[Mailman-Developers] TODO: Search engine for archives

J C Lawrence claw@kanga.nu
Fri, 07 Jan 2000 01:12:59 -0800

On Fri, 7 Jan 2000 00:49:20 -0800 (PST) 
Garth Corral <garthc@abode.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 6 Jan 2000, Barry A. Warsaw wrote:

> My inclination would be to provide some indexing and search
> mechanism within the existing framework.  There are several
> reasons for this, not the least of which is that it fits well with
> my motivation for doing this in the first place.

I'll be a little more direct: I don't use MailMan's archiver and so
have no direct interest in it.  I use MHonArc externally it allows
extremely fine grained control over how your archives appear and
operate, and if you change your mind about something at later point,
you can always regen them in the new look'n'feel (which I seem to do

That said, the question arises of what is the exact value of
MailMan's archiver.  It is minimal in feature set and almost totally
unconfigurable.  This doesn't make it useless, just of very narrow

If someone adds a search feature inside of MailMan/Pipermail, then
MailMan remains having an internal archiver that is of minimal
utility, just slightly less minimal than it was before.  This is not
a Bad Thing at all -- MailMan is improved and that is good.

If someone builds a method where the basic HTML that the archiver
produces can be edited or at least customised, then all of a sudden
we have a rather large thing as then we can customise look'n'feel,
we can embead search tools, we can embed banners ads for commercial
sites, we can exploit local application servers like PHP or Zope,
and we can customise the entire archive experience and presentation
to our heart's content.  We can do all sorts of things that are not
possible now and which extend MailMan in interesting directions
_encluding_ adding (external) search capabilities to the archives.
Also not a Bad Thing.

YMMV.  Both are useful and valuable.

BTW Barry: Remember the guy a while back who did a bunch of CSS
stuff for MailMan for look'n'feel configuration?  What happened to
that patch?  

J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw@kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder@kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--