Search for "dead weight" within apps

There have been several requests for the addition of search capabilities to the editing interface. First, however, let me review the current state of the art:

@Fabian’s excellent post tells us how to conduct comprehensive searches throughout the entire app.

Still, there have been many calls for more convenient or more powerful search functions. In this post, I’d like to add one more search function to that “wish list”: a “dead weight” search.

By “dead weight,” I mean virtual columns, views, actions, etc. that are unconnected to the rest of the app. Such dead weight tends to accumulate as a result of trial-and-error app building where the app builder (me) forgets, hesitates, or is unable to delete everything associated with a strategy that proved to be unsuccessful or was supplanted by a more successful strategy.

Finding such dead weight is rather time consuming for humans, even with the search function that @Fabian has pointed us to, but I think it’s the kind of thing that a computer algorithm ought to be able to do very efficiently. If a view has no path, no sequence of events by which it could be shown to the user, it’s dead weight. If a virtual column is neither shown in a view nor referenced by an action or other column, etc., it’s dead weight. I wouldn’t want the editor to automatically delete anything but if it could highlight such dead weight when I ask it to, that would be great.

Perhaps a dead weight search could be added to the performance analyzer because, after all, a primary reason to get rid of dead weight is to make the app lighter and improve performance. Moreover, since the performance analyzer is only invoked when the user chooses to invoke it, the addition of such a function wouldn’t slow down or require a change in the normal operation of the editor.

Finally, here are links to previous feature requests that beg for search-related improvements in the editing interface: