June 18, 2004

Finding Stuff...

Two and a half weeks ago, Jon Udell tossed off an observation of the absurd situations many of us find ourselves in as we simply try to find stuff we have recently seen:

Jon Udell: Questions about Longhorn, part 1: WinFS: Those of us who sometimes blog things just so we'll be assured of finding them later have a special appreciation of the absurdity of the current situation. Unless we use an add-on to Windows such as X1, we can often find things on the Internet more easily and more reliably than we can find things on our own hard disks.

I noted this, but since I did not post it to my weblog, I then had a hell of a time finding it again when I wanted it.


It's worth writing down a few speculations about just why it is that people like me and John Udell post things on our weblogs as a way of finding them later:

  1. We get to use all of Google's computers to search that subpart of their full-text database of the web that is in our websites--and that's a big plus.
  2. We get the free addition of keywords to files on our websites. Google uses the text people use to link to a file as an indicator of its contents. And the words people use in a link are good keywords.

Any system for "finding stuff" that is going to beat post-and-Google has to figure out a way of doing at least as well at these two tasks--quick full-text search on the one hand, and intelligent (and cost-free to us) creation of keywords to files on the other. This is going to be hard to do.

Posted by DeLong at June 18, 2004 10:43 AM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

One more convenience is that it doesn't matter where you are when you're trying to add or retrieve the information. *PROVIDED* you have access to the internet, you save it when you think of it and recover it as needed.

The downside is in there as well -- the "provided" clause. If you spend at least part of the time disconnected, then blog-storage (or net-storage or any other applicable "not kept here" term) is useless.

Posted by: kirk_spencer on June 18, 2004 10:52 AM

____

Wow, what a good idea! I've long moaned about exactly that problem, but I never thought about that solution.

Posted by: Redshift on June 18, 2004 11:48 AM

____

Bearing in mind that I"m speaking as a developer/scientist who has worked at a search engine, I don't think that technically its all that difficult to do what you want. And it can be done without infringing on anyone's intellectual property.

The hard problems that Google adresses are all problems of scale, finding the most relevant links out of 4 billion potential results in a timely way. This goes away if we are only considering archived material that one human being squirrels away.

That being said, the difficulties are more financial and legal. The market for this product is small, how do you get a reasonable return for developing the product? Furthermore, if you were to frame it as a web application you might expose yourself to copyright violation suits because your customers were violating copyright using your system.
So it couldn't be on the web as a centralized service unless this problem were solved somehow.

Nevertheless, it's a nice idea and a product that I've wanted myself. I heard hints that Microsoft is trying to push in this direction, so no one else will be interested. That's driving innovation for you.

Posted by: Jay on June 18, 2004 11:53 AM

____

Hans Reiser is working on this problem. See: http://namesys.com/whitepaper.html
The reiserfs filesystem for linux is his infrastructure for building metadata and search into the operating system.

Posted by: Tom Hunt on June 18, 2004 12:27 PM

____

Blogging and letting others link to you for keywords works for maybe 2,000 bloggers in the world.

For the rest of us, a fast indexed search of the harddrive is about the best we can get.

Posted by: anon on June 19, 2004 03:45 AM

____

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Posted by: reductil uk on July 6, 2004 02:18 PM

____

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Posted by: reductil uk on July 6, 2004 10:49 PM

____

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Posted by: reductil on July 8, 2004 02:59 PM

____

Get it up mate, it's fun!

Posted by: Viagra on July 8, 2004 08:38 PM

____

Bis dat qui cito dat - He gives twice, who gives promptly. (Publilius Syrus)

Posted by: teen girls actress nude on July 9, 2004 02:43 PM

____

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur - We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving. (Syrus)

Posted by: bondage supplies on July 11, 2004 02:46 PM

____

Muppets love Viagra!

Posted by: Viagra on July 14, 2004 04:02 AM

____

It gets yours up to the top dude! The girl will enjoy it!

Posted by: cialis uk on July 14, 2004 11:19 PM

____

Thanks for your blog!

Posted by: Kontaktanzeigen mit Bild on July 16, 2004 06:39 AM

____

Hire a car to feel higher!

Posted by: Car hire on July 20, 2004 05:15 PM

____

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Posted by: reductil uk on July 23, 2004 01:59 PM

____

Great site fatty lose weight with reductil and reductil uk

Posted by: reductil on July 23, 2004 07:55 PM

____

Post a comment
















__