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Re: History of incremental searching

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: History of incremental searching
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 06:48:39 +0000
User-agent: tin/1.4.5-20010409 ("One More Nightmare") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.35 (i686))

Barry Margolin <address@hidden> wrote on Mon, 17 May 2004 11:35:16 -0400:
> In article <address@hidden>,
>  Jesper Harder <address@hidden> wrote:

>> Alan Mackenzie<address@hidden> writes:

>> > Just out of curiosity, does anybody here know the how, when, where
>> > and by whom of incremental searching?

>> > When was it invented, and in which product?  Did it arise first in
>> > Emacs?  Whose idea was it?

>> This page <> suggests that it was
>> invented at MIT:

>>   this feature usually goes by the name "Incremental Search". The
>>   initial idea and implementation was done circa 1974 by researchers
>>   at MIT and later included in the popular word processor named
>>   "EMACS" (Richard Stallman, 1979). The claim that incremental search
>>   should be a fundamental part of making software easier to use was
>>   argued by Jef Raskin in his excellent book "The Humane Interface".

Thanks!  1974, eh?  Wow!

> Which of course explains why most software does *not* include this 
> feature. :)

> The only similar thing I've seen in commercial software is in Mac OS X's 
> "Console" application, which is used for viewing log files.

There is a help facility in much commercial software, where certain
terms/sentences are listed top to bottom in a buffer.  As you type
characters in, it incrementally searches for terms anchored at BOL.
Trouble is, it doesn't allow you to search freely through the list.  It's

> It has a "Filter" field that's used to display lines matching a string,
> and it updates its display as you type.  If Emacs had this, I guess
> we'd call it "Incremental-Occur".

> Barry Margolin, address@hidden

Alan Mackenzie (Munich, Germany)
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