ISINDEX on documents

Fri, 13 Nov 92 09:42:56 GMT

Somewhat off the current thread, but anyway ...

There seems little reason to me for the ISINDEX tag. Searching consists of
two components: the client constructing a list of queries designed to
retrieve the relevant information, and the server receving and processing
those queries. Once you start to consider a single user initiated search
generated multiple queries there seems to be little point in tieing searches
down to particular tagged documents.
(of course once a search generates multiple queries it can receive multiple
replies. AS these replies could come from different servers it becomes the
responsibility of the client end to aggregate the replies into something
useful to return to the user: a selection panel for instance).

I'd like to see the ISINDEX tag dropped: the client is free to construct
whatever queries they wish, using the existing HTTP query mechanism.

Instead of the ISINDEX tag, I think we need an INPUT tag. ISINDEX is quite
used for purposes other than searching, eg. for "smart" documents or
to calculate square roots ! (an example familiar to those at the HEPix
meeting ...). However using a tag that appears to have been intended for
search purpose for something different is confusing to the end user: ie
the page asks for the value you wish to square root, whilst the client
prompts you for a string to search for ....

Perhaps the following could be useful:
<INPUT VAR=x>Please enter your name</INPUT>
ie a series of input fields with associated labels, and a button to say
you have finished and now send the query. This opens the possibility
of forms based pages generating smart documents. How you send the input is
a different matter; maybe:

Kevin Hoadley, Rutherford Appleton Lab,