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

Torsten Neuer (
Wed, 19 May 1999 09:26:37 +0200

According to Geoff Hutchison:
>At 4:31 PM -0400 5/18/99, Albert Desimone jr wrote:
>>Also, and this is the part that is a little confusing to me, I can set
>>'allow_virtual_hosts' to 'false' and the hard virtual host will still
>>be indexed. (Again, don't know about the soft variety.)
>To an indexer like ht://Dig, 'hard' virtual hosts are easy to deal
>with--different names, different IPs, must be different sites. It couldn't
>care less if they happen to come from the same machine. 'Soft' virtual
>hosts are a bit more difficult, but this is why there's an
>'allow_virtual_hosts' option--it tries to deal with name-based virtual
>>to have had a problem with (just as a non-HTTP/1.1 savvy browser would
>>have). All the more reason that hard is better, even if more
>>difficult to set up.
>Unless anyone shows me server traces otherwise, ht://Dig will do just fine
>with these virtual hosts by default. It will send a 'Host:' header with
>every request, and so far I haven't heard of servers complaining at the use
>of this HTTP/1.1 header.
>What Walter Hafner is asking for is probably better termed server aliases,
>or duplicate hostnames. He has multiple names for the same host
>(essentially 'soft' virtual hosting), but these do not always correspond to
>different sites. So he'd like to have ht://Dig realize that the names are
>different, but the sites are the same. Yes, we already have a
>server_aliases feature, but what he wants (rightly so) is for a more
>automatic solution to the problem. (Please correct me if I'm wrong here

IMHO aliases for a server which deal with the same host and the same
machine should generally be handled by the server itself by automa-
tically redirecting one base URL to the other. People should think
of this more, since they cannot configure the "big ones" on the inter-
net like they can do with their "local ones", i.e. any search robot
on the web will regard those sites as being "different" since they
cannot be told that they are not.

An interesting point for server aliasing is, however the use of a (=one)
search engine for multiple (=mirrored) hosts - you only need to maintain
one database, as you also only have to maintain one site.
This could IMHO easily be implemented by an on-the-fly search and replace
in htsearch, i.e. calling htsearch with an "aliasname" parameter which
causes the base URL to be replaced (just like having sed(1) run on the
htsearch output).


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