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authorjao <mail@jao.io>2022-07-22 21:42:18 +0100
committerjao <mail@jao.io>2022-07-22 23:34:05 +0100
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consult recoll with live preview
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+#+title: consult recoll with live preview
+#+date: <2022-07-22 19:08>
+#+filetags: emacs
+
+Lately, i've gravitated towards /recoll/ as a unified search engine for all my
+local data, including org and text notes, documents in PDF or similar formats,
+HTML files, and local email. As a result, my little [[https://codeberg.org/jao/consult-recoll][consult-recoll]] package has
+gone up a few notches up in my list. i've just released version 0.5,
+featuring live previews.
+
+
+[[https://jao.io/img/consult-recoll-preview.png]]
+
+#+begin_export html
+ <!-- preview-end -->
+#+end_export
+
+[[https://www.lesbonscomptes.com/recoll/][Recoll]] is a local search engine that knows how to index a wide variety of file
+formats. It also offers a sophisticated query language, and, for some
+document kinds, snippets of the text of the document that actually match your
+query: that's always been one of my favourite features, and wanted to bring it
+to emacs.
+
+i found consult's [[https://github.com/minad/consult#live-previews][live previews]] a very nice venue to bring snippets into
+emacs, via a new version of [[https://codeberg.org/jao/consult-recoll][consult-recoll]], and there you go, just a small
+matter of programming[fn:1].
+
+There are several things of this package that make me happy. For one, it's
+very small (less than 200 lines of code, including comments) and does quite a
+bit, thanks to the help of consult on the emacs side and of recoll on the
+system's side. In my opinion, it's a very good example of how the operative
+environment provided by emacs brings the Unix philosophy to the next level:
+here, it's gluing together functionality provided by emacs packages
+(completing read, consult's asynchronous searches and previews, and so on),
+and the indexing and search capabilities of a totally unrelated, orthogonal
+program, recoll, which in turn delegates to a swarm of other unix programs
+(such as antiword, unrtf, poppler, pstotext and a long etc) to extract
+information from local files[fn:2]. Very pleasant!
+
+* Footnotes
+
+[fn:1] If you're not into consult, my unpublished little library [[https://codeberg.org/jao/elibs/src/branch/main/lib/doc/jao-recoll.el][jao-recoll]]
+knows how to render recoll query results (including snippets) in an
+org-prettified buffer.
+
+[fn:2] Another way in which recoll is true to the same philosophy is in its
+nice separation of indexing, query and presentation programs; for instance,
+its CLI interface, =recollq=, is what made =consult-recoll= such a breeze.