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Should Quick Drop default to "Fast Search" mode in LabVIEW 2013?

As you may or may not know, there is an INI token that defines different "search" behavior in Quick Drop based on what you have typed:

QuickDropFastSearch=False (default) - Uses the NI-SEARCH algorithm to perform a keyword and relevancy-based match on what you've typed with the contents of the current palette set. This is the same search algorithm that is used by Palette Search, and by the Search bar in the panel/diagram toolbar.

QuickDropFastSearch=True - Uses a simple string match on what you've typed with the contents of the current palette set. This search mechanism results in faster keyboard responsiveness when typing in the Quick Drop window because the simple string matching is much faster than NI-SEARCH queries.  Of course, this comes at the expense of losing the keyword/relevancy-based string matching.

The NI-SEARCH algorithm has been the default search mechanism in Quick Drop since LabVIEW 2009 (this is also the first version that provided the INI token to switch between search modes). But after the changes I made based on the Quick Drop 2013 prototype I posted last month, I'm finding that the new changes are more compatible with simple string matching than with relevancy and keyword-based searches. In particular, I'm finding that searches with only a few characters result in poor results with the NI-SEARCH approach, since, by design, the NI-SEARCH query only returns the 100 most "relevant" results. And many times, these top 100 do not include results that start with the characters that were typed. But with FastSearch, those results always show up, and they're at the top of the list. Also, I've had several Quick Drop enthusiasts complain to me over the past few years about keyboard responsiveness, and these issues are almost always resolved once they find out about the FastSearch INI token.

For these reasons, I'm considering changing the default search mode back to FastSearch in 2013 (I say "back to", because it was the only search mode in LabVIEW 8.6 when I first introduced Quick Drop). I've been using the 2013 prototype for my development (in LabVIEW 2012) for a couple of months now. I have not had any problems with the results being returned with FastSearch enabled. And of course, anyone who prefers the NI-SEARCH-based search results could add QuickDropFastSearch=False to their INI file to get the old behavior. I would like to get the opinions of the community before I consider changing the default prior to the LabVIEW 2013 beta 1 release.  Please let me know what you think about this idea.

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I think this is a good idea, I would certainly prefer to see FastSearch as the default. It might be worth considering making this option accessible from within the Quick Drop Shortcuts panel so that those who aren't so comfortable editing their .ini file can still easily revert the behaviour to what they might be used to from 2012?

Thoric (CLA, CLED, CTD and LabVIEW Champion)


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I'm not sure which is best for the masses.  I use FastSearch on my PC because I don't like the wait, but very frequently do I type something I'm expecting to be called the keyword and it does not show up (Most common culprit is "This VI" and "Double Constant" but I know I've been hit with others).  I suppose that the majority of QD users are advanced users who can easily figure out the correct name, and worst case scenario is that you have to search the palette using the regular search to find something that doesn't show up.  But I can see people reporting this as a "bug" because their item doesn't show up. 

It's too bad we can't have our cake and eat it too, but I would probably vote with Thoric's solution.  FastSearch set as default, but have an easy checkbox in either the QD shortcuts dialog that enables or disables it.

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David_L wrote:

(Most common culprit is "This VI" and "Double Constant" but I know I've been hit with others).

That's because they're actually called "VI Server Reference" and "DBL Numeric Constant". Does the NI-Search DLL find them using other terms (I don't know because I use my own version which doesn't call it)?

Of course, for each such example you could create a shortcut which would then allow you to find it using the text you find natural.


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That's because they're actually called "VI Server Reference" and "DBL Numeric Constant".

The back of my head knows this, but my first inclination is to always type the first thing that comes to mind, which is wrong.  I just need to train myself to use the right one.

Of course, for each such example you could create a shortcut which would then allow you to find it using the text you find natural.

You know, I always think about doing that each time I mess it up, but then I say "I'll do it next time".  Vicious, endless cycle...

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