast free non-indexing search program.
Since I’ve been using it I gave it to some colleagues at work and they gave me same good feedback.
I then decided to clean and polish the program and publish it as freeware! To contribute back.
No installation required, everything runs from its folder, just copy it anywhere.


Characteristics:
• Results can be Files AND/OR directories!
• Windows native DLL calls for better performance.
• Portable tool, you can install it in any folder.

Advantages:
• One of the fastest non-indexing free File searchers.
• Low RAM usage.

Features:
• Integration with Explorer menu for seamless search of folders.
• Exclude patterns.
• Date and size options.
• Find files that contain specific text.
• Calculate MD5 and compare files. Allows users to generate the file checksum (MD5 Hash)
• Simple Hex Viewer of any file.
• Search history.
• Filtering:
o Filter results. After finding all the results you want, you can dynamically filter results for faster finding of different items.
o Filter possible duplicate file (same name and size), can be confirmed with md5.
• Export selected results to CSV or HTML file.

Performance Comparison with other Non-Indexed Search programs:
Conditions:
- 2 Computers with SSD disks. All files previously loaded with windows explorer properties.
- Searched for all files and folders of disk (*)

Windows 7 SP1 Files and folders Time RAM MB
CSearcher 448059 00:57 349
Effective File Search 448059 01:06 150
Xsearch 448059 02:01 803
SearchMyFiles 448059 16:03 777
Windows Explorer 448059 Crashes 2048

Windows 10 Files and folders Time RAM MB
Csearcher 241807 00:11 215
Xsearch 241807 00:43 430
Windows explorer 241807 00:43 1292
Effective File Search 241807 01:03 75
SearchMyFiles 241807 04:40 427


Requirements:
• .Net 4.0 runtime installed and Windows compatible O.S.

Downloads:
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.0.0.7z Compressed archive.
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.0.0.exe Self-Extracting file.


I know it can be improved but I would like some comments and opinions.

Hugo


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:39 pm 
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Posts: 2902
Location: Romania
Could you fix the archive link, please?
Image

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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:35 am 
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Posts: 1770
Location: Aeaea
@hugonabais

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your submission.

I did a brief testing of CSearcher version 1.0.0.0. It is portable but not stealth- it creates CSearcher.exe.log in AppData (C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\CLR_v4.0\UsageLogs\CSearcher.exe.log).

I need some time to test the program more thoroughly but I have already several suggestions:
  • an option to minimize/close the program to tray.
  • if minimize/close to tray is implemented- then an option to call CSearcher from tray with a (customizable) hot key.
  • an option to run only one instance of the program.
  • an option to add default search directories which will be remembered after program restart.

joby_toss is right- the 7z package is not available for download.

Edit
A couple of CSearcher screens:

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
I've been away for Christmas and I messed up with the 7z package, but it's fixed now (problem with 7z extension on the server)!
Sorry about that.

-> " It is portable but not stealth- it creates CSearcher.exe.log in AppData (C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\CLR_v4.0\UsageLogs\CSearcher.exe.log)."
I was not aware of this behavior... maybe it's some default logging from .net. I'll see into into. I'll try to disable this.

About the other features/suggestions:

-> an option to minimize/close the program to tray.
->if minimize/close to tray is implemented- then an option to call CSearcher from tray with a (customizable) hot key.
It's a great ideia I'll implement it and give feedback when done.

-> an option to run only one instance of the program.
What will be the point of this? I sometimes open 2 or 3 instances for different searchers. Could you explain your point?

-> an option to add default search directories which will be remembered after program restart.
It's also a good ideia but I need to think how to implement it. How to present this in the UI.


I am very interested in developing this project.
Help and support to test and suggest features are very welcome.
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:24 am
Posts: 1770
Location: Aeaea
@hugonabais

Thank you for your response.

About CSearcher.exe.log
For me CSearcher.exe.log is not a great problem and as far as I know this is normal behaviour for .NET programs but I suppose it is possible logging to AppData to be disabled.

