Searching your web pages

Kevin C. Marsh iai at
Tue Feb 20 17:46:06 EST 1996

Marc Salomon <marc at> wrote
>So, if you know that people are going to search your richly-indexed web pages
>and require the richness that a full boolean search engine can provide, then
>you can
>1.  find a z39.50 capable search engine to put on top of your data.
>2.  get an off-the-shelf state package, like Isite from
>    ( as a front-end to your communicate with your server and
>    it up to your HTTP server.
>But the task of doing this is not trivial.  You will need some programmer
>resources, database expertise and a Z39.50 guru or two wouldn't hurt either.

Or, if a stateless search capability will suffice, you can set it up using
freeWAIS-sf with about 4 hours of support from the Unix system administator
for your Web site.  Fielded searching will take extra effort on your part
but no programming.

Other freeWAIS versions exist for other platforms.  I'm loking forward to
the release of a Z39.50 version 3 server that is as easy to implement as
freeWAIS, but meanwhile you don't need a team of programmers and gurus to be
standards compliant.

Taking full advantage of the statefull searching possibilities in Z39.50 is,
as Marc Salomon says "not trivial".  I wouldn't suggest it for the average
collection going on-line today.  But people are working on this kind of
software and the future looks bright.  Meanwhile, we do the best we can.

Kevin C. Marsh, Executive Director
Information Access Institute
IAI at

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