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Re: a request for WRI

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg55077] Re: a request for WRI
  • From: Steve Gray <stevebg at>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 04:21:03 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <d0mnr9$736$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 11:48:57 +0000 (UTC), Chris Chiasson <chris.chiasson at> wrote:

>Dear WRI,
>Google Desktop Search 1.0 was released recently. It has an API so that
>plugins for different file formats may be added. I would write a
>plugin to search Mathematica notebooks, but I really only know how to
>program in Mathematica...
>Mathematica notebooks have a bunch of special formatting, preventing
>their indexing as a normal "text" file (even though it is plain text
>readable). Could you guys/gals write a plugin for GDS that gives all
>symbols from input cells and all text from non-input cells over to the
>search engine? This would catch all function calls and all user
>defined variables. One good side benefit is that they might finally
>add .nb search to the main search engine later.
>I dunno. I just wanna be able to search my notebooks for old code! :-)

I second the  motion. I have loads of comments in my code that I would
like to be able to search, since they have the same importance to me
that regular documents in Word and e-mail have.  (The same thing goes
for another app I use constantly, Geometer's Sketchpad, but I don't
expect WRI to do that one!)

These searches could be done with no effort by Google if Mathematica
and GSP wrote plain text files at the same time they are writing their
usual stuff. In Mathematica, any competent coder (I don't include
myself in this category) could write the app as an Mathematica file.

Steve Gray

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