About single instance of the program
For me this will have a practical value- I usually start often used programs via shortcut key managers and when I no longer need them I close them to tray. When I need them again I call them by a shortcut key assigned in my short key manager program. If multiple instances of CSearcher are not disabled my short key manager will open a new instance any time I trigger the shortcut key. So my suggestion- in "Options" you might add "Allow only a single instance of the program" which might be disabled by default and if the users needs such a behaviour they would be able to enable it.

About default search directories
I usually need to search the internal hard drives (C, D, etc) and if CSearcher could remember last used directories this would save me (and other users) the effort to add these directories time and again. So I suppose you might add an option that CSearcher remembers last used directories after restart.

I would also like to suggest a button "Clear" for clearing the "Search pattern(s):" and "Exclude pattern(s):" boxes, now this must be done manually.

CSearcher is a promising program and I hope that you will continue your good work on it.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
I've published a new version:

Version 1.0.1.0 :
[alt] 1st time values and default values now enable subdirectories, show files and show folders checkboxes
[new] Clear buttons for clearing Search pattern(s):" and "Exclude pattern(s)
[new] Added tray icon
[new] Added option to minimize to tray
[fix] Small fixes in menu strip
[fix] If CSearcher cannot load configuration file (config.XML) a message is displayed and default values are loaded
[fix] Resolved flickering problem in status progress bar while searching files
[new] Added remove sorting option in "view menu" to disable any result sorting

Download links:
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.1.0.7z
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.1.0.exe


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
I've published a new version with a small fix:
Version 1.0.1.1 :
[fix] Config.xml was not loaded from exe folder

Downloads:
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.1.1.7z Compressed archive.
http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/CSearcher_1.0.1.1.exe Self-Extracting file.

Hope that now everything is running fine. Will spend next days implementing new features.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
I created a very small site: http://www.informan.pt/csearcher

New versions are here: http://www.informan.pt/csearcher/Downloads

I'll leave here a couple of screenshots:
Image


hex viewer working:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:24 am
Posts: 1770
Location: Aeaea
@hugonabais
It is a good idea to keep old versions of CSearcher for reference and test purposes but the download links for version 1.0.1.2 (CSearcher_1.0.2.0.exe and CSearcher_1.0.2.0.7z) do not work.

Edit
CSearcher appeared in NANY 2017.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:53 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
smaragdus wrote:
@hugonabais
It is a good idea to keep old versions of CSearcher for reference and test purposes but the download links for version 1.0.1.2 (CSearcher_1.0.2.0.exe and CSearcher_1.0.2.0.7z) do not work.

Edit
CSearcher appeared in NANY 2017.


Thanks smaragdus for spotting that, it's fixed now (I had inadvertently deleted the files).

I've been mainly fixing things.
Now I'm currently working on the register hotkey code (for the minimize to tray pop up call) and the options to store last searched directories.
I think these two are important to settle development for a while.

Basically besides you, I've received zero feedback. I was really thinking this was a useful tool, as the other free ones I used before, including Window Explorer Search, were really poor, limited and/or slow.

I'm finding hard to research, develop, test everything, fix things and publish versions without feedback. I think after the next update I'll stop publishing and just keep developing for my internal use, and just "develop on demand" :)

I'll report back on the next update.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:25 pm
Posts: 57
Dear Hugo Nabais,

CSearcher is a great project, please do not be discouraged by a seemingly sluggish response !
There is no way the "file/folder search" topic can be irrelevant or unpopular - if it is user-friendly.

Actually, I think the response was pretty good ...
I often did much worse, if I hit the wrong time and place.

This is what I think is GREAT about CSearcher :
- it is so beautifully light, and snappy (responsive) - like Google Chrome compared to FireFox 3,
- the speed is excellent !

This is what is NOT OK with CSearcher (in my opinion) :
- the GUI is unnecessarily chaotic and confusing (improvement suggestions below),
so people simply walk away unimpressed (since there are so many other freeware options for this).

