Sunday, August 04, 2013

Spotlight Calendar searches in Lion and Mountain Lion - kind of weird

In Lion and Mountain Lion Apple gave this Spotlight search example:

Except I tried in Lion and Mountain Lion and that search string didn't do anything whereas iOS 6 Siri returns a list of meetings for 'tomorrow' (and comments first that I have "quite a lot of them, which is funny).
A partial fix  is to use the Events Keyword (see also: Mac 101: Use Spotlight for quick review of Calendar events)

Calendar events



Alas, when I tested this is Spotlight and Calendar search things got weird. I think because all of my Calendars are synchronized from Gmail/Google I exposed some Spotlight bugs. At first searching for Kind:event would only display "Birthdays" (From Facebook?), but then I added a single Event on my iCloud Calendar (no way to create a purely local Calendar any more?). That seemed to awaken Spotlight and soon kind:even generated a LOT of hits from ALL my Calendars (same as searching on the '.' (dot) operator - old trick post Agenda removal).
Then I tried date operators while searching within

kind:event date:today

That returned an event from over a year ago (7/5/2012). Ok, that's bizarre.
So then I tried a date range using spotlight as a guide

kind:event date:6/29/13-7/25/13

That returned the same person's Facebook birthday, but from 2013 and 2014.
Then I tried the same search string in Spotlight, and I got a funny mixture of Calendars back.
So then I filtered out all the calendars I didn't want and I showed that either the old '.' or the newer Kind:Event search in would return a 10.5 style event list. Still, i couldn't get a date operator to work in search though -- it just interpreted it as a string (so 8/5/2013 worked to show events on that date, but 8/5/13 didn't work). The OS X date:tomorrow documentation didn't work.
So I hit a wall on this project, but I figure its worth sharing my experience for anyone looking further. If nothing else the links may be useful, and it was interesting to learn why Lion tips on changing days displayed in week view no longer work.
Editorial Comment: In my work day on Win 7 and Outlook 2007, I routinely use Calendar searches like <after:today Fred>. Apple's inability to support this kind of basic operation in their isn't a good sign.
See also

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