DocFetcher Pro 1.16 Release

DocFetcher Pro 1.16 has just been released. A crash related to RAR archives was fixed, and in the result table the date display in the “Last Modified” column was changed to a fixed “yyyy-MM-dd, HH:mm” format. This format no longer depends on the system locale.

As for DocFetcher Pro Server, the upcoming search server based on DocFetcher Pro, the release timeframe needs to be pushed back again, unfortunately. It will not be ready by the end of Q1 2022, and is now tentatively scheduled for Q2 or Q3 2022. The delay this time was mostly due to a single major distraction: Having to relocate to another country for personal reasons. This caused development to go off the rails for a while. Since then, things have quieted down again and the project is back on track.

Moreover, the release estimate of Q2 or Q3 is now a little more conservative, as development of DocFetcher Pro Server turned out to be a huge undertaking that basically requires rewriting half the code base. To be more specific, in order to transform DocFetcher Pro, a traditional desktop application, into a proper web application, the entire user interface needs to be swapped out and rewritten.

At present, DocFetcher Pro Server is in an early alpha stage and contains all the basic features, but still suffers from too many holes and problems to be ready for real-world use. This is now what remains to be tackled before the software can be released.

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DocFetcher Pro 1.15 Release

DocFetcher Pro 1.15 has just been released. This is just a minor maintenance release with fixes for three bugs: Two crashes related to tar.gz and 7z archives, respectively, and one minor issue with the preview pane. For details, please see the changelog.

There hasn’t been much activity on DocFetcher Pro lately, mainly because of the focus on the upcoming DocFetcher Pro Server. Another reason is that most bugs in DocFetcher Pro seem to have already been fixed.

For those not in the know, DocFetcher Pro Server is a variant of DocFetcher Pro that is intended to be run as an indexing and search server, and that can be accessed by one or more clients remotely through the web browser.

Regarding the release date of DocFetcher Pro Server, there’s bad news, unfortunately: It will likely not be ready by the end of 2021, as previously announced. The release is now tentatively scheduled for Q1 2022. There isn’t any single big reason why this happened, just many small reasons that accumulated and conspired to cause DocFetcher Pro Server to fall behind schedule. That being said, the project continues to trot along at a steady pace.

As to the current state of DocFetcher Pro Server, there’s now a working prototype that runs on all supported platforms, i.e., Windows, Linux and macOS. Searching, filtering by file location and the preview pane all work. However, there are also many important gaps that still need to be filled – e.g., a login screen with accompanying user and password management, so you can access your search server over the internet without giving everybody else on the internet access to the server as well.

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DocFetcher Pro 1.14 Release

DocFetcher Pro 1.14 has just been released. It’s been about two months since the previous release, and since then a grab bag of fixes and changes had accumulated. All in all, three bugs have been fixed, and the various changes mostly revolve around preventing more bugs and crashes. The most notable changes are as follows:

1) It turns out that some programs, such as Thunderbird, like using files without file extension as gigantic data dumps, e.g., “Trash” or “Trash-1”. These files can often be 1 GB or more in size. However, DocFetcher Pro will by default try to index files without file extension as plain text files, and will likely fall over and die if it runs into these gigantic files. To prevent this, there’s now a new setting on the indexing dialog that by default will make the program exclude files having no file extension and being bigger than a certain file size from indexing. (And if you’re wondering why this new file size limit is applied only to files without file extension, and not to all files, that’s because a reasonable value for the file size limit depends on the file type. For instance, Excel files may reasonably be capped at, say, 100 MB, while PST files should be allowed to be 2 GB in size or more. A file-type-dependent file size limit may be added in a future major release.)

2) In case of a fatal indexing crash, the program now reports the path of the last file it worked on. This helps locate the file that likely caused the crash.

3) Previously, indexes that could not be loaded due to a broken tree.xml file in them were silently ignored. Now such index loading failures will be reported at startup. This helps you with identifying and removing broken indexes that are uselessly occupying disk space.

4) Result table: For emails, the value in the size column now includes not only the email body size, but also the size of any attachments. Note that you must rebuild your indexes before this new size value is displayed.

For the full list of fixes and changes, please see the changelog.

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