Here is how I would improve the GUI :

(1) You need a nice big button called "Go" or "Start" that initiates the search (instead of just relying on the keyboard Enter),
the first time I mistakenly clicked on the black arrow at the end of the row, only to find out that it is not the "Go" button (just hides some options),
(2) the 3rd paragraph with "In SubFolders", "Drag folders here", etc - move the whole thing to become the 1 tab in the tabs paragraph below,
with this, the next paragraph will have 5 tabs instead of 4, much better - since currently almost half of the screen are settings (too much !),
(3) in the results list (details option) one should be able to customize column width and preserve it in-between sessions (so names are not cut off),
(4) in the context menu add more options: open file, open folder with Windows (File) Explorer, open folder with Your default File Explorer (like XYplorer),
I, for example, hate the Windows (File) Explorer, and use XYplorer as my system default file manager (the system manages that association).

Please keep up the great work, this could be a wonderful program - with just a few tweaks !
That is what all ongoing development is about anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:00 am
Posts: 36
Stoik wrote:
Dear Hugo Nabais,

CSearcher is a great project, please do not be discouraged by a seemingly sluggish response !
There is no way the "file/folder search" topic can be irrelevant or unpopular - if it is user-friendly.

Actually, I think the response was pretty good ...
I often did much worse, if I hit the wrong time and place.

This is what I think is GREAT about CSearcher :
- it is so beautifully light, and snappy (responsive) - like Google Chrome compared to FireFox 3,
- the speed is excellent !

This is what is NOT OK with CSearcher (in my opinion) :
- the GUI is unnecessarily chaotic and confusing (improvement suggestions below),
so people simply walk away unimpressed (since there are so many other freeware options for this).

Here is how I would improve the GUI :

(1) You need a nice big button called "Go" or "Start" that initiates the search (instead of just relying on the keyboard Enter),
the first time I mistakenly clicked on the black arrow at the end of the row, only to find out that it is not the "Go" button (just hides some options),
(2) the 3rd paragraph with "In SubFolders", "Drag folders here", etc - move the whole thing to become the 1 tab in the tabs paragraph below,
with this, the next paragraph will have 5 tabs instead of 4, much better - since currently almost half of the screen are settings (too much !),
(3) in the results list (details option) one should be able to customize column width and preserve it in-between sessions (so names are not cut off),
(4) in the context menu add more options: open file, open folder with Windows (File) Explorer, open folder with Your default File Explorer (like XYplorer),
I, for example, hate the Windows (File) Explorer, and use XYplorer as my system default file manager (the system manages that association).

Please keep up the great work, this could be a wonderful program - with just a few tweaks !
That is what all ongoing development is about anyways.


Thank you for your encouragement Stoik.

My main goal was really making a very light and fast search code. I researched and tested a lot before achieving that.
I don't excel in "design" or "layouts" so I know it's far from perfect. But I think it's acceptable and with some time you get used to it, at least I did :)

About your suggestions:
(1) I have a nice start and stop button: (Highlighted in red):
Image

(2) It is probably a good idea to free up some space. I'll give it a try.

(3) That's also a good ideia, I have had that frustrating feeling of having to resize my column width. I'll work on it.

(4) But every item in result items found you can right click and there is a "open" (Enter shortcut now). This functions as open folder or open file. When you click "open" or "Open parent folder" what happens does it open in Windows Explorer?
Image


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:08 am 
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Posts: 57
Hugo,
thanks for the reply (and the excellent illustrations) !

To go back to those points mentioned above :
I think Your comments and thoughts are very appropriate.

About (1) :
I meant a hot-red "Start" button right next to where You type the search words
(without having to look around - "where is that damn button ?"),
but in the right lower corner is also fine - minor issue.
You can leave it as it is - if You like.

About (4) :
I made a minor tweak in my Windows associations, and now I do not have the above mentioned problem.
On second thought, it should be the responsibility of the alternative file manager program to handle these associations.
So this is fine too.

So, we are down to two issues - (2) and (3) :
those, I think, are important.

