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New Mono-Based Applications for GNOME in Fedora Core 5--Part 1 - page 2

Mono, GNOME Make a Turbulent Mix

  • May 1, 2006
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Beagle, as a search tool, gets its name from a top notch hunting breed. Rather than focusing on the Web, Beagle's concern is your own desktop and files, but not just the names. Beagle searches file contents as well, including your email (for certain clients, I'll get into this in a moment), word processing documents, instant messaging logs, and even your Web browsing cache. For those who are using KDE, Beagle also works under KDE, though see the Beagle FAQ for caveats.

Where Beagle is included, you will often find it under Places -> Search (see Figure 1).

Before you begin searching, you may want to expand the default locations that Beagle tracks for you. To do so, select Search -> Preferences, and then click the Indexing tab (see Figure 2).

Often, the default search area is the home directory. If there is no checkmark next to "Index my home directory," click the box to add a mark. Then, if there is anywhere else you want your searches to look as well, click the Add button to open the Select Path dialog box, which is a folder browser. Browse to the folder you want to include, Select it, and click Open to add it to the list. If there are any folders, files, or other items you want to be ignored during a search, go down to the Privacy section and click Add to open the Add Resource dialog box (see Figure 3).

First, specify the resource you want to add to the ignore list: a directory (Directory Path), a file or group of files (Filename Pattern), or a folder in your email client (Mail Folder). The label for the text box and the Browse button change depending on your choice. If you select Directory Path, you can either type in the path to the directory/folder or use the Browse button to select it. Those who choose Filename Pattern can use file globbing (type "man 7 glob" to see the rules for globbing) to specify one or more filenames to focus on. For those who chose Mail Folder, if you are using Novell Evolution or Kmail for your email client you can select which email storage folder within the client you want to ignore by clicking Browse.

When you have finished with the dialog box, click OK and your selection appears in the Privacy box. Add as many locations and exceptions as necessary, then click the Search tab (see Figure 4).

Make sure there is a check in the "Start search & indexing services automatically" checkbox so that you don't have to build an index manually every time you want to use Beagle. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box, and you return to the main Desktop Search window. Notice the Quick Tips displayed within it, these show you how to best use the tool. Type your search term into the Find text box and click Find Now (see Figure 5).

If the back-end daemon isn't running, you will see the text "Daemon not running" and be offered a button to click to start it. Your search then runs. At times, you may receive so many search hits that you don't want to have to wade through them all. You can adjust your keywords, or you can use the menus to narrow down where to look (Search) or the information to sort by (Sort).

Remember that Beagle searches an index of the portions of the filesystem you selected for your login, not the live filesystem and not the entire filesystem unless you have configured it to do so. Often this index is updated immediately, but if the system is under heavy load Beagle will wait a bit to update its index so as not to slow down the user's desktop. Also, keep in mind that Beagle is still quite heavily in beta.

Part 2 of this article will address more of the Mono tools that have made their way into Fedora Core 5 and other versions of Linux.

Dee-Ann LeBlanc is an award-winning technology journalist and computer book author who specializes in Linux.

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