[OS X TeX] status of Spotlight indexing of .tex files?

Adam Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Tue Dec 20 14:02:39 EST 2005

On Tuesday, December 20, 2005, at 09:50AM, Jan Hegewald <rurapente at gmx.de> wrote:

>Am 20.12.2005 um 17:28 schrieb Herbert Schulz:
>> Howdy,
>> You can also find files using Locate, a GUI interface to the locate  
>> data base. Of course that must be updated.
>Yes, but if I want to get a reliable result I always have to update  
>the database )-;
>EasyFind http://www.grunenberg.com/easyfind.html is also very useful.

Tiger updates the locate database weekly.

>> Understand that while Spotlight doesn't index all text files that  
>> might be a blessing.
>Yes, maybe. But currently Splotlight does not tell my which files and  
>folders are not indexed. So I can not determine if important files  
>are excluded.

I think part of the anti-Spotlight sentiment around here is due to misunderstanding about what it's supposed to do (probably due in part to Apple's hype).  See <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Carbon/Conceptual/MetadataIntro/index.html>, which talks about "Metadata."  File content as raw text is recognized as a metadata tag, but it's mainly a catch-all when nothing else works (e.g. DVI files have no other metadata information available AFAIK, such as author, title, date).

In reference to Herb's comment, it is good that not all text files are indexed the same; this allows BibTeX files to be imported differently than TeX documents, or html documents.  The implicit requirement is for application developers to ship an importer for the file types they support, though, or else Spotlight breaks down.

>> Also, what tool do you use that does any indexing of the content of  
>> files rather than simply the file name?
>For file contents search I use TextWrangler.

And TextWrangler does that very well, but it's not indexing.


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