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Is it just me, or does Ubuntu Software (and the upstream Gnome Software) have broken search functionality? Here is an example. Searching for 'qt creator' in Ubuntu Software gives me this result in order:

- Platinum Arts Sandbox Gamemaker
- Hugin Panorama Creator
- Startup Disk Creator
- Plume Creator
- Testchart Editor
- Kexi
- APTonCD
- Passage
- Gravitation
- Wolf4SDL

Notice that Qt Creator isn't even on the list. In comparison, App Grid gives me this result when I search for 'qt creator':

- Qt Creator
- Ubuntu SDK
- Kdesignerplugin
- Kgendesignerplugin
- Qtcreator Plugin Go

Why does Ubuntu Software give the wrong results? I also remember seeing same broken search functionality in Gnome Software on Fedora. Is there a way to make it actually search for the given string? Maybe some configuration somewhere?

EDIT: these results are on Ubuntu 16.04

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  • I try to avoid Ubuntu's Software Center, it seems to have a number of weird issues, for example, check this unrelated question: askubuntu.com/questions/885453/….
    – Samuel
    Feb 27 '17 at 23:08
  • Clarification: I was confusing the old software-center with ubuntu-software/gnome-software. I hadn't noticed the changes since I usually remove whatever comes with Ubuntu and just use aptitude or synaptic.
    – Samuel
    Feb 28 '17 at 5:00
  • Ubuntu software is useless. I've never understood all the complaints about Softwre-Center since it was extremely effective at searching for packages. The results reported below (askubuntu.com/a/888046/14747) are just the tip of the iceberg. Nov 7 '17 at 13:08
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All the graphical frontends I tried seem to fail to some extent... curiously, Gnome's and Ubuntu's Software Centers gave me no results, unlike you. I'm using Lubuntu 16.04, and you?

Anyway, I drew a simplistic comparison table for the searching features of some graphical & command line tools. The results may be 'qtcreator' for the actual IDE package; 'related', for packages related with the IDE or QT, like plugins, etc; and 'null' for a search with no results:

+-----------------+---------------------------+------------------------+
| PACKAGE MANAGER |      SEARCH TERM:         |      SEARCH TERM:      |
|    FRONTENDS    |      "qt creator"         |       "qtcreator"      |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|gnome-software   |            null           |          null          |GUI 
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|ubuntu-software  |            null           |          null          |GUI
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|software-center  |         qtcreator         |        qtcreator       |GUI
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|lubuntu-software |         qtcreator         |        qtcreator       |GUI
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|synaptic         |          related          |   qtcreator, related   |GUI
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|aptitude         |    qtcreator, related     |   qtcreator, related   |
+----------------------------------------------------------------------+
|apt-cache search |    qtcreator, related     |   qtcreator, related   |
+-----------------+---------------------------+------------------------+

Of the compared tools, only apt-cache and aptitude support regular expressions. Plus, you can do as you please with their output, just pipe it to any other processing tools you are comfortable with.

I thought Synaptic could make use of at least wildcards, since it uses Xapian, but this doesn't seem to work, not how I expected, nor could I find any reference to such a feature.

So once more, the console way proves itself, although I still use Synaptic for commodity reasons and some other neat features.


I'll keep looking for more info on the subject and update this answer.

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