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date 23.Feb.2014

■ DeskRule: A new kind of desktop search engine is born

Nowadays it is amazing how much information there is in your everyday documents. Take your photos for example, the "new" property system introduced with windows vista has no less than 86 properties for photos, and that's not counting the GPS geo-location information also available for pictures. Modern phones and advanced cameras add all this information in EXIF and XMP tags and the property system distills such tags into standard properties.

You may argue that if you own just the one camera you are not interested in the System.Photo.CameraModel property. Most of these are just for professional photographers. But how about searching for pictures with particular people in them? Say pictures of your daughter? This is possible because windows exposes automatic face recognition data inserted by your advanced camera or photo software in System.Photo.PeopleNames property. Likewise you can search by GPS coordinates to find pictures taken at some particular location, e.g. your latest trip in australia. Isn't it a waste of information when you only search by name?

The most powerful search tools of today — even xplorer² — are stuck using traditional shell column handlers which only expose around a third of the available properties. That is why we went ahead and wrote from scratch a new kind of search tool that taps into all the available properties, for photos, media and documents. It also offers traditional name/date/text content search. Its name is DeskRule and today you can have a go trying its capabilities.

This is pretty much work in progress but it has reached a point where it is a usable search engine so we are presenting it to you for your feedback and beta testing, which will help decide the future of its development.

Click to download DeskRule (32/64 bit)

Minimum requirements: windows Vista or later

deskrule main window

DeskRule is still rough around the edges and rather slow, but things will improve in the near future. Unlike xplorer² which does "everything and the kitchen sink" file management, this is going to be a tool focused on just one thing, searching for files and folders. The general ideas are:

Here is a demo video explaining the advanced search capabilities play
Here is another demo video for the plain search mode play

Your comments and suggestions (or bug reports) are very much appreciated, thanks!

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