walking the dog too much (one stupid experience i had with beagle)

Posted: April 12, 2007 in linux

beagle is one great app in Linux. it indexes your files so you could better search for something really fast. the latest versions are very stable and does the job of indexing your files amazingly quick. the one on my SLED 10 is beagle-0.2.10-4.1. so far it gets me what i try to look for on my mess of a home dir. i’ve only recently started using it again. it comes in installed by default on a SLED 10.

so i’ve always been interested with beagle since it came out. and in early development, it wasn’t packaged with the distro of my choice (but of course!). i think that time i was still tinkering around with a Fedora Core/Red Hat 9 or Suse 9.1. so i had to install it myself.

release after release, i would constantly follow and upgrade to the latest. painstakingly trying to find a way to get around the many dependency issues that i would encounter during the installation. then one night something happened that made me just leave beagle for good.. . or at least that’s what i thought.

being the curious cat always, i experimented with the various ways on making beagle run optimally. that night i went through the executable files that came with beagle, trying to run each and find out what it does. unfortunately there is no easy undo button when one makes a mistake on commands such as rm or that executable beagle file that had an option of purge. i cannot quite remember the command + options exactly, but i will update this post as soon as i do. thinking that it would just purge the database of beagle indexed files, i carelessly proceeded to execute the command. stupid me didn’t even bother to read the documentation (if there was one on what this particular command would do, that time). hitting enter, the tool started spewing out weird messages. good thing it did too. or i wouldn’t have noticed what it was doing. had it finished executing, i would have kicked myself to the moon. in a matter of seconds i lost thousands of mp3s on one of my partitions. if i remember it correctly, about 6 seconds passed before i did a ^c.

ok so this was really my fault. i panicked! i started to go through a lot of sites about beagle. i know it was a futile act. i even went as far as telling some dudes on the beagle IRC channel on what happened. then some wise-ass developer mercilessly berated me, saying, “don’t meddle into things that you don’t understand!” or something like that. i guess he was right. again it was all my fault.

but i’ve always wondered why something like beagle, a tool that supposedly gathers information about the contents of your home directory (or the entire filesystem if need be), would have an option/tool that does the opposite?

ironic, isn’t it?

note: just in case some people might misinterpret this post, let me tell you that i am not trying to make a very good app look bad, nor am i saying that the developers won’t help you. this was an experience that i had with beagle some time ago. i am merely sharing that experience. lesson learned for me. i wish you don’t get the bad luck that i did for being careless. and said a certain Joe, that purge option has been taken out from the beagle tools.

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Comments
  1. yamzzz says:

    wow, i only posted this last night. i don’t think this post has even been indexed by google already. funny you should stumble upon it so quickly Joe. 😀

    btw, you are the Joe Shaw of Novell, if i’m not mistaken.. . one of the leading developers of beagle, right?

    yeah i hope that that guy who made the comment wasn’t a beagle developer. i readily admitted that time that the stupid mistake was all my fault. i was only asking for a little help/suggestion. i was politely stating my case and was not blaming anyone @ the channel but me. no hard feelings though. but his remark turned me off. believe me i stopped using beagle after that. hehehe.. .

    but everything is ok now. i’ve been using beagle since i started using SLED 10 last year.. . around July. no apologies needed Joe. but i thank you, nonetheless. and a great app beagle is, no BS! 🙂

  2. joeshaw says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. 😦

    I don’t know if it was you who filed a bug about that, but at some point someone did and we audited all of the tools included in Beagle to make sure that didn’t happen again.

    Also I’m sorry to hear that you were treated badly on the IRC channel. I’m pretty confident that whoever said that was not a Beagle developer, but probably someone who was hanging out in the channel at the time. In any case, it’s unfortunate and especially frustrating after having a bad experience like you did.

    I hope it hasn’t completely turned you off to Beagle, and again accept my apologies.

    Joe Shaw

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