Feedback on QuickLaunch option removals

Hi QuickLaunch users!

Yesterday I noticed that I accidentally mixed up commits meant for different branches. :scream:
I’ve now more or less repaired the “master” branch. Just in case anyone is building from it…

I’ve long felt that there are more options in QuickLaunch than are actually necessary. I’m about to remove some and would like to have some feedback from actual QuickLaunch users. Remember, this is not about “Could you imagine this option be useful to anyone sometimes?”, but more like “I use this option all the time and wasn’t able to live without it when I tried for a week…”.

I already removed the option to only search after the second entered letter, because Haiku’s queries are fast enough on any dog-old system I tried.
I also removed the option to filter the apps with the search term anywhere in their name, because that gives more results than necessary most of the time and can be done by prefixing a “*”.

On these I’d like to get feedback:

  1. Launch application with single click” instead of a doubleclick.
    I’d like to just always launch on single-click. If you want to do anything other with an app (add to ignore list, make a favourite etc.), you can just right-click to get the context menu.

  2. Window always on top
    This makes the window modal, you cannot interact with other apps besides moving their windows. I feel that summoning QuickLaunch is done to just quickly launch some app, i.e. you’ll only use it as long as it takes to enter a few letters, find the app, and hit enter. It’s not hindering your workflow to have the QL window modal. It does have the advantage that you can launch more apps, while a big app is being opened. Monsters like LibreOffice etc. may take a while to start and in the wrong moment pop up and obscure your QuickLaunch window.
    Therefore, I’d like to make the QuickLaunch window always on top.

  3. Would you like to launch apps with localized names?
    Currently, QuickLaunch only works with the original English names, even if you’ve set your Locale prefs (and the Tracker/Deskbar setting in the 3rd tab there) to use localized app names.
    Working with localized app names would need some quite deep changes to QuickLaunch, because it cannot be done directl with a query. I’ve started to look into that, but thought before digging deeper, I’ll ask if anyone is genuinely interested in that.

I very much appreciate your feedback!


Hello! I’m not very sure about dropping the option to search term anywhere in their name.

For example, in my case use an app named “StreamRadio”. But for searching it, is more natural to search for “radio”.

Or for example, HaikuDepot: the more representative part of the name is “depot”

In any case, I agree that is a matter of personal taste :slight_smile:


I agree; at times when I search for something on my Mac, Haiku, etc., I usually think of the keyword first as well.

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I would like to have this option back.
I’m using ‘*’ but skipping asterisk is more natural for me.


Personally, I find it much more confusing to get a longer-than-necessary list of applications - many entries not starting with the letters I entered - which I then have to parse for what I’m actually looking for.

I guess that’s because in 99% of all cases I know the name of the application I need. For the remaining 1%, I prefix the “*”.

Anyway, I keep this feedback in mind. Thanks!

Sorry for my late comment.

Totally agree that from usability perspective is superior to not need to enter the asterisk. The list of possible matches maybe can not explode if you keep the approach of matching after the second letter has been entered. I don’t think that anyone has the real need to see matches from the first letter.

More details :slight_smile:
With QuickLaunch I am trying to match my Gnome shell experience for launching applications, for which I am very satisfied. There I press only one key (Windows or option I think we call it in Haiku) and immediately I can begin searching. In Haiku it doesn’t accept as shortcut the option key alone so I have set CTRL-space. If after that I need to press “*” (which is probably over the top of the keys I am going to use) and then write the letters of the app, it seems and is more keystrokes.

Thanks for asking for feedback :slight_smile:


my personal experience. In cinnamon (a linux desktop environment) i used to write “tor” to find the tor browser, but in some update they changed the algo and now include all partial matches too, like “*tor*” so i get 20 results with “editor”, “administrator” before “Tor Browser” just because it is sorted alphabetically. Maybe you can improve on this and include full results, but sort them by priority, i.e. first matches like KeyWord*, then those which have a matching word like /(.*)\sKeyWord(.*)/, then divide results by capital characters, insert a space in between and apply again the earlier regex, finally append surplus results

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Frankly, this would be the last thing I want for QuickLaunch.

Besides there not being keywords associated with applications in Haiku, it’d be the opposite what I intend. Right now, I can enter 2 or 3 letters and get back a list of normally 1 to 3 matching entries. From there, it’s hitting cursor-down 0 to 2 times and RETURN and the app is running. Takes one second.

I don’t want to parse a list of irrelevant stuff, just like I would never input “tor” and expect a list of all edi-tor-s in the system.

In situations where people work in different ways options are nessesary.

If you go the other route you end up with Gnome instead of a power user desktop OS with good defaults AND options where they matter.

or you can just ignore these and don’t show them at all.

I personally love options :slight_smile: but I realize not everyone shares that philosophy.

  1. Launch application with single click
    This does make sense to me. The application name acts like a button, and buttons normally require a single click. So this would be consistent with the rest of the UI.

  2. Window always on top
    I’m curious as to how many people use this. I suspect that it’s not a heavily used option, but I could be wrong. I never thought this option made much sense given that QuickLaunch closes after launching an application. If QuickLaunch stayed open then I could see a user wanting to just stick QL in a corner somewhere. Then it is in an easy spot where they can always get to, and having it always on top ensures it’s ready for input. I am not sure if anyone does this, but it is the only use case that I can think of.
    I personally just assign QuickLaunch to a shortcut (Win+R) and never need to keep the application open for very long.

  3. Would you like to launch apps with localized names?
    I think it’s a great idea, but I will defer to the community since English is my only language.

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Quick update:
I’d like to publish a little bugfix and option-remove release of QuickLaunch.
Right now there’s one or two short strings missing from Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithunian, Portuguese, Romanian and Swedish.

If people want to to see those languages, head over to Polyglot or they’ll not be part of the release.

As I said in my initial post: Some massive apps take relatively long to load. If you want to launch several apps, it’s annoying if you’re about to enter a search term in QL and have the monster app steal the focus when it finally decides to pop up.

On the contrary, if QL would stay open with a visible window, it would be very inconvenient to have it on top of everything else IMO. Something like Deskbar’s autoraise would make more sense then. But as that’s not how QL works, let’s not delve deeper…

Portuguese translation updated.

With regards to the apps behavior, personally I am fond of macOS’ Spotlight feature:

  • press a key combination to show search panel;
  • close search panel after clicking to open an application;
    -to open another one, press the key combination again;
    -presa Esc if I change my mind and just want to close the panel.

It just makes sense to me. Most times, I just want to open a single application, or else I will press Alt - Space again and ask for another one.

I must say I have also had a few occasions when I tried to enter an app’s name by writing characters from the middle, instead of the first few letters. It was annoying that it didn’t work (for instance a calculator like DeskCalc). In Spotlight, it usually does. I think maybe it could be allowed, with a different weight, I mean, by displaying first the applications that have those letters in the beginning of their names, and then any other that may have the letters in other positions. I understand that it would probably make it a bit more complicated to implement, though.

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That’s exactly how QuickLaunch behaves.

I’ll think about it for a future version.


indonesian translation update … thanks @humdinger

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I can contribute to Romanian translation, but Polyglot doesn’t allow me to do so (just re-created GitHub account).

The only not translated string is:
Use '*' as wildcards.
which in Romanian is:
Folosește '*' ca metacaracter.

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Translators need to be granted special permissions to be able to start working at Polyglot. I gave you permissions for Romanian. See if you can add the above translation, please.

Updated Romanian translation.

I am also native Russian speaker, so permission for this language are also welcome.

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I added Russian to your permissions. Thanks very much for your work!

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