Linux Magazine Indexes, Searches and Finds Kat

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Software

Busy Kat: Desktop Searches with Kat

The desktop search engine offers new and interesting opportunities for users to access information on their own computers. This new breed of tools lets you search your computer in the same way you would search the Internet.

It comes as no surprise that the first tool of this category was created by Google. Another giant of the computer industry, Apple, has gone beyond this concept, integrating its won desktop search engine, called Spotlight, into the operating environment. In this setting people do not need to know they are using a search tool.

About a year ago, I thought it was about time to equip Linux with an advanced desktop search tool, so I started developing Kat. Of course, I was aware of tools like locate or find that perform searches in the file system. Unfortunately, these tools lack some of the important features of a modern desktop search utility: they are only able to dig for information inside simple text-related files, they don't consider meta data, and their indexes need to be rebuilt manually. Moreover, they only look for information in files. Contemporary computer systems contain lots of information that is outside the file system, such as mail addresses, emails, contacts, play lists, and so on. We set out out create a tool that searches all the possible sources and even considers relationships between bits of information.

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