Is DEVONagent's AI outdated in 2017?

Hi all,
I’ve purchased the DEVONagent Pro at around half year ago and used it much. I want to write my personal view about this software here, to ask for any suggestions and hear about anybody who has the same view with me.
Well after hundreds of trying and tinkering with DAP, I’m quite tired with its page-ranking AI. For 70% or higher chance it won’t give me the best results for searching.
To give an example, I want to know something about my favorite mac notebook app “Curio” so I launched the search “curio AND app”, with plugin “Google”, at the same time I searched google for the same query. The results are shown below.



Clear to see that Google (.com) knows exactly what I want so it returns the index of zengobi. Well let’s check what DAP returns. At the first place it is a government website and the second one is somehow a traveling website. Strange that they both have the highest ranking scores of relevance.
About each time I used DAP for searching, I got the results just like this case, that is, not relevance to what I want.
In this case I highly doubt about the ability if DAP’s AI. I don’t quite know about how it is implemented but I hold the same feeling with this one: https://dellu.wordpress.com/tag/devonagent-vs-google/
Now Google holds millions of TBs of data and they’ve managed to cast the newest AI technologies (big data algorithms, deep learning algorithms) to rank their pages. So how can a ~25MB app to give better performance than it? In the 25MB app it won’t be anything like semantic database or large corpus so any knowledges is extracted from the search result, it’s much a small corpus for machine learning.
Sometimes I think Google returns the best page ranking result and DEVONagent ruins them all. I say “Hey DEVONagent, why not leave the result as it is ?!”.
I may be expecting too much about DAP, after all it’s built by a small company and we cannot expect it to fight with Google.
The second thing I’m not satisfied with DAP is the language. In the website of DEVON technologies http://www.devontechnologies.com/technology.html it said one of the features of DEVONtechnology is, it’s language-independent.
It is NOT, as far as I know.
There are many types of languages in the world. English is (naturally) split by words while Chinese and Japanese does not. In DAP, it seems, words are sent to AI to perform relevance calculations. So DAP becomes useless when used to search for Chinese or Japanese, or some other asian languages, since DAP cannot judge the relevance of two sentences in Chinese.
There may be misunderstandings or misusage. Any suggestions are welcome here.

From DEVONagent’s Help:

…and also in the Help…

This is an interesting a worthwhile discussion as I suspect, like the OP and indeed myself when I first started to use DAP, many folk think that the app is simply another browser and one that claims to be better than the rest, neither of these statements are In my opinion true. When I first bought DAP I tried unsuccessfully to replace Safari with it but soon realised that DAP is not a Safari replacement but it is an excellent and “very capable Internet research assistant that handles tedious research tasks such as weeding out bad search results, spotting linked documents, and finding information on a webpage.” For me the last two in this list are exactly the things that DAP do best and other web browsers fail miserably to do. It is a question of the right tool for the job in hand and now I use Safari for general web browsing and DAP for what it is intended for.

Bluefrog quoted the Help page and it is worth reading the whole of that page “Why use DEVONagent Pro?” so I give it here:

"Why use DEVONagent Pro?
A common misconception is that DEVONagent Pro is a simple front-end to Google or Bing. This is far from the truth. DEVONagent Pro is a very capable Internet research assistant that handles tedious research tasks such as weeding out bad search results, spotting linked documents, and finding information on a webpage.

Searches with DEVONagent Pro take longer than quick searches on a Web search engine because DEVONagent Pro downloads each resulting page instead of only presenting you with a link to it. DEVONagent Pro searches also return fewer results since DEVONagent Pro filters broken links, advertisements, and outdated pages. This feature actually saves time because you do not have to do all this manually.

Reasons for using DEVONagent Pro include:

You get much better search results.
You don’t have to do all the tedious, repetitive tasks involved in a search; DEVONagent Pro does them for you, freeing you to spend more time on meaningful, more important tasks.
You can search more specifically using DEVONagent Pro’s advanced operators and search sets.
You get the results in a much more natural presentation in the Digest.
You can archive interesting searches and review or expand those searches on another day.
You use a specialized web browser with research-centric additions, e.g., the sidebar.
You can use DEVONagent Pro to run regular searches when you are not at the computer, and it will present the results, if any, when it has finished."

Thanks for both of your sincere replies, your replies will wipe out many of my misunderstandings about DAP. :smiley: :smiley:

No problem. :slight_smile:

I don’t know, I think you’re on to something here. I find that DEVONagent gets bogged down with lots of spammy looking pages. Especially if I’m searching for the names of software tools (like DEVONagent…) I’ll get these weird software roundup / comparison sites that don’t have any real information on them.

Type any two software packages into google (“devonthink tinderbox” with no quotes) and the first few pages of results will be useful. Do the same with DA’s google plugin, and the first couple dozen results are probably trash. All the good stuff is at the bottom of the list!

It’s like DA takes all the results, and then sees that the trash pages have the keywords representing a % percentage of the page content than the other pages, and ranks them higher. Seriously, 9 out of the first 12 results are dating sites that have some BS gibberish page with devonthink and tinderbox sprinkled throughout them, presumably to get picked up by search engines. It’s crazy!


So, what’s the value in DEVONagent? Well for me, it’s a great way of looking at a LOT of pages (contrary to what the help says, DA returns more results for me than Google. Sure, Google may have thousands or millions of results for a query, but I never go past page 10, and even that’s rare). I can get a quick overview of the page contents, delete things that don’t look useful, and search the page contents in more detail (I LOVE the extra search bar at the top of the search panel, which can do BEFORE / NEAR / etc searches).

After judiciously excluding domains that aren’t useful, and archiving pages that I’ve seen before, it gets better… but the fact that DEVONagent ranks trash pages above useful ones just blows my mind. I realize one man’s trash is another’s treasure and all that… but you can’t tell me that spammy dating sites are more useful than actual articles or posts about the topic I’m searching for. Anyone who’s used DEVONagent with the google plugin has seen this, I’m sure.