archie wais server - WWW access directly to files

Brewster Kahle (
Tue, 18 Feb 92 05:58:16 PST

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 92 14:25:04 GMT+0100
From: (Tim Berners-Lee)

Magic -- I really like it. I have modified the WAIS-WWW gateway so that is the
database is an archie one (i.e.database name contains "archie" :-| ) a W3 search of
the database will give links directly to the files. This relies on the headline
starting with host:/filename.

I wish we used /filename@hostname so that waisretrieve could handle it (and
be compatible with the WAIS doc-id.

Now the things which need neatening up. The gateway I was using is here in CERN,
and the server is at This implies a transatlantic link for every search.

- Would you or anyone like to run the gateway locally? Volunteers?
WAIS packets are small, but the distance makes reduces reliability.

- Perhaps we should run the WAIS archie here, mirroring files.

- One of us could run a direct W3 archie server rather than using a gateway

To use www as an archie client,

setenv WWW_wais_GATE

(or point to a more local gateway!) and

alias archie www wais://

I've put a pointer to the archie index in our CERN home page, but not publicised it

Tim BL

This is really cool.