[Lubuntu] Recoll not a good fit as a replacement for Catfish (or LXFind)

John Hupp lubuntu at prpcompany.com
Tue Sep 11 14:28:12 UTC 2012

I am starting a new thread here since the discussion veered in a new 
direction from the original topic (which was "LXFinder installed instead 
of LXFind").

I successfully installed Recoll on Lubuntu, read most of the manual, and 
had some exchange with the developer (Jean-Francois Dockes), who is 
active.  The Recoll home page is at http://www.lesbonscomptes.com/recoll/.

My take: This is a content search program that will also accomplish 
much-less-ambitious file name search.  The program has a sophisticated 
design, is very flexible, and very well documented in English and French.

Apart from the Qt-based GUI, there is command line support, a KDE KIO 
slave interface, and a programming interface.  (So if the developers of 
Catfish or LXFind were so inclined, their currently 
file-name-search-only tools could be extended to content search, all 
through a single interface.)

The program has native support for several MIME types that commonly 
store readable content, and there are filters for most of the other 
common readable-content MIME types.

However impressive the program is, however, it would seem not to be a 
good candidate to replace Catfish as the recommended GUI search tool for 
Lubuntu.  The dev notes that it is Qt based, which seems out of step 
with Lubuntu's aims for lightness.  The database index that powers such 
impressive results is also very large -- depending on the mix of content 
that it is indexing, the database can be 15-65% the size of the original 
content (see http://www.lesbonscomptes.com/recoll/perfs.html). Memory 
usage during indexing can peak at 65 to a couple hundred MB.  File-name 
indexing is also not its strongest suit.  And it is tuned by default for 
searching the home directory rather than the entire file system (though 
with some configuration, it would seem to be possible to have it do full 
content searching in the home directory and more modest searching of 
file names and attributes in the file system at large).

So for the moment, I would be content if Catfish could find its way 
through its error-handling bug (which I have been posting about under 
the topic: "Catfish search result: Fatal error, search was aborted").

On 9/8/2012 12:59 PM, Karl Anliot wrote:
> John, I "don't have time" to test catfish, but if catfish doesn't work.
> Please test this out, and post your results!!
> http://danaleeling.blogspot.com/2012/09/lubuntu-1204-desktop-search-is-recoll.html
> On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM, John Hupp<lubuntu at prpcompany.com>  wrote:
>> In the Lubuntu documentation, Catfish is the currently recommended GUI
>> search tool.  But it notes "Though as of time of writing, LXFind is in the
>> Lubuntu PPA and is forthcoming shortly."
>> Elsewhere in a few slim references it seems to be expected for 12.10.
>> But again, among the few references, a number of users find that the
>> prescribed installation installs LXFinder instead of LXFind, and LXFinder
>> does not work.  And that is what I found.  I set LXFinder searching for a
>> known-existing file, and it did not find it, but did generate a slew of
>> "permission denied" errors.  I'll add that the LXFinder shortcut does indeed
>> point to /user/bin/lxfind, so this is not a simple matter of a
>> mis-constructed shortcut.
>> My installation commands:
>>      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lubuntu-desktop/ppa
>>      sudo apt-get update
>>      sudo apt-get install -y lxfind
>> One thing I notice about the documentation statement, though, is that it
>> refers to the Lubuntu PPA rather than the lubuntu-desktop PPA which I used
>> in my installation.
>> Did I use an obsolete PPA, or is there another good explanation here (or
>> even a bad but accurate explanation)?
>> I'll also observe here that I regard GUI file search as a necessary part of
>> the software stack.  It seems like something that's just gotta work on a
>> modern O/S.  And I'm testing LXFind because I found that Catfish generates a
>> disturbing error result when it can't find a match.  (Posted in a separate
>> thread.)
>> --
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