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SWISH-E - Web Site Search Utility
Powered by SWISH-E A convenient method to allow clients to retrieve information from a web site is by building an index of the web pages and providing search capability. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tools this task becomes very easy.

Normally web indexing and searching requires a complex, hard to use and install WAIS-based solution, however a small yet powerful program SWISH-E, (which is based on SWISH written by Kevin Hughes), can be used to fulfill your web indexing and searching needs.

To install SWISH-E on your Virtual Server, connect via Telnet or SSH and run this command:

% vinstall swish-e

Index Your Web Site
To create a SWISH-E index of your Web site, do the following.

  1. Change your current working directory to your swish-e directory by issuing this command:

    % cd ~/usr/local/swish-e

  2. Create a SWISH-E configuration file (swish.conf) for your Virtual Server. Save this file under the name of website.conf (or some other name of your liking) and then store this file in the ~/usr/local/swish-e directory. You will find a default configuration file called ~/usr/local/swish-e/swish.conf which you can use as a template (just make sure you change all occurrences of LOGIN_NAME to match the login name of your Virtual Server).

    NOTE: You should be very familiar with the FileRules section of the configuration file. By default, SWISH-E will not index files in directories containing a .htaccess file. If you have a directory that contains a .htaccess file, and would like it indexed, then comment out that FileRules line by placing a "#" as the first character in the line.

    Create a separate configuration file for each search on your Virtual Server. For example, if you have several users on your server that require separate searches for their own directories, create a separate configuration file for each user. Then use the configuration files to create separate index files for each search.

  3. Run SWISH-E, like this:

    % cd ~/usr/local/swish-e
    % ./swish-e -c CONFIG_FILE

    Where CONFIG_FILE is the name of your SWISH-E configuration file you created in the previous step.

    After you run the SWISH-E executable, a SWISH-E index file will be generated. The name of the SWISH-E index file is that which you specified as the value for the IndexFile variable in the SWISH-E configuration file.

The Search Form
To install the search on your web site you will need to download the Search Form and store it somewhere in your usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs directory structure. Feel free to customize the form, add graphics, etc. But be sure that the variable name for each input field is not altered.

The form can be customized for your Virtual Server by simply changing the occurrence of SWISH_INDEX_FILE to the name of the swish-e index which you specified as the value for the IndexFile variable in the SWISH-E configuration file. You may hide the maxresults field by simply using a type=hidden argument with the input tag.

The Search CGI
You can customize the appearance of the search CGI, if you wish. Two subroutines in the ~/www/cgi-bin/library/searchindex/util.pl file, print_header_info and print_footer_info are used to print out header and footer information. Feel free to modify these functions such that the CGI outputs pages that are in synch with the motifs of the rest of your site.

More Information
For more information and documentation see:

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Last Modified: Fri Mar 23 04:06:36 2001 GMT
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