Trying DEVONAGENT again - but the program doesnt like me


I’ve got a 30 day demo and am giving devonAgent a new whirl hoping to use it with my devonthink pro.

I created a set that uses the google web plugin and did a search for “Datormagazin” I then tried a search in google directly. I noticed i get quite a different set of hits when using devonAgent and that its much slkopwer than goodle is.

Thus i wonder why are the hits so different when i’m using the google web plugin? What criterria is it using that google itself does not use?

Will devonAgent always be so much slower than google?

I noticed in an instruction here that one should capture the url so one can study it and then create ones own plugin. I’m going to try that, but how do i capture a url when i’m on a page thar requires login and uses asp or cgi or some other form of scripting?

I have tried pasting a url from a login page and entering a usrname and password in the edit search set under sites but that did not work?

I thin that devonAgent probably has some possibilities but i need to get past the initial threshold and i need to do it in thirty days if i’m going to be able to properly evakuate the software.

Thankful for any and all help.

Yes, DEVONagent will always be slower than Google in the time taken to produce search results.

That’s not the measure of efficiency, however. You may find that DEVONagent actually saves you a great deal of time and effort, compared with Google.

DEVONagent doesn’t just produce a list of URLs, as Google does. DA actually downloads the HTML page search results to your computer, summarizes their content and groups the summary digests into suggested topic categories, depending on the content. If you go offline after completing a DA search, the HTML pages and digests are still available to you.

So DEVONagent automatically and intelligently does for you the kinds of things you have to do manually when working with a list of Google search results. That’s why a DA search “takes longer” than a Google search.

DEVONagent provides three mechanisms that allow you to keep information from your search results on your computer:

[1] While viewing a completed search, press File > Save As. This allows you to save the Digest summaries (each with associated URL) to your hard drive. I’ll leave it to your needs and imagination to decide what you can do with text summaries of page contents.

[2] Selected or all results can be saved to your DEVONthink Pro database. In this mode, DT Pro will capture all the text for searching and analysis.

[3] Selected or all results can be saved to your DEVONagent Archive. The information remains available for searching (name, content or URL) and/or for future transfer to your DEVONthink Pro database. Adding results to the Archive is also important if one plans to do scheduled searches, as the already captured results are “skipped” in subsequent searches, allowing them to present only new results each time.

I strongly encourage reading about Search Sets in the online Help and the User Manual. Each set has 5 panels: General, Sites, Plugins, Actions and Schedule. These panels allow the user to set up searches configured from the available options, choosing from areas of the Internet to be searched and even including several automated features such as emailing results.

All those options can seem intimidating at first.

DEVONagent comes with a number of pre-configured search sets, which can make starting out much easier.

I encourage new users to start with the Internet (fast scan) search set. First, learn a bit by selecting Tools > Edit Search Sets. Choose Internet (fast scan). Look at the General settings. In the default, this search set has a Default Query search term, doesn’t have a secondary query, nor does it follow links. Click on the Plugins button. Note that the only plugin used is Internet.

Use this search set to do some queries. (Read about how to do queries in Help > DEVONagent Help and/or in the User Manual. DA has simple but very powerful boolean query operators.)

By contrast, select Tools > Edit Search Sets and examine the Medical search set. Click on Plugins and you will see that it uses a number of plugins specific to medical and biosciences literature.


DEVONagent allows users to create and configure new search sets. We will “juice up” the Internet (fast scan) set by creating a new one that we will name “Internet (medium scan)”. Select Tools > Edit Search Sets. Select Internet (fast scan). Click on the actions button (cogwheel) and choose Duplicate. Change the name to Internet (Intermediate Scan).

We will make two changes. In the Secondary Query field, type “*” (without quotes). Now check the Levels box and slide move the slider to the second tick mark from the left. The impact of these changes is that this search set will drill down a couple of levels on every link on the first page, looking for your query terms. Now searches will take longer, but you will probably get more results.

CAUTION about deep scans. If, for example, you use Internet (Deep Scan) for a search, the search may take hours to complete and may use up a lot of disk space. Do you really need to search most of the Internet? Probably not. :slight_smile:

About writing your own plugins:

I would advise first getting used to the features of DEVONagent. Personally, I’ve never felt the need to write a plugin, as the existing sets with a few modifications and new site-specific ones meet my needs nicely.

If you are on a university network where a new plugin might be useful, first check with someone familiar with the system. If the IT folk allow you to set up search agents, you will probably find someone willing to get you started with that particular system.

Annard will be providing some fairly detailed instructions on writing plugins.

Hi Bill

Thanks for yoiur good advice…I will do as you say…wouldnt want santa to thiunk i’m bad.

However DevonAgent has crashed several times for me, it just up and quits. It looks as if the software is unstable…at least in the present state on my machine. DevonThink however never crashes :slight_smile:


please send a crash report to our support so that we can check if it’s a bug of DA or a crash caused by Apple’s WebKit, Java applets, plugins or third-party extensions. Thanks!