Re: usage stats

Christopher McRae (
Wed, 21 Apr 93 12:11:43 MDT

Marc Andreessen writes:
> Suppose we had developed a new net scanning tool that consisted of a
> daemon that can run independently of user guidance and a Motif-based
> GUI that can attach/detach to/from the daemon at any time and allow a
> user to interactively or asynchronously guide the daemon's progress
> through the information space on the global network.
> space the daemon traversed, as well as direct control over a variety
> of constraint parameters to control the daemon's progress both in real
> time and asynchronously (e.g., you can tell it where to look and what
> to look for interactively, and then detach and let it run
> asynchronously overnight, and then reattach in the morning to discover
> what it's found).

Of course we want intelligent agents to search the information space for
us! How else are we going to be able to talk to this web-monster we're
creating? We need these "bots".
The debate thus far has focused entirely on how to avoid taxing the
limited resources (network bandwidth, cpu cycles, etc) currently available.
This is certainly an important consideration since we are here and now.
But, it seems to me that we should be spending more time talking about how
to enhance the intelligence of the agent, so that it's searches are more
Further, it seems that the biggest obstacle, at this point, in moving
towards more intelligent searches is a lack of support in the web infra-
structure. While SGML gives you a lot of structure within a node. the
links which relate one node to another provide no information about the
nature of the relationship between the nodes. I know there has been dis-
cussion among WWW people in the past about using typed links, but I don't
know why they haven't been implemented. Is it just something which noone
has gotten around to yet, or is there some reason why typed links have
been avoided? (other than backwards compatibility reasons, I mean)

Christopher McRae mail:
UCSF Center for Knowledge Management at&t: 415/476-3577
530 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0840 fax: 415/476-4653
San Francisco, California 94143