RE: Getting started

From: Nick Arnett <>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 09:01:13 -0700
Message-Id: <>

At 07:45 AM 4/23/98 -0500, Crispen, Bob wrote:

>On another subject, do we ever intend to take up
>SWISH on this list?

No plans for SWISH, but I plan to deal with indexing and search issues -- I spent the last four years as senior product manager and evangelist at Verity, so I know search and retrieval all too well. At minimum, I plan to export a bulk insert file, which a search engine can use when indexing, for field and full-text search. A more ambitious piece of work will be an attempt at automatic categorization. However, I'm working in Visual Basic on Windoze, which means that I'm probably doing a whole separate piece of work (anyone else interested in collaborating on VB, please let me know). The good news is that I have a big head start, having written something quite similar to HyperMail on the Mac, using HyperCard, AppleScript, etc. Kevin H. and I traded a lot of ideas, as our efforts happened at the same time, back when the Web only had a couple of thousand servers.

Although I've started work on this (and I'm encouraged by the speed of VB5 and the Jet database engine), it will stay a low priority for a few weeks while I complete a book proposal. While my agent is flogging the book, I'll probably work close to full-time on the mail thing.

One piece that I've always wanted, but never seen, is management of list subscriptions. I'd like to be able to add a list to the archive with minimal data entry.

We might give some thought to interchange standards for HyperMail-like applications. Some kind of distributed searching of archives would be quite cool, since it would allow shared maintenance of the archives, but search as if it were one big collection.

One more note -- I'm using ListServ, so I'll take a look at writing a gizmo to convert its archives. Ditto for Eudora, which I've already done. But I'm not sure if unix mbox format makes sense. How about RDF? That would yield an even more useful interchange format. Of course, somebody would have to write mbox -> RDF.



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Received on Thu 23 Apr 1998 06:09:32 PM GMT

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