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Engineering plan for Quick Search

Last updated: 10/17/2001

The following document summarizes the engineering plan to support quick search in the mail 3-pane window. For an overview of the quick search feature please see the UE specs .

Task Breadown
Tasks Owner Time (in Days)
Menu Items & Command Disabling
  • SortbyThread is disabled in search view
  • Show / Hide the search bar menu item
naving 1
Search Bar Front End
  • Owns a search session (using an offline search scope) to conduct the search
  • timing behaves like auto complete widget (a pause after typing kicks off a search)
  • clear folder view when kicking off a search
  • show search status in the status bar
  • hook into the stop button (MAY NOT NEED)
  • Hook up an advanced button to bring up the search window
  • Switch the "Sender" to "Recipient" when sent, drafts etc are loaded. 
  • Clear the search input on folder-pane selection.
  • Add search support for both 3pane and alt-3pane.
  • Do not show search bar when account is selected.
  • Restore previously selected message in the folder/search view, if possible.
  • Reload folder when the user clears all input.
naving 7
View Infrastructure Changes
  • Support search result listener so the view gets notified on search hits
  • Add a search Notify javascript listener for updating progress and status-bar
  • cache previous view info to quickly restore the original folder view
  • OnNewHeadersAdded needs to be modified to drop new headers when in search view
  • Deletion should work normally but may have to get rid of cache.
naving 5
Prefs Panel Design
  • Switching between search on sender, search on subject, search on both
naving 1
Caching previous search results for faster lookups ?? ??

Total Man Days:  14 days

Risks / Unknowns
Not too much in the way of risks or unknowns for this design. We suspect most of the risk is going to be in discovering the best way to make it usable. i.e. solving issues like when do we clear the quick search text box and restore the view on the folder? Those kinds of issues aren't going to be solved until we implement this feature and get a chance to try it out and get feedback.

Early cuts
We probably won't need to cache the previous set of search results and as a user types, just search over the previous set of results. We suspect our searching is going to be fast enough for our target customer that we won't need to add this optimization. In addition, the engineering work to the search back end to support this optimization would be non trivial. However, we'll keep a record of this optimization and if performance becomes a problem for this feature we can look into doing this more.

Another early cut (if necessary) is the prefs panel for toggling between subject, sender and both. We can always try to build these choices directly into the quick search bar.