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Trying out a new search site

Pete Warden [PersonRank 1]

Friday, September 22, 2006
14 years ago2,385 views

I need some help with an open-source search mashup I'm writing. It displays Google search results, but also checks to make sure the pages exist, and shows you a preview if you hover the mouse over a link.

mashproxy.com
mashproxy.com/search

Philipp's taken a look, and given me some valuable feedback. Any thoughts or bug reports the folks here can give me would be very helpful. It does run as a securely signed Java applet, so you will see a security warning.

My email address is searchbrowser[put at-character here]gmail.com, or I'll be lurking here if you want to post publicly.

Thanks for checking it out!

Pete Warden

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

It's very nice, but it doesn't accurately detect errors.

This search "old oingo" returns a lot of missing pages (error 408), although the page loads OK.

Anyway, the idea is interesting, too bad it uses Java.

Pete Warden [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Thanks for having a look. The 408 error text is wrong, it actually means the request timed out, so it should say "timed out" rather than missing. That's my fault, I've filed a bug and will change that asap.

I'm not certain why it's timing out, I haven't managed to reproduce it here yet, but I've filed a bug on that too.

> Anyway, the idea is interesting, too bad it uses Java.

Yes, I wish there was a good way to do this sort of mashup without needing an applet!

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

The problem that I think you have here is that people have things like "Browster" if they want this sort of functionality (the previewing). And as your creation uses Java it is a tad on the slow side I think.

I personally can't understand why someone would want to preview a site, when the real thing is just as easy to get to.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

My problem is that ... I just dont get the general concept of what you're doing. It needs an explanation – I'm sorry. I'm tik.

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

The first thing pop up in my mind is snap! ... .com
Good concept, bad language for web.

Pete Warden [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

Thanks for all the comments. They're really valuable to me, and I will be making some changes to my site over the next few days based on them.

One thing that might help to explain what I'm trying to do is my demo video at

+ Show video



The reason I wrote this was because I realized I was spending a lot of time waiting for pages to load when I was searching. This was often wasted time when the page either didn't exist, or didn't have the search terms because the page had changed since google indexed it.

I wanted something that would check sites for me automatically, so I'd only have to click on ones that existed, and had the search terms on them.

I haven't implemented checking pages for search terms yet, but that will be coming soon.

That link's very interesting Haochi, I hadn't seen snap.com. One big difference between my project and sites like snap.com and ask.com is that their preview images are stored in their database. I generate mine dynamically from the actual page contents. My approach means that I can preview any page, rather than the limited number that are stored by the search engines, and my previews are up to date. On the other hand, fetching the pages dynamically is slower and less reliable than getting them from a database.

I hadn't seen Browster either Sam, that does look similar to the way I do my preview. You're right, using a Java applet definitely isn't as smooth as a browser plugin, since the applet has a noticeable startup time and the integration with the browser isn't as good. It was a lot easier to get something working across browsers and operating systems using Java though, I notice they don't support the mac.

Anyway, thanks again for the time you all spent looking at this!

Pete Warden [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I've updated mashproxy.com/search based on the feedback here:

   – It now checks pages for your terms
   – The status of pages is displayed more clearly
   – I've tried to improve the explanation of what it does

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