This is an off-site copy of the corresponding Product report page on the SearchTools.com website, and it is designed to allow you to comment on the product and/or the reporting. For more information about the topic of search and tools visit SearchTools.com where you can browse many articles, in-depth analysis and overviews of external resources.
"Wide Area Information Server" search engine based on parallel processing search algorithms developed at Thinking Machines in the 1980s. Free source makes this a widely used engine, although I personally don't like the default relevance rankings in the results.
Warning: old versions of WAIS may not be Y2K-compliant: if you're running
it, check your code.
An extension of freeWAIS adding structured fields such as number and dates;
complex Boolean searches, improved installation and more. This page includes
a note about the date problems with versions earlier than 2.0.41.
Microsoft has included a version of WAIS in various releases of FrontPage.
Articles & Reviews
Open Source Indexers Infomotions Musings; May 29, 2001 by Eric Lease
Describes the history and features of eight open-source search engines, freeWAIS-sf (aging code and hard to install, but good for searching email and public domain etexts); Harvest (powerful gathering features for frequently-changing data stores, good with structured documents); ht://Dig (tricky to configure, no phrase searching, automatic stemming and match word highlighting); Isearch (weak documentation and support, easy to install, dated interface, Z39.50 support); MPS Information Server (zippy indexing of both text and structured data, Z39.50 support, Perl API, limited documentation); SWISH-E (simple to install engine, CGIs in Perl and PHP still beta, good for HTML pages, recognizes new META tags, sorts results by field; WebGlimpse (easy to install and configure, requires commercial version for customized output); Yaz/Zebra (mainly Z39.50, no Perl API, mainly a toolkit to index and respond to distributed client queries). Article also points out that chaotic information is less than helpful and encourages organization, structure and vocabulary control.
- Internet Publishing Handbook: WAIS and Indexing Alternatives
- comp.infosystems.wais: Usenet
Newsgroup for discussing WAIS.
- Internal Search
Engines Get You Where You Want To Go TechWeb October 15, 1997 by
Good, thorough coverage of AltaVista eXtension 97, Folio siteDirector 3.1, Ultraseek 1.1, Inmagic/Lycos, DB/Text Intranet Spider, ISYS:Web 2.0, Maxum Phantom 2.0; Microsoft Index Server 3.0, Netscape Compass 3.0, Quadralay WebWorks Search 2.0, Verity IntelliServe 1.0, freeWAIS 0.3, WebGlimpse 4.0B1 and SWISH 1.1.
- Web Site Search Engines
(Appendices) The PIPER Letter: November, 1996
Covers Basis Webserver , Excerpt, Excite, Folio, freeWAIS-sf, FrontPage, Fulcrum , Glimpse, ht://Dig, Ice, Isearch, PL Web, Swish, TEAMate, WebFind/WebIndex, and WebSite.