spatial wais server + www point-to-a-picture stuff

Edward Vielmetti (
Wed, 19 May 93 13:05:41 EDT

It would certainly be useful if the WAIS "spatial indexing" work
could be dovetailed nicely with the existing World Wide Web
browsers taht support direct point-and-click selection on images.

This looks like a good time to get involved in those efforts,


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Date: Wed, 19 May 1993 08:52:39 -0400
From: (Douglas D. Nebert (x5691))
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Planning for the future

We are ready to integrate the spatial indexing and search functions into
the WAIS code, so that rather than be an add-on it would be another command-
line option in waisindex and would be evaluated as a word condition, preferably
using the boolean constructs that have been added by gilbert@uibio.

Our choices are 1) integrate with the b5 code with extensions and no copyright
concerns, 2) integrate with the freeWAIS code and dovetail with Z39.50 (92)
or 3) write our own indexer and server that take cohesive portions of code
from b5 but make it easier to follow and be more extensible.

What is the best path to take to make the spatial processing code portable
so that it can be used now and also with the 1992 compliant server? The main
programmer we have working on this is getting increasingly disenchanted with
the code noting that it is not easily extensible -- a feature that should
be pursued in new versions of the WAIS code. We also need someone with
discipline to collate and 'sanitize' the code so it looks like it was written
by one author in a highly structured way. I had expected this with freeWAIS
but it did not happen.

Word is/was that the search engine will be completely rewritten to anticipate
the 1992 Z39.50 compliance. Is this already being done? How will it be
rewritten and how will its features be coordinated with contributing authors?
Or will it just be rewritten to accommodate attribute searching but be left
mostly as-is? Who is doing this?

What is the best investment of our effort in the next couple of months?

Doug Nebert

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