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Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:06:26 +0100

On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
> Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:
>> On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 5:36 PM, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> My point is maybe a bit unclear. It matters a lot what search engine
>>>> you have and how you feed it with information. In the small project I
>>>> linked to I have had rather minimal success with Google CSE. So I
>>>> switched to OpenSearchServer and there I can do a lot of things I just
>>>> could imagine before. (This is just a small free time project, but
>>>> still a bit important, perhaps.)
>>> I don't buy that.  It will have its best case scenario for stuff not
>>> actually written/maintained in Texinfo (or something providing similar
>>> information amounts) and consequently completely missing any useful
>>> index.  With that starting point, a search engine is better than
>>> nothing.  Against a reasonably well-maintained manual index, however: no
>>> comparison.
>> I don't understand your argument. What has the well-maintained manual
>> index to do with the format the user sees? The index just does not
>> disappear if you are using a web browser. Or, does it? ;-)
> You were proposing to replace the Info search possibilities with a
> search engine.  So it's up to you to explain what you mean.
> As for the index not disappearing: it's not accessible from arbitrary
> nodes since it is not even loaded into the browser unless you load the
> "one big page HTML" and then _all_ navigation becomes cumbersome,
> including but not limited to the index.

So that was the argument. OK. ;-)

Yes, without a search engine you can't search the html pages. (Or, you
could build an index in JavaScript, but that is a very tough job if
you want to do something useful.)

Of course you have to search the docs divided into several pages if a
search engine should be of any use. Otherwise you will just get the
same hit all the time. ;-)

OpenSearchServer (based on Apache Lucene) is very flexible. Maybe you
can't get exactly the incremental search that Info uses now, but you
can get a list of suggestions for every character you type. You can
customize that list.

And Info does not have a search capability that is close to the usual
web search (implicit) AND operator.

But there is more you can use, like searching in fields (if the
documents are structured with some fields, of course).

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