Talk:Incremental search

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing / Software (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Software.


The link to "Excremental" redirects to "Feces." Can it be removed, or is there a better article to link to? Hac13 (talk) 05:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Page rename[edit]

I disagree with calling this feature "Non-modal incremental find". It's quite modal, and the biggest drawback is that it's modal without being a dialog, leading to mode error. --User:Jesse Ruderman

I removed the "non-modal" bits as the name is too lengthy. --minghong 09:03, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)


What are the origins of this type of feature? I remember hearing once that Emacsen pioneered this, but I'm not at all sure. --maru (talk) contribs 04:47, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm flabbergasted that WordPerfect gets the credit for this. GNU Emacs has AFAIK always had this, although a quick search only confirms it was present in Emacs 15 (the NEWS for Emacs 16 lists an enhancement for low baud usage), which was released in 1985. I do not know if this was new with GNU Emacs or if Gosling Emacs had this as well. Kjetilho (talk) 12:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I did some research and added some earlier history. I think the WordPerfect story could be less chatty and more encyclopedic, but I'll leave that for others to edit. Kjetilho (talk) 08:32, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

EMACS had this in the 1970s; it was called "incremental search". It was modal: you type ctrl-S to begin, the prompt says "I-Search:" and you start typing. As you type (or delete), it scrolls through the buffer to the matching string; you exit by typing ESC or any editing command. This version of EMACS was written in TECO on the PDP-10, not sure who created this particular feature. The (much fancier) version of emacs on the Lisp Machine also had this, about 1977. I think EMACS may have coined the term "incremental search", by the way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 8 September 2010 (UTC)


The article claims that incremental find is available in less, but it doesn't seem to be available in version 406 of less. Does anyone know if there exists a version of less that supports incremental find?

word wheeling[edit]

A similar article called word wheeling exists. I would like you guys to have a look at it. --Kushalt 19:47, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Faytie7.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Faytie7.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 11:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


Non-modal incremental find is found in:

Modern operating systems:

  • Apple Computer's Spotlight (which searches the entire computer);
  • Microsoft's Windows Vista;

Is Linux just omitted is does it really not have it? ʄ!¿talk? 17:25, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

All or most of the applications listed run on linux, so technically linux has this. The more detailed question is whether and where this feature appears in KDE, gnome and the like. Surely it's there; just a matter of identifying specific examples. dr.ef.tymac (talk) 23:57, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Incremental search vs. incremental find[edit]

The term "incremental search" seems far more common than "incremental find": Google ["incremental search" -wikipedia] 90,500 vs. ["incremental find" -wikipedia] 34,900. In Google Books: 671/40. Though there are admittedly other meanings for "incremental search", scanning the results seems to show that "incremental search" is still more common in this sense than "incremental find" is; moreover, it is the name in Emacs, which originated it and is still in wide use. I suggest the article be moved. --macrakis (talk) 21:44, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Incremental search - needs section on significance of incremental search on Web[edit]

My notes - that described (briefly) the fact that web based searches used non-local resources as opposed to local resources - have been edited out by Macrakis. The casual observer will now be left wondering why web searches use more resources. It is a very important point and has been covered in numerous blogs and criticisms of Google Instant for example.

This is what I had added:-

local scope v. internet scope[edit]

While offline (or private network) incremental searches utilize mainly "local" resources (such as a single personal computer's processor and its attached peripherals such as hard disks), an incremental web searches represents a paradigm shift in the scope of such a search.

An incremental search on the "Google web space" involves enlisting a global network of resources (including worldwide communications, online databases etc) and consumes bandwidth even during the time a user is entering individual keystrokes. The implications for efficiency are significant since, at the level of keystrokes (as opposed to whole words or phrases), the number of false positives is intrinsically quite high until more of the entire search key is eventually entered or selected. This will inevitably consume more resources (and use more energy) than would have occured on a full search key [1][2]

A further disadvantage to web based incremental searches is the insurmountable problem of varying response times in relation to a users latent typing speed and, to some extent at least, "thinking" speed (since searches are often typed "on-the-fly"). If the response time is slowed (due to poor connection or other delays), the user may experience some disorientation effecting the overall "user experience" of the interface.

I believe my changes should be put back in. (unsigned comment by User: 2011-09-16T08:15:18)

Under Wikipedia policy on reliable sources, blogs and Q&A forums are not reliable sources. It it certainly true that incremental web search requires additional communications resources and some incremental server resources, but how much more? Is it significant?
As for the quality of results, you are guessing that there is a large number of false positives. But, though Web search has a long tail of unique queries, it also has a big peak of common queries, for which a few keystrokes are enough. What proportion is an interesting empirical question, where a priori statements are not very useful. --Macrakis (talk) 15:54, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
You have been in the (academic?) computing sector for 30 years and you ask if requiring additional communications resources "and some incremental server resources" is significant? What planet have you been living on? I have been in the commercial computing industry for more than 40 years and I learned very early just how significant transaction rates and transmission speed really are. In fact, 99% of my time in the industry has been concerned with high transaction rate, on-line systems requiring < sub-second response times. Think bank teller machines, airline reservations systems etc. I have always tried to get the most out of available resources with the minimum of overhead and it is only recently that this has been on the green agenda relating to computing resources.
I do not think there is anything in my edit that is in any way controversial and rather is largely common sense to commercial IT people in the real world (but not necessarily to the casual obsever). In your condensed edit, by the way, you left out the varying "user experience" issue caused by uneven response times (which is very, very annoying to put it mildly). I could have raised the related issue of annoying repeated "flashing" of overlaying new data onto the screen - that may have significance to people with Photosensitive epilepsy (the World Wide Web Consortium - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0, produced in 2008, specifies that content should not flash more than 3 times in any 1 second period.). Clearly, someone who types rapidly (like myself) gets flashes much more frequently than that (when the internet is not running slowly that is). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
These are all interesting issues, but Wikipedia requires reliable sources, not personal experience and observation. (And by the way, I have worked on commercial interactive systems for some time now.)
I certainly agree that both speed and efficiency are good things. But singling out one particular interaction technique for its effect on resource usage is not "common sense". Every aspect of every interactive system has some effect on resource usage. Google could use fewer server resources by (say) restricting search to the top 10,000,000 pages. It could reduce server and bandwidth usage by crawling Web sites less frequently. It could reduce bandwidth usage by only supporting low-resolution video on YouTube, or not allowing large gmail attachments, or (indirectly) by not searching video. It could only show 10 image results at a time. etc. etc. These are all tradeoffs between user experience and resource usage. If we can find a Reliable Source for the incremental server and bandwidth usage of these various techniques, then sure, let's refer to it. But it's not helpful to speculate that the resource usage of Google Instant is "significant" -- I suspect that video streaming swamps everything else.
As for the uneven response time issue, it would certainly be interesting to see a study of user reactions to the Google Instant experience. But just noting that you personally find it "annoying" is what we call WP:Original research. For the epilepsy issue, Google Instant is easy to turn off, which I believe satisfies WCAG.
If you learn of (or publish!) solid findings in these areas in reputable publications, then by all means let's see how we can incorporate the information into the article. --Macrakis (talk) 13:19, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Incremental search. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 07:37, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^