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Search for the following keywords:

    Verbose report     Simple report

Maximum number of results:

search example 1: john and doe or jane
search example 2: john and (doe or jane)
search example 3: not (john or jane) and doe
search example 4: j* and doe

About this Search Engine:

There are a few things about how this search is done that might help you find what you're looking for a little better. Some of it might even be interesting (if you're a geek).

The search doesn't really search through the site looking for files that contain those words. That method is known as "Brute Force" and for good reason. There are two main reasons why it isn't feasible. One, you would probably like your results in less than a minute rather than five or ten minutes from now. Two, the people who host this website, Esosoft, would prefer that I not crash their server at regular intervals. Running a brute force search is pretty resource intensive. That means it makes the server work its little arse off and it takes a long time.

So, we make a little compromise. Once a week, when things are quiet, we run a program that indexes the website. It creates one file containing every word you might search on that exists on this site, and it notes which files contain that word, and how many times it occurs. So when you go hunt for that word, this engine only has to search one file. Granted, it's a really really big file. But it's only one file and that cuts the time for the search down to something manageable.

The downside is that any editing I do to the site doesn't get indexed until the next time the index process runs. That time is late Monday night. I chose Mondays because I do most of my maintenance on the weekends, so that will usually catch everything pretty quick.

Why only once a week? Couple of reasons. One, the indexing process is itself a bit of a resource hog. It takes awhile, even for a big, fast server with lots of RAM to open every html and htm file floating around 25 or 30 meg of server space, alphabetize every word in it that isn't a common word like "the" or "but", add it to the list it's already built, close the file, open the next one, and on and on and on till every file's done. Two, this is my favorite kind of search engine: free. This engine was set up and installed by the good folks at Esosoft for me after I talked to them about the best way to set up and configure one. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that if you're dealing with free stuff and free labor, you don't want to rock the boat. They'd prefer I limited it to once a week. Spirit Pathways is not a high-traffic commerce site and nobody's going to go broke or get killed if the stuff in here isn't up-to-the-minute news. Once a week is fine with me.


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