Monthly Archives: September 2004

Apple’s Spotlight, what do we search for and … topic maps

I recently enjoyed watching “Tiger” presentation and specifically presentation of a new Apple’s search technology – “Spotlight”

As many other people I would like to have this kind of search now on OS X, Windows and Linux computers. I also would like to have this kind of search for enterprise document repositories.

What I cannot find in this demonstration is an explicit concept of “subjects” or “topics”. If I select a name of a person in email, for example, I can find all emails, presentations, calendar entries, documents, images etc. which have reference to this name in a file name, metatags or in document content. But can I find all projects which I manage? Can I find all applications which I am responsible for? Can I find all servers which I have to check from time to time or all technologies which I am interested in? Projects, applications, servers, technologies are subjects in my area of interests.

When I do search, I would like to search not only for resources which reference my favorite subjects, but also for other subjects which are connected with subject in focus.

So I will probably add topic map engine to Spotlight on my OS X computer as soon as Tiger will be available. How will I use Topic Map engine? I will use it to define subjects which are not covered by standard OS X applications. I will use it to manage relationships between subjects in my area of interests. I will also create a script which creates pseudo-documents (in html format?) for each subject. Each pseudo-document will have all names, inline occurrences and associations. I can also create document proxies for external resources which are not located on my hard drive (if Spotlight/Safari do not allow to attach custom metatags for bookmarked URIs).

It seems that Spotlight allows to define custom document categories/types. So I can define pseudo-document types for my subject classes, such as “projects”, “applications”, “people”, “servers”, “companies”, “technologies” etc. Now I can use standard system-wide Spotlight engine to search subjects and resources. And I can use Safari to navigate between different subjects.