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search engine and list update

You've all noticed the absence of the search engine.
The excite search is gone because of security problems,
and also, it never worked very well.

The challenge with replacing the search engine is
I'd like one that is flexible - you should be able to type in
"change 4kq timing belt", specifiy a range of dates if you
like, and click find, getting back 4 or 5 documents.
The www.dejanews.com model is almost perfect for this, but
they do not provide this technology outside of their server.

I did implement the ICE search, but the load on the system was
so great only 4 or 5 simulataneous searches brought the system
to its knees.  Attempts to build webglimpse or somesuch
were fruitless (missing library files, no time to figure out
what was missing).

To search most efficiently, the articles should be reduced to
single email messages.  But then the lwgate software, which
allows you to browse the traffic and follow messages with the
same subject, would not work right.  

In short, it's a challenge.

I'm close to having a solution for the server itself and
some more concrete ideas on what a FAQ and tech archives will
look like.  I'm also working on an idea to "channelize" the
list, where people who are only interested in A4s can get
only that traffic, while allowing those who prefer the list
"as is" to view it as such.  These few things will bring back
a lot of casual visitors and should double the size of the
list, IMO.  This is a good thing, if it is managed right.

Of course, all this takes time.  Between the uncertainty of
the pending merger at work, my second semester of MBA program
(which I hate and may drop), time is rarer than a 1998 urQ.
Nonetheless, I am committed to getting this to phase 2, and
bringing in some help.

So, hang in there folks.  If you don't like something, keep
letting me know, really.  Feedback is extremely valuable,
but send it via private email as there is already way too
much daily traffic.

Have a good weekend all.

| Dan |
Dan Simoes                                dans@ans.net
ANS Communications 		http://coimbra.ans.net/dans.html
100 Manhattanville Road                 (914) 701-5378 (voice)
Purchase, NY 10577                      (914) 701-5310 (fax)