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Bridge 14: Modernize indexing, file-search + fix static result display

Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2023 Oct 14, 2023

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Adobe has Firefly and all sorts of crazy stuff going on recently – but Search and Filtering in Bridge still give me 2003 Pentium 2 vibes.  I find Search / Filter performance and filtered data presentation equally lacking.

Great performance does not need a database

Some might reflexively state that a file browser for tasks like searching cannot compete with database-driven programs –  but I call this nonsense for moderate data volumes (some thousands or ten thousand files). You don't believe me? Just download apps like Everything or Listary* and have a play. Both apps have small, yet blazing fast indexes and support Algolia style Search As You Type – any instance of a file you have on your system is retrieved in milliseconds.

In the mentioned tools, you may interact with search results right away. And search result lists remain live. As soon as new file versions arrive, they are immediately added to the results list. No, there are no big enterprises involved to make this kind of interactive performance happen. Both mentioned apps were written by just one developer. 

 

Insanely ineffective: The Bridge Index 

Example: We have an output folder that holds all images we use in a web-project – about 4000 PNGs. This folder is known to Bridge and indexed. For performance reasons, we use the fastest display option, embedded thumbnails. Bridge does not have to create thumbnails – it only needs to display what's there already. The machine uses fast NVMe drives and has 64 GB RAM, it runs on Win 10. 

Bridge knows the folder (normal local folder) and may work with existing file-miniatures. Even with this minimal setup, the program fails to deliver a snappy interactive performance. Thumbnail render speed, scroll performance – there are many forum threads on this topic alone. I also shared some hints, how to improve the user-experience when things are a bit slow, unfortunately this input got disregarded as well.

 
Terrible UX : Presentation of Search and Filter results
What's even far worse for us is access to the Filter Panel.  Again, my sample folder is known to Bridge, its data is not volatile. We only add files, never remove. Effective indexing should not be hard.

In reality, Bridge may need minutes until one may interact with the Filter Panel. If you are impatient and have already selected a filter-checkbox before the program is ready (there is no indication that it is not) Bridge will very likely freeze so that you have to kill it via Task Manager.
 
 
Let's assume, you after minutes of wait were finally able to search and filter on your indexed folder. You're shown a grid of files with any set of common properties. We constantly use such filtered views to isolate series of numbered files which still need work –  often RAW files which end as PSDs and exported PNGs (each with retained names). You may create any number of new files which match the filter pattern in Bridge's active Content panel – yet they'll never show up here. 
 
Proper search tools like Everything or Listary will show changes right away. Bridge has no idea that your new files exist, which isn't acceptable. Pressing F5 (forcibly refresh view) will do not anything either. Ctrl+F (rerun Search) fails as well. You actually need to completely cancel out of your current Search operation (with several clicks) and set filters anew to get an updated filtered result. How incredibly inelegant and annoying.

Dear Bridge Team, please find someone to take the foundation of this File Browser into the year 2023.  
 
*Windows, there are similar apps on Mac

👀 @nikunj.m Mods please leave this Employee-Ping put (that forum handle is public anyway).
TOPICS
Feature request , Metadata , Performance , Problem or error

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Engaged ,
Oct 17, 2023 Oct 17, 2023

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Pictures speak louder than words. Here's a little clip which demonstrates why its static Search / Filter implementation severely limits Bridge's usefulness as a file manager. Considering the latest forum feedback (Bridge Search not finding anything at all...) your team might take the chance and solve the problem properly.


 

👀@nikunj.m  Mods please leave this Employee-Ping put (that forum handle is public anyway).

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LEGEND ,
Oct 17, 2023 Oct 17, 2023

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Both Windows and Mac have file-system APIs to track files. I've been working with large folders recently, still using Bridge 2022 because thew two newer releases are useless, and both performance and stability are terrible. I've had to write numerous scripts to get basic functionality that I need. All in all, pretty sad. These apps could be SO much better, it amazes me what they ship.

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Engaged ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Amen. What really amazes me is that the Bridge Team still asks for details when people report performance problems, as if one would be looking at rare edge cases. Indeed, you can completely screw a fresh Bridge 14 installation – at least on Windows – with just a few large folders. All the Bridge Team needed was a single person who actually uses the program…


We can't run Bridge 14 without having Everything running side by side. That way, we at least know what's really going on.

We depend on the latest Bridge though, as Br 12 is mapped to Photoshop 2022 with no way exposed to change this… There might be some trick to call batch-processing in PS 2024 from Bridge 12, but I haven't figured how to script that. 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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I use a script to batch from Bridge 2022 to Photoshop 2024.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mg817g9a9ymbasi/AADTmXUVxmFfM58bcyYE7yiwa?dl=0

Batch is part of the Utility Script Pack. Not everything works under Bridge 14 yet, but its fully functional with Bridge 2022.

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Engaged ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Thanks, @Lumigraphics for making your scripts available! I just wished you would unbundle them for sharing – it's super unlikely that fellow users need all of them too 🙂.

 I had to install all the scripts and go through a two-level submenu, just to access batch (a command that I have many times a day). Good thing in Br 14: One can set a keyboard-shortcut! A while ago, I had looked into the script, but could not get the Target Photoshop and Register Context Menu entry thing (likely named slightly differently) to work.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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My scripts are open source and Apache-licensed, feel free to modify them as needed. The main reason I bundle them is shared settings including saved preferences.

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