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Old 01-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
jhwilliams
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Google vs. the Free and Open Source Search Engine (www.fosse.org)


I have recently been troubled by how much I'm using Google, a proprietary software giant which is starting to look like Microsoft in some ways. I have had a dream of a search engine called www.fosse.org, or the Free and Open Source Search Engine. Many open sourced search engine packages exist, but I have not found one that is maintaining a database of the web. I imagine that the start-up cost of doing so is currently below the abilities of most open source projects. Does anyone know of a free and open source search engine which is available and functional on the web?
 
Old 01-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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Such a project would probably require a large number of fast computers, with lots of RAM and lots of hard drive space. This, yes, probably would be well above a normal open source project's means.

I do suppose, though, that if the project was designed using distributed computing technology, where lots of members could each provide an amount of system resources ... Each of them could be assigned a series of networks to spider and catalog.

I don't read the news regularly, as I have young children, and not lots of play time. So, what is it about Google that you don't like? I haven't seen or heard anything that would be alarming to me. They provide huge services at little, or no cost to the public, and they contribute to open source, too, don't they?
 
Old 01-29-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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Google is acquiring a heck of a lot of small companies out there. Youtube, Blogger, JotSpot... even the crappy DoubleClick (Good we have great things such as Adblock isn't it).

I see Google becoming far bigger and more powerful than Microsoft. You know, not everybody hated Microsoft back in the days. In fact, I remember everybody actually "liking" Microsoft just as much as google today for being innovative. All the hate came with MS expansion into the market, in my humble opinion.

jhwilliams is actually on the right path. Give it a couple more years and we all can bash google.com as well.

Google is evil I tell you... EVIL

Last edited by Mega Man X; 01-29-2008 at 12:00 PM.
 
Old 01-29-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
Mega Man X
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Found a link with 100 alternative search engines:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives...ch_engines.php
 
Old 01-29-2008, 03:31 PM   #5
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Ok, ok. But their search engine hasn't failed me yet! I'll start to get worried when my searches get filtered out due to political and business agendas ...
 
Old 01-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #6
Mega Man X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder View Post
Ok, ok. But their search engine hasn't failed me yet! I'll start to get worried when my searches get filtered out due to political and business agendas ...
Amen to that. As a search engine, I still couldn't find anything that matches Google. Live.com not bad actually, but the results from Google are far more accurate.
 
Old 01-29-2008, 05:15 PM   #7
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder View Post
Ok, ok. But their search engine hasn't failed me yet! I'll start to get worried when my searches get filtered out due to political and business agendas ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4647398.stm

They're already doing that.

When the tvlinks.co.uk maker was arrested - they had links to various tv-series and movies, most of which were hosted by sites that were owned by google. - I couldn't find a single news article about it through google-search. Altavista and Yahoo turned up 20 different articles. That's one instance where it sure looked like google censored articles that revolved around how google's illegal hosting is being ignored while the poster of links to the content was prosecuted.

Last edited by oskar; 01-29-2008 at 05:22 PM.
 
Old 01-29-2008, 06:18 PM   #8
jhwilliams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskar View Post
They're already doing that.
Right, furthermore, there's lots of reasons to open source a search engine. I'm not just talking about an alternative search engine. If I was hell bent, I'd use altavista or something. Google is a proprietary software gian that should be feared by all!
 
Old 01-29-2008, 06:24 PM   #9
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I like the comment that was made on the website of http://www.alexa.com, which is a search-site made by Amazon. This was, in so many words, "I refuse to believe that the future of searching is to type 2.6 words into a text-box and look at the first 20 of 100,000 results."

It does take enormous resources to build a search-engine, but the results you get can be .. likely as not .. "stupid." The only way to make "stupid" into "millions of dollars" is to (a) engineer a creative IPO-strategy, and then (b) buy your way onto the default Firefox and IE search-toolbars, and (c) see "(a)".

But that won't last for very long. The only way to get a realistic handle on the amount of data that is now available on the Internet is not to try to "index it all," nor to index only what someone else says that they "stumbled upon," but to relax the requirement to do a 'search' in the first place. Why do we have to "search for" stuff on the Internet anyway? Even if you could, say for example, "instantly find every page of every book in the New York Public Library which contains the word 'cheese'," is that really what you wanted?

You'll never go anywhere by re-inventing what someone with more money than you has already done. You can only succeed by doing something more. "PageRank" was spectacular ten years ago, but it's old-hat now.
 
Old 02-03-2008, 10:56 AM   #10
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How about the new search engine from the creators of Wikipedia? (surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet)

http://search.wikia.com/
 
Old 02-03-2008, 11:45 AM   #11
Mega Man X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbar View Post
How about the new search engine from the creators of Wikipedia? (surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet)

http://search.wikia.com/
Very cool hbar. I wasn't aware of that one. Still, it is hard to beat google. In fact, it is hard to even get close. For example, I just tried the search words: "Ubuntu Guide".

What I am actually looking for is this address:

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Gutsy

That is the first hit on google, while it is the 7th link suggested by wikia. Every other search engine out there returns similar search results to wikia though.

But I am sure in time, we will be able to match google. At least I hope so
 
Old 02-03-2008, 11:50 AM   #12
pixellany
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I'll admit to not following all the nuances, but I don't recall seeing Google accused of the same abuses as are frequently attributed to MS. Can anyone cite specific examples?
 
Old 02-03-2008, 12:45 PM   #13
hbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mega Man X View Post
Very cool hbar. I wasn't aware of that one. Still, it is hard to beat google. In fact, it is hard to even get close. For example, I just tried the search words: "Ubuntu Guide".

What I am actually looking for is this address:

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Gutsy

That is the first hit on google, while it is the 7th link suggested by wikia. Every other search engine out there returns similar search results to wikia though.

But I am sure in time, we will be able to match google. At least I hope so
I'm sure it will improve as well. It even says so:
Quote:
Originally Posted by search.wikia.com
We are aware that the quality of the search results is low.

Wikia's search engine concept is that of trusted user feedback from a community of users acting together in an open, transparent, public way. Of course, before we start, we have no user feedback data. So the results are pretty bad. But we expect them to improve rapidly in coming weeks, so please bookmark the site and return often.
 
Old 02-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
gnashley
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vivisimo.com or clusty.com -try either one of these and you may never use google again -or at most very infrequently. I tried about 4 years ago and have only needed to use google about 5-6 times since then. This is not an open-source solution but it is a better way to get what you want on the first page of hits and not be 'tracked' by the 'giant G'.
 
Old 02-04-2008, 10:20 PM   #15
sundialsvcs
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Well, Google is basically "just keywords." They disguise the general ineffectiveness of their strategy (I think...) by essentially fabricating (I think...) the number of "hits" that occurred. If you ask to see the twentieth or thirtieth page of the "millions" of pages that were supposedly found, the well always runs dry.

They made a pot-load of cash in more or less the way that Warren Buffett did it: by making their shares so extremely hard to get that damn near everybody wanted one. But "a pot-load of cash" is not "success," at least not in this business.

The thing that strikes me as fundamentally-wrong about "searching" is that it asks you to "go to one place" to find information that is, by definition, "every place." So, inquiring minds want to know, why can't you go "every place" to find it, just all-at-once?

We might also pick up another clue from the way that information organizes itself in the non-virtual world: the very best libraries are specialized ones. And you make it your business, if you're in a business, to find out where to go to get your answers. So why can't we have these little pockets of de-centralized information ... all over the Internet ("where the information is"), and the inquiries find their own way to them?

{P.S. If you like what you hear, please send venture-capital to...}
 
  


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