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Re: Alternate applications

On Sun, 19 Apr 1998, Kevin Forge wrote:
>There are many search engines out there.  some sophisticated, some
>best bet.  grab one and fiddle with it.  One thing that should be
>possible is
>some sort of adjustment to the quality of the search.  I.e. One search
>that produces blindingly fast results even on a 486 and another that
>a long time on a Pentium but produces far better results.  I mention
>because KDE help's search is so slow.  accurate, nice, includes info and
>pages but still slow.

For xhelp I toyed with swish-e, which had been mentioned to me by
someone in the gnome project. I noticed the following:

1. It took a long time to generate index files for both man and the HOWTOs
   (several hours at least).
2. The index files were quite large (many meg each).
3. Searches were rapid and fairly accurate.

The problems I noticed could be improved some:

4. It is possible to prevent indexing of common words
5. It is possible to improve the search by using META tags (keywords!)
6. Allowing only keyword searches would reduce the index file size
   dramatically (but also potentially the accuracy.)

A few other ideas:

7. Any front end we want can be plugged into it:
   a. cgi (from web page/help files)
   b. A nice natural language interface
   c. Anything else.