Re: Indexing E. documents

Subject: Re: Indexing E. documents
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 12:53:52 -0700

Susan says... (Hi Susan!);

>That's why I'm investigating online search engines based on the UNIX
>grep command,

The STC Article suggested something similar - except that you built
the index first then grepped the index, not the Web pages. I had two
other ideas:

o Build a set of HTML forms - one form per major entry. You could
click on the major entry, use the form "pop-up" feature, select
from a list of secondary entries, then click "go".

I discarded this idea (without even trying it) because one form
per major entry would look silly and be hard to navigate.

o Mix Javascript and HTML. I saw an example of a TOC built this way
at <>. Look in the left-hand frame and
click on the small "+" or "-" icons (Netscape 2.0 or up required).

Like a TOC, an index uses a tree-structure, organizing by key-word
rather than by subject. Thus, this Javascript could be modified
to allow index links at the smallest leaf (or sooner, if possible).

>The result is that every entry and subentry has a descriptive
>phrase distinguishing it from other similar entries.

Right. This was also my conclusion.

The most powerful mix would be to grep an index built with the above
Javascript. The tricky part is to build a Javascript which can grep
itself (or to build a second Javascript) then shape itself to the
desired configuration, or return a set of links. If I'm crazy enough,
I might try building this for one of my own applications.

But for the _real_ craziness, link the script to a good thesaurus.
The script would scan user input, check the thesaurus, select a more
generic term, grep for _that_ and return a set of links.

OK... and for my next PhD thesis, let's try building the Dictasaur....


David (The Unbiased) Blyth
Technical Writer & Web Site Designer

The usual disclaimers apply - QUALCOMM isn't that crazy.

Blodo Poa Maximus

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