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A Guide to BeOS System Objects


Query Icon

The Query Icon
Location in the BeOS: /home/queries/*

Queries are a fast way to search your BeOS system.


If you've used the BeOS for any time at all, you've almost certainly used the Find command to look for something somewhere on your hard disk. And, if you were watching carefully, you might have noticed that the BeOS created a /home/queries directory to store a history of your searches. These stored queries all have the same icon, which is this week's IconWorld story.

The BeOS's searching is very powerful, and many people find it a tremendous advantage of the BeOS, particularly software developers who can combine the Tracker's ability to display custom attributes and the find function to put query capability into their applications with very little effort.

This is a great advantage for users as well, because the interface for performing searches and viewing the results can be very similar across applications, even from different developers or development companies. In fact, if you know what you're doing, you can use the normal BeOS Find panel to do those same searches, giving you exactly the same interface for all applications!

Going back to your stored queries, it's a good idea to give them meaningful names soon after deciding that the results were what you wanted, and to throw away any queries that didn't perform the way you expected. That way, you'll be able to repeat any useful query very easily, by double-clicking it.

Another helpful hint: Did you know that you could edit the search criteria of an existing query? Just open the query by double-clicking it, and choose Edit Query from the File menu of the query results window. Your new search criteria are saved to the existing query file, so this is a great way to save a periodically changing search, or to refine a query until it gives you exactly what you want.

There are a bunch of other interesting ways you can use queries in the BeOS. Be sure to check out The BeOS Tip of the Week section, which has multiple Tips that deal with queries, and then send us suggestions for your favorite new ideas!

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