Sorry to chime in since it sounds like you guys have got this thing
figured out; I just commented on bug #773204, which is probably the same
issue (after trying to answer somebody on Ask Ubuntu who wanted to know
how to reproduce the functionality in classic gnome of using Alt+F2 +
path-to-file to open a document).  The discussion above seems to confirm
my guess that the dash only sees recent documents.  (Which, as you've
also already noticed, is annoying if you've ported your old files to a
clean install.)  So I guess the right answer for the Ask Ubuntu guy is,
'use the Super key, but it's not 100% there yet'?  (BTW, Alt+F2 no
longer works for this purpose.)

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  not all files show up in files-place

Status in Unity:
Status in Unity Files Place:
Status in Zeitgeist Framework:
Status in Zeitgeist Data-Sources:
Status in “unity-place-files” package in Ubuntu:
Status in “zeitgeist” package in Ubuntu:
  Fix Released

Bug description:
  The Unity interface, with its files-place feature for user access to
  files/documents etc. is really great.

  However there is a problem since the search feature relies wholly on
  zeitgeist (AFAIK), in the zeitgeist is not tracking everything.

  E.g. in openoffice, I create a new file (or open an existing one) from
  within openoffice itself. This file does not show up, presumably
  because openoffice does not (yet) push its activity to zeitgeist.

  I guess any number of other programs could suffer the same problem.

  For the average user, this is surely going to be confusing. They will
  create documents via legitimate means ('New ...' buttons in their
  applications), and then expect to be able to search for them in the
  Unity files-place interface.

  To avoid this confusion I would guess there really needs to be a
  filesystem watcher on the home dir (or key folders within it) so that
  zeitgeist is aware of activity caused by non-zeitgeist-aware

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