Cornan
In 5.0 the instant search field and search button worked like a normal "form".  It was possible to press TAB to go from the text box to the button and then once it had the focus, the button could be activated with either the keyboard or the mouse.

This made for a very quick transition from instant search to the next level search (e.g. TAB - ENTER), leaving one's hands on the keyboard.

This behavior changed more than once during the 5.5 beta, and now it is no longer possible to use the "Search" button like a form.  Instead, the user is forced to move to the mouse to press the Search button.

Worse yet, the "Search" button does not appear to be present in the keyboard accelerators, so users have no choice but to use the mouse (and only the mouse) the use the Search button.

This new, more difficult behavior affects me almost every time I use PersonalBrain.

1) Please restore TAB-ENTER functionality to the search form (i.e. the way it worked in 5.0).  If there were other perceived issues regarding focus, they should be solved without impacting search usability

2) Please add "Search Button" to the keyboard accelerators so that users can work around this unusual behavior.

As you can tell, this is an area where I don't so much disagree as fail to understand why the developers thought such an un-ergonomic change was desirable, especially given the new keyboard accelerator features (two steps ahead, one step back?)

I guess they just flew past Minneapolis while distracted by something else .

P.S. I started a thread under the 5.5 beta on this topic but in that thread we expanded beyond the simple TAB-ENTER capability.  If possible, I'd like to keep this thread focused on "pressing" the search button using the keyboard.

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dyslucksia
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP

Pressing Tab, Enter has no effect in 5.5, but pressing Enter does. So all you have to do if you want to invoke Extended Search is to press Enter (after adding appropriate wildcards).

I seem to recall that pressing Enter like this also worked in 5.0, though I may be wrong. I can't recall ever finding it was necessary to press Tab beforehand.

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This made for a very quick transition from instant search to advanced search (e.g. TAB - ENTER), leaving one's hands on the keyboard.

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Performing an Extended Search (p135, 5.0 User Guide)
To perform an extended search: Type what you’re looking for in the Search field, then click the Search button Your Search results will appear in the Search tab.


What you were getting was not Advanced Search at all, but Extended Search, which is Advanced Search with all the stops pulled out. Sure, more convenient to hit Enter than pressing F9, but less useful since my results got overloaded with false positives, including matching terms found in Thought labels, attachments, etc. If that's what you want, fine. But unless you designed your Brain to take advantage of Extended Search by deliberately avoiding using attachments, including text files, and deliberately leaving Thought labels blank, any extraneous material in there that matches will be included in Extended Search results.

On top of this, you have to be so careful when going from Instant to Extended Search to remember to add wildcards. For example, if I have Thoughts named object 1, ... object 4, all these are instantly findable in Instant Search if I type ob, but if I press Enter I get "No results found". That is, not until I add the asterisk wildcard, making the search term ob*. Even then it's not 100% reliable, IMO not entirely due to the vagaries of word expansion.

However, I'd welcome it if they changed the design so that pressing Enter while in the Search Edit Field couldn't invoke Extended Search, but obliged one to press the Tab key first. The two search engines are so different in their requirements, it's best to make a clear distinction between them. One of my first truly baffling experiences with PB was working out why clicking Search always produced "No results found". Until I studied the manual closely, this seemed to be completely counterintuitive.
PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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zenrain
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However, I'd welcome it if they changed the design so that pressing Enter while in the Search Edit Field couldn't invoke Extended Search, but obliged one to press the Tab key first. The two search engines are so different in their requirements, it's best to make a clear distinction between them. One of my first truly baffling experiences with PB was working out why clicking Search always produced "No results found". Until I studied the manual closely, this seemed to be completely counterintuitive.


I would request that using Enter for search functionality not be changed. Please view this thread for reasoning behind this.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Cornan
Thanks (doh!) for reminding me of what I should have tried myself, just pressing ENTER.  I must simply be mesmerized by the Search button.

I realized after I submitted the topic that I shouldn't have said "Advanced Search" but only edited the post (a la 1984) after your replies.

I scanned the thread zenrain linked to for the word "focus" but didn't find it; I had the impression that taking away focus from the search button was mentioned as part of the developers' motivation. 

With only a few thousand thoughts in my brains and in distinct clusters of topics (personal, business, technical), I'm just getting to the point where I have too many Instant Search / Extended Search matches.  The scalability of the PersonalBrain UI (not the hardware resources) is one of those things I think about as my databases (and Instant Search) results grow.

Hopefully saved / templated searches will be upcoming before my brains get too out of hand.

I wonder what effect replacing the lost functionality of tags as indexable text (presumably with a new "keys" field or the like) would have on searching.  It would certainly let me shrink my thought names, as long thought names and "the comma trick" are my current "best solutions" to finding thoughts with Instant Search, forestalling the day I need to make frequest use of Extended / Advanced Search.

So far word expansion has been a major nuisance for me in Google, but not so much for my PersonalBrain DBs.
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dyslucksia
zenrain, I re-read your post referred to above. I can understand your wanting instant access to Extended Search. I'd like instant access to Advanced Search. My point is that either should be available. Or, more sensibly, just Advanced Search should be available, and if the user selects All, this turns it into Extended Search, which should be remembered the next time the user calls it up.

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I would request that using Enter for search functionality not be changed.


Seriously, I'd also like us to be able to turn it OFF so that it only works to activate a Thought in Instant Search, otherwise it could end up activating an attachment or activating the Add Attachment page.

My attitude to it is, "If you can't make the meaning of a button intuitively clear, its interface should be redesigned, or else the button shouldn't be there at all." I'd love to know how many forum readers became confused by this button when they first encountered it.

I notice you say:

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I've never used the Search button, so I wouldn't miss it if it was removed. From a new user standpoint I'm not sure if it would be more or less confusing if it was gone.


I couldn't agree more - that button is one of the most confusing controls in PB.


PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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zenrain
@Cornan, sorry for the confusion. My reference was to Dyslucksia's additional suggestion to require a Tab + Enter to start the Extended Search, rather then just using Enter.
Tabbing to focus the search button would be consistent with normal UI behavior, and I completely agree.

@Dyslucksia, I agree with your suggestion in the linked thread to be able to add a modifier to [Enter] (like shift or ctrl) to activate the Advanced search.
I also really don't have a preference to if the button is removed or not.
I completely disagree with your suggestion for turning the Enter to do an extended search feature off. However, I don't wish to hijack Cornan's thread.
I suggest if that's the behavior you want, to start a thread in the Feature Suggestions forum.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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dyslucksia
@zenrain, what I actually said was

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I'd also like us to be able to turn it OFF so that it only works to activate a Thought in Instant Search


This was only meant as an option. I can understand that those who use Extended Search would prefer to have it switched on. So what I was suggesting would not interfere with your ability to use it.

Realistically though, I don't think there's much risk of this feature being altered in any way since habits are too ingrained and the PB team have better things to do with their time.

PB 5.5.2.1 on Windows XP, J-1.6.0_17
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Moe
@Cornan,@Zenrain,

I have added a request to have the Tab+Enter functionality re-added to 5.5.

Best regards,
Moe

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