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What are you talking about? What have you've been missing?

Senders name or email? That has always been an option. Has attachments? Been an option since forever. tags? Since forever. date? Available since forever.

Not OP, but here's something I miss in Gmail search all the time-- ability to target a search at a particular directory and its sub-directories.

Suppose, for example, I have set up a subdir for conferences. That subdir contains a bunch of subdirectories for individual conferences. I know the e-mail I'm looking for is stored in there, because it relates to a conference publication I wrote. However, that subdir itself is "empty" as far as gmail search is concerned (because it's a "tag" rather than a true subdirectory).

The net effect of these hollow imitations of directories is I can either target the search to a specific tag, or I can search throughout my entire collection of messages. (Or, I suppose, I can tag every e-mail with every single sub-tag represented in the directory hierarchy I have mentally set up, just in case I might want to search for it someday.)

The gmail ideal, of course, is that I abandon the notion of directories altogether, and just let all my messages stew in the ocean of e-mail that one accumulates over the years. Supposedly their "powerful" search capabilities will help me find what I want. In my experience, though, under this approach most reasonable searches produce multiple pages of possible matches. This, of course, is hardly efficient.

It would also be nice if I could perform a search and then pull out that page of returned results into a separate screen/window for ongoing reference. Often when I'm searching for something, I'm looking broadly for resources or related conversations, rather than for a specific message.

Another place where I feel gmail search is brain-dead is its lack of regex capability (which @devdas has already mentioned).

Check again - gmail supports nested labels. exactly same as directory/subdirectories.

Separate screen of search results is just another tab in your browser - that's actually a vote in favor of web based gmail.

Yes, it supports nested tags, and the tags create structure that suggests directory nesting. However, as far as I can tell the search can't be made to honor the nesting.

To make my example explicit above, suppose I have a "directory" structure with dirs like `conf`, `conf/iaq2016`, and `conf/gmu2012`. Then a search in `conf` will not turn up results in `conf/iaq2016` or `conf/gmu2012`.

Believe me, I check this once every few months, always hoping that google will have improved their "tag" implementation.

I do appreciate your tip about multiple browser windows, though. In general, I don't like having multiple windows open to the same application-- but that's my problem, and not a design flaw in Gmail's search.

Yup. Nested labels like "top/med/bot" get flattened to "top-med-bot" for search, e.g. in:top-med-bot keyword


RIP Google Code Search :(

For reference, you used to be able to do this - https://code.google.com/p/chromium/codesearch - with an archived cross-section of code on the Web.

I wonder if we'll ever be able to do regex Google searches in the future, or if AI/machine learning will make that sort of flexibility redundant by the time the hardware would be able to handle it.

FWIW codesearch's spirit lives on with debian code search (https://codesearch.debian.net/) which allows you to do the same as codesearch, except for Debian only. Checkout also the thesis behind (https://codesearch.debian.net/research/bsc-thesis.pdf) that explains a lot about the challenges and the architecture.

It's cool to hate on Google though I thought?

But seriously, all these hard core unix fans seem a little odd here. Gmail search has always been powerful, and is even more powerful now. It sounds like a case of user error if it isn't working for someone.

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