Search-based interfaces

In the up-and coming version of Ubuntu, [Gutsy Gibbon](, there are new and better document search facilities. This is not without problems: Upon upgrading one of my computers to Gutsy, I noticed that random applications would slow down, and even stall totally on my system.
My question is: Are such features really needed? In my 26+ years of owning and using a computer, I have _never_ searched my filesystem for random content in any of my files, save grepping through known sets of files.
Which brings me to the real question: is this a feature that users actually want or need? Input from Mac and Windows users especially welcome: Do you use these features, or would you prefer for your system to instead speed up?


  1. The slowing down and crashing is most likely to be because of using unstable unreleased and untested software (gnome 2.19). Gnome 2.18 and tracker 0.6 work like a charm together in my archlinux desktop.
    And although it’s definitely not a critical feature once you start to use it you grow atached to it. Kind of like Deskbar and calendar events in the clock’s calendar.

  2. I’m a Mac user, and I’ve never used Spotlight. I can appreciate that for someone with a disorganised folder structure, it might be useful (people who, say, chuck all of their files from the past n years into one folder), but I have a rigid structure that I’ve always used, so it’s not necessary. I also occasionally bring out the old @find . -name ‘*.txt’ -exec grep ‘pattern’ {} \;@ when needed.