Tue 12 Jul 2022 12:27PM

Is it possible to search within files on a loomio group?

AH Adam Hardy Public Seen by 68

I always thought over 3 years of loomio use that the search facility would let me search for text within files as well as threads on my group, but now I've come to try it, I can't do it - I went to the Files tab for my group and typed something in, but it appears only to provide results where the search time appears in the file title. Is that correct? Or is there an option somewhere I need to switch on or something?



Robert Guthrie Tue 12 Jul 2022 9:39PM

Hi @Adam Hardy. Sorry but we don't support this, and don't plan to support it either. We do support searching the filename, but not the contents of the files themselves.

Files are not stored in our database, they're stored in a special system for serving/storing large files. If you need that function, we recommend you upload your files to another system that supports that, but I have no idea what would be suitable, that would depend on the file type.


Adam Hardy Wed 13 Jul 2022 9:33AM

OK, slight disappointment but I won't go on hunger strike.

Is there a way to raise this as a development request so that you do reconsider it for your plans? I have a vague idea that it might be a challenge, but it would be immensely useful.

If my group was sufficiently organised with their information, categorisation, naming and flagging, then we'd probably be using a wiki but unfortunately this bunch are liable to turn a wiki into a black hole.

While I'm asking for improvements, it would also be great to be able to rename those files. Currently I see I can only delete them.


Robert Guthrie Fri 15 Jul 2022 2:58AM

We intend to make Loomio a good place for building your organizational knowledge. We've invested a lot into our editing experience (I.E. WYSIWYG editing, and good version history, notfifications etc). Real-time collaborative editing is waiting in the wings to be switched on, along with an easy way to link between pages (like mentioning, but instead connecting threads that form a wiki).

However, files are a completely different beast - they could be any format at all, PDF, Doc, docx, xls, JPG, we just support them as attachments. Opening and reading/indexing all the attachments would be a really complex job. It's just not something we will be doing - it's not the problem we are here to solve. Use something else if you want to solve that problem.

I will add renaming to our roadmap, and do it next time I'm in the area, along with adding files directly from the files tab.


Adam Hardy Sun 17 Jul 2022 12:17PM

That sounds great! The renaming, I mean. Presumably renaming a file will break existing links to it though?


David Newman Mon 18 Jul 2022 9:36AM

There are Linux tools that will search inside lots of different kinds of file, but they wouldn't usually be running on services like Backblaze. So maybe we need a way of extracting metadata when importing a file and saving the metadata inside Loomio.


Adam Hardy Wed 27 Jul 2022 3:28PM

The other thing for file management alongside renaming would be an associated list of the threads where it was used, so I can see whether it's actually still relevant or can be deleted already.