WWW-* archives & more coming soon!

Nick Arnett (nicka@mccmedia.com)
Wed, 24 Aug 1994 00:13:47 +0200

"Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@hal.com> writes:

>Now there's an opportunity where somebody could do a GREAT service to
>the community: edit an archive of the www-* mailing lists: provide
>fulltext searching, collect stuff by threads, generally organize it
>for easy access. The existing archives are good, but the data has
>exceeded heir navigation techniques (pick from a great big list) .

I'm jumping the gun by replying to this today, but I can't think of a
better lead-in to the news that I was close to announcing... or a better
place to pre-announce it.

Your wish is mine, also, and now I'm in a place with the best tools in the
world to accomplish this. As regular readers know, I've prototyped a
hypermail-like archive, with full-text search, at
<URL:http://asearch.mccmedia.com/>, which includes most if not all of the
www-* lists and other stuff. No reflection on the author of MacHTTP, but I
didn't want to have the entire Web development community hitting my Quadra
605-based server over 28.8 phone lines, so I didn't publicize it very much.
And it was a prototype, created with HyperCard, so it wasn't all that fast
on the back end. And I was constantly playing with it, so it's had a
steady stream of new minor bugs.

As of last Monday, I've joined Verity Inc. to manage its World-Wide Web
products. Verity is the world leader in information search and retrieval,
organization and distribution. Last week I arranged for an upgrade of
Verity's net connection to a T-1. In about three weeks, I estimate, we'll
be making available a server with the www-* lists, the Usenet
comp.infosystems hierarchy, as well as other information sources of
interest to Web developers. There will be two overlapping subject
hierarchies; one that's publishing-oriented, a second that is
library-oriented. The information will be presented much as it was on my
prototype -- hierarchical browsers, hypertext, indexes and of course,
full-text search and retrieval.

We also plan to support searches of "virtual libraries" of Web-related
documents that may reside anywhere on the Web, by creating a common index.
You'll search here, but retrieve the documents from their home locations.
Eventually I think we'll also offer abstracts of the indexed documents.

We're working on many other features, too. And although I'm not ready to
talk about our specific products yet, I'll add that Verity is involved in
servers, spiders, navigational systems and browsers.

Verity is in the software tools business, not information content, so it's
our intention that this site will remain free to the Web community. We are
already talking to publishers about taking over editorial responsibility
for our "virtual forums," as I call them, but we have a strong interest in
making sure that they remain free and highly useful. As you've no doubt
figured out, we're using the upcoming site as a way to show off our

More information will follow as we firm up our rollout schedule. If you've
tried out my prototype or used Hypermail or similar tools, please feel free
to e-mail me feedback on features that you'd like to see added.

Nick Arnett

World-Wide Web Product Manager
Verity Inc.
Mountain View, California