How could we ship 1.0 without a proper search? Well, simple: It wasn’t ready. How can a simple search not be ready? Well, it’s not simple. Let me elaborate…

Search was one of the first things we designed. The initial idea was to have a universal “Find” command, which would look for hits in the sidebars, as well as for occurrences in the editor. We figured you didn’t really care where exactly a search would occur, as long as you would get the results in every place at the same time.

During development, we found that idea to be much more limiting than we initially thought, so we scrapped it. We realized, that the two searches (sidebar vs. editor) differ at such a fundamental level, that a universal search would always mean compromises — either for the quality of the results, or for the quality of the UI.

For one, editor searches need to be exact, or else you’ll run into problems with the inevitable replace command. Sidebar searches, on the other hand, need to be fuzzy, or else you won’t easily and quickly find the sheets you’re looking for.

So we split search in two and decided to have version 1.0 ship with what we believed was the more important variant: Editor find/replace. For sheets, there was Spotlight after all.

For 1.1, of course, there’s no excuse. And we won’t make one. Search is in. Pt. 2 will show how.