Re: Home pages

Lloyd Wood (
Fri, 20 Mar 1998 15:08:10 +0000 (GMT)

On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Michael Stutz wrote:

> What would be great is a page that is just one large form, with one text
> input box where you could enter any text you want, the contents going to any
> number of most-often used services depending on which submit box you hit --
> so you could have, for instance, submits for altavista, hotbot, yahoo
> search, deja news, the m-w dictionary and thesaurus, etc. filling most of
> the page with only one text-entry field. This would require a local cgi app
> to interpret the form and send the response, I think. Or maybe better yet,
> if you're doing the programming then eliminate all the submit boxes and have
> the cgi interpret the submit using a language as part of the text itself (so
> you don't have to use the mouse), like "dn" for deja news, "av" for alta
> vista, etc...

Spacesearch fits an awful lot of your criteria:

There's a combined web/usenet search page, and separate pages for
accessing metasearchers and for accessing news engines (now including
NewsHub - thanks, Dan.) Added features with javascript, cgi for

It doesn't do much of the language part of things, because defining a
search language is tricky and then you have to teach everyone to use
your custom language, which is just like trying to teach them
programming - has an example of that using a vast list
of custom keywords instead of a decent index page, and it sucks. I end
up using the help page as an index page; I hate invisible interfaces.

Spacesearch does detect boolean and routes between simple and advanced
interfaces as appropriate, and gets as much out of url/host/site
syntax as easily possible.

All that's missing is a decent thesaurus and dictionary; there aren't
enough decent ones not checking $HTTP_REFERER around to make a form
listing options worthwhile IMO.


> I have an early version of my most-often used starting points (with lots of
> seperate forms, unfortunately) at
> <>.