Embedded search agents in URLs

Nick Arnett (narnett@verity.com)
Mon, 9 Jan 1995 19:11:02 +0100

We've created a small demo of our URL-based searcher agent technology that
might not only be interesting, but useful to people on these lists. It's
at <URL:http://asearch.mccmedia.com/embed.html>.

This is part of the Nexor page about robots, with our searcher agents
embedded in URLs after each description. The searchers use Web
knowledgebase to find articles from our Virtual Library that related to
each of the robots. At the top of the page is an agents that will search
the Virtual Library for all robot-related articles.

Interesting things are possible with this. The owner of the search server
(us, in this case), can change the knowledgebase and the results of the
embedded searcher will change automatically. For example, if a new robot
called "Marvin" became available, our editor would add its name to the
knowledgebase, so that any subsequent robot searches would include it, even
though the pages containing the searcher agents don't have to be modified,
as long as the name of the searcher agent hasn't changed. Thus, the agent
could be in use on pages all over the Web, yet be maintained by the
knowledgebase editor.

Agents can be combined, too. We're looking at creating an agent called
hot-news, which we'll edit periodically to find documents that relate to
whatever's hot on the Web. By combining the hot-news agent with others, a
searcher agent URL could find recent news about specific subjects. That
is, you could use "hot-new,www-robots" to find hot news about robots. When
we maintain the knowledgebase, the results will change intelligently.

In theory we could change the color or appearance of the agent icon to
reflect the arrival of new information.

Feedback is welcome!

We'll be publishing the names of a bunch of our searcher agents as soon as
we're comfortable with the state of the knowledgebase and the contents of
the Virtual Library (both of which are very much under construction), so
that those who'd like will be able to embed them in their Web pages.