Also, one more thing :
You should be like Google.com, or PortableFreeware.com, or the programs Everything or FileSearchy -
do not require any syntax at all (including for example * or .*) for the very basic search.
It seems so minor, but in this busy world people are irritated with having to type even the smallest redundant stuff !
Or, maybe, people will forget about the syntax requirement (like .*) after not using the program for a few days.
But just like Google, if You want to use syntax for complex searches - You have the opportunity !

This "no syntax" approach (as just the baseline) is also more logical :
If I am searching for "Help", I DO NOT CARE if it is .chm, or .pdf. or .rtf, or .txt.
So why should I have to waste time typing " *Help.* " - simple " Help " (without quotes) should do it !
Just do everything like Google - they got it right !


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:23 am 
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Posts: 36
Stoik wrote:
Hugo,
thanks for the reply (and the excellent illustrations) !

To go back to those points mentioned above :
I think Your comments and thoughts are very appropriate.

About (1) :
I meant a hot-red "Start" button right next to where You type the search words
(without having to look around - "where is that damn button ?"),
but in the right lower corner is also fine - minor issue.
You can leave it as it is - if You like.

About (4) :
I made a minor tweak in my Windows associations, and now I do not have the above mentioned problem.
On second thought, it should be the responsibility of the alternative file manager program to handle these associations.
So this is fine too.

So, we are down to two issues - (2) and (3) :
those, I think, are important.

Also, one more thing :
You should be like Google.com, or PortableFreeware.com, or the programs Everything or FileSearchy -
do not require any syntax at all (including for example * or .*) for the very basic search.
It seems so minor, but in this busy world people are irritated with having to type even the smallest redundant stuff !
Or, maybe, people will forget about the syntax requirement (like .*) after not using the program for a few days.
But just like Google, if You want to use syntax for complex searches - You have the opportunity !

This "no syntax" approach (as just the baseline) is also more logical :
If I am searching for "Help", I DO NOT CARE if it is .chm, or .pdf. or .rtf, or .txt.
So why should I have to waste time typing " *Help.* " - simple " Help " (without quotes) should do it !
Just do everything like Google - they got it right !


About number 1, I'll leave it for now but I'll think how I can make that button more visible, maybe increase its size or change color.
Number 2 is in the oven "cooking" :)
Number 3 is done (ready for the next version).

About the "no syntax" problem, it's a complex one. Initially I made the search like Google, but that gave me lot's of false results.
If I wanted to search files that were named specifically help, doing so gave me LOTS of results from everything that contained help in the name.
So I added the button that says *text*. That button will surround every pattern you enter with **. If you type help;house and press the button *text* it will transform your search patterns in *help*;*house*. This will search for everything containing help or house in the name as "Google" would do for each name.

This was something I thought a lot. I know that for most people they might prefer "Google style" searches however this creates some limitations that I have explained above upsetting some advanced users. I'll think about this.


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 Post subject: Re: CSearcher
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:18 am 
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Posts: 57
As to "simple" versus "syntax" :

The dilemma is basically, do You please
"most people" who like things very simple, versus
"advanced users" who like tons of options, precision, etc.

The best answer is: satisfy both !
That is what You did with the disappearing settings panel - as one of Your options.
That way both groups can be happy - those who like a simple look, and those who like "all in one page".

The best way to keep BOTH "simple" and "syntax" fans happy is to
introduce a NEW OPTION (choice) - like ... "Check one box (what You prefer)" :
1. "simple" search (no complex syntax) - simple to use, but less accurate, or
2. "advanced" search (with syntax) - more accurate, but requires more knowledge and typing.

This would cover all the tastes, and make everyone happy (so You won't lose any users).
Most of the options, people will select just once (depending on personality and expertise) and then leave it alone.
Therefore, the ability to hide the options is great, so You don't waste GUI space all the time.

I think, with these tweaks,
CSearcher will make a great and very popular software - because it caters to everyone !
Just make sure to get it on another one or two popular sites if You can, like SoftPedia.


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