[MUD-Dev] META: Search features of the MUD-Dev archive

J C Lawrence claw at greek.kanga.nu
Sat May 9 22:47:54 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

I've just updated the search capabilities of the MUD-Dev archive.
WebGlimpse now indexes everything, encluding the individual message

What does this mean?

The search feature found at,


uses Marc-Search.  Its effective, but resource expensive.
Occassionally it is also very slow, resulting in time-outs during
complex or large searches.  It is also however extremely configurable
in its report styles except that the "match" must occur on one line of
the target message.  You can't for instance search for messages where,
say, "Bubba" may be on one line, and "Orc" on another.  For
Marc-Search to find the message, there must be a line in it which
contains everything searched for.

I've found this limitation annoying when doing my own searches.

Comparitively WebGlimpse (the dialog box at the bottom of every page,
plus the larger more featured diaog reached from the "Search
Options"), is both fast and resource light.  It also allows searching
for matches where the match may span several widely seperated lines --
a real boon when you're searching for a message containing some key
idea, but can't guarantee yourself that all your key terms occured on
any one line of the target message.  

WebGimpse also offers the concept of searching for matches in a
"neighborhood", where a neighborhood is defined as every page within
two links of the current page (not encluding of course pages on other
sites).  Depending on where you start your search, you can have it
search the entire archive (start at the Periods page), or an entire
period/quarter plus all the other indexes (start the search at an
index for that quarter), or just a period/quarter (start the search at
a message for that quarter).

Yes, Marc-Search has a single URL to find anything in the archive, and
WebGlimpse requires finding an appropriate starting point and then
searching.  If you're willing to search the entire site,


is not a bad place to start a WebGlimpse search from.

By default, please use WebGlimpse.  Its a lot faster, and much cheaper
on the host machine -- which can be important with as many people
browsing, searching and downloading the archives as there have been
lately.  Feel free to also use Marc-Search when you need full
Perl-style regular expressions or other features only offered by
Marc-Search -- but see if WebGlimpse can do the job first (it will be
a LOT faster!).

WebGlimpse can be found via the dialog boxes at the bottom of almost
every page.  The Marc-Search page can be found under the blue "Search"
buttons on many MUD-Dev archive pages.

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
----------(*)                              Internet: coder at ibm.net
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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