<ISINDEX> obsolete?

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Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 15:21:36 +0200
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From: neuss@igd.fhg.de
To: Multiple recipients of list <www-talk@www0.cern.ch>
Subject: <ISINDEX> obsolete?
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Dear fellow Web'ers,

I just finished a small patch to NCSAs httpd that enables NCSAs httpd to
do searches from inside a document, pretty much like the CERN httpd alread
does. From within any document, you can issue a search query, and a search
engine that is specified in the config file will be called up with the path
of the original file as an argument (so relative searches can be done).

But.. there is no clean way to automatically add the ISINDEX attribute
to a returned document in order to indicate that the server is searchable!
Since such a modified server supports searching, a document served to a
remote browser should indicate that searching is possible (which is the
only way to make the browser pop up a "enter search query" window).

<ISINDEX> is a header element, and thus is part of the document. Being
indexed (searchable) however is a property of the server, but NOT of the
document (cgi scripts are a special case here). So, IMVHO there ought to be
an HTTP header element which allows the _server_ to say "Hey, I support
queries, the document that follows is searchable". Yes, this seems to not
belong into HTTP, but it's simply is not a _document_ property. A file is a
file is a file, whether or not it is inside some index is nothing the author
should need to consider when writing the file - right? Should we have such
an element?

Waiting for the gurus to comment,
Yours, Chris
"I ride a tandem with the random.."
Christian Neuss   # Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics
Wilhelminenstr.7  #  64283 Darmstadt # Germany
e-mail: neuss@igd.fhg.de  finger: neuss@wildturkey.igd.fhg.de