Re: [htdig] Opinion of Microsoft Index Server and Netscape Compass

Walter Hafner (
Tue, 18 May 1999 18:16:06 +0200 (METDST)

Geoff Hutchison writes:
> On Tue, 18 May 1999, Dan Dexter wrote:
> > Specifically, what is everyone's opinion of Microsoft Index Server and
> > Netscape's Compass product? I'm looking for Pros and Cons on their
> > use and limitations, preferably from people who have experience with
> > these products.
> I do not have experience with either product. However, I (and probably
> others) would be interested in the opinions you receive. If you would be
> willing to summarize them and send the summary to the list or to me, I'd
> appreciate it.

About half a year ago I did an extensive comparison between Compass
3.0.1, ht://Dig 3.1b2, PLWeb 3.0 and Thundersone Webinator and
summarized the results in

(Webinator is not in the page) Now, that's the good news.

The bad news: It's all in German.

Even worse: I don't have time to translate the page.

The bottomline: Compass does everything, that ht://Dig
does. Configuration (graphicel) is easier, albeit more
limited. Filtering in Compass is much more sophisticated (file types,
mime types, titles, URLs) than filtering in ht://Dig (URLs).

Biggest plus of Compass: It recognizes Server aliases and virtual
hosts. I asked for that feature in ht://Dig about three months ago -
nothing yet. :-) Okok - I understand, that 3 months is _nothing_ in
software development. In the meantime I programmed a little workaround.

A minus for Compass is the proprietary database format.

The biggest minus for Compass is the price. The average non commercial
site simply can't pay it. Informations under

The price was the main reason for us to stay with ht://Dig

> You may also find Avi Rappoport's excllent Search Tools site
> <> useful. He recently did a survey comparison
> of a variety of products. (I'm still wondering what's missing for the
> people who rated ht://Dig as "better than nothing" and "not thorough
> enough," but oh well.)

I can't speak for others, but I'm sure you know _my_ needs by now. At
least I ask often enough. :-)

- server aliases
- continous indexing (Compass does that, btw,)
- better URL filtering for index occlusion
- an "include" option for file types instead of the existing "exclude"

come to mind.

Don't get me wrong: I think, ht://Dig is an impressive piece of
software. Still, I want to use the most appropriate indexing tools for
our site. Currently, it's ht://Dig. If Netscape gives away Compass for
free again - like they did until Nov 98 - I'll switch to Compass.



Walter Hafner__________________________________
         <A href=>*CLICK*</A>
  "Multiple exclamation marks," he went on, shaking his head,
"are a sure sign of a diseased mind."  (Terry Pratchett, "Eric")
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