Re: WWW support :)

Martijn Koster <>
Message-id: <>
To: Peter Deutsch <>
Cc: (Lou Montulli),,
Subject: Re: WWW support :)
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 08:46:13 +0000
From: Martijn Koster <>
Content-Length: 2733

In <> Peter Deutsch wrote:

> Lou Montulli wrote:
> > I was also wondering if you have plans to index HTTP (WWW specific
> > protocal) servers as well as Gopher servers.  It should be
> > very similar to what you have already done for gopher, except
> > that the web comunity would strongly prefer the use of prepared
> > index files exclusively.
> We're certainly considering some form of WWW indexing,
> although the lack of any real meaningful information in
> many of the HTTP links themselves makes the current
> automated approach somewhat problematic.

True, just looking at links/titles is not enough.

> We _have_ completed initial tests of a new direct WWW frontend onto
> the current system, which will make both the current anonFTP and the
> new Gopher index collections available to the WWW community without
> any need for gateways. This will be part of a new augmented archie
> service which we hope to deploy in the near future.

I'm looking forward to see this...

> We'd be happy to work with the WWW community as it defines a
> standardized mechanism for indexing files but such a project will
> have to be held up until we can get the new gopher index service
> deployed and stabilized. Hopefully this will take no more than a
> couple of months (I say with a silly grin on my face :-) at which
> point we can look to the next collection to target.

Of course there is no reason the WWW community can't start using
such a service now.

> We'll certainly be keeping your suggestion in mind and if
> in the meantime the WWW community can agree upon the
> format of indexing files and start deploying them onto the
> net, we'd be happy to mine the data as soon as we have the
> resources to do so.

Are you aware of ALIWEB? It is currently the only system that is doing
what you want: it retrieves hand-prepered IAFA templates via HTTP, and
rolls them into a searcheable database (which in turn is included in
the W3 Catalog; one of the best WWW catalogs about).  Currently about
20 sites have deployed index files, and the number is growing. I am
hoping to give a talk on the upcoming WWW conference on this, which I
expect will bring it to attention of more sites.

For details see

I would like to expand the discussion on the use of the IAFA templates
-- maybe a new template-type is called for, maybe not. Either way I
have some comments about them, but all attempts at initiaing a
discussion with the IAFA people have failed so far.

-- Martijn
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