Re: [htdig] questions

Subject: Re: [htdig] questions
From: Gilles Detillieux (
Date: Thu Jan 04 2001 - 09:25:12 PST

According to John Lunstroth:
> Hi - I am a beginner here and have some more questions. Apologies for
> taking up time on some of this.
> 1. Ultimately I am interested in phrase and proximity search
> capabilities. I have been working at installing 3.1.5. I have read
> the release notes and see that the beta of 3.2 should be installed
> separately etc., since it uses different protocols, etc. I am wondering
> if I should just go ahead and start working with 3.2 - will it be
> difficult to upgrade between fixes?

That depends on how important phrase searching is to you. There are
still a lot of bugs in the query parser in 3.2, and a rewrite of it
is slated for 3.2.0b4, so I don't know if the current phrase searching
will be adequate. As far as upgrading between fixes, there's commonly
a bit more effort involved in working with beta releases, although for
some people they install quite smoothly. There may be database format
changes coming down the road, so upgrading htdig may mean having to
reindex from scratch. Switching between 3.1.5 and 3.2.0bX will certainly
require reindexing.

> 2. Being new to the Lunix environment, I am just getting acquainted with
> the File Hierarchy Standards ideas, and am uncertain how important it is
> to follow based on the following. I have noticed that the FHS applies
> to administrators setting up systems, but I alos notice that my web
> host has other protocol in place for the section of the server I have
> access to. For example, the root of my server (I only have telnet/ftp
> access), has a /www directory that contains all of the websites, and a
> /home directory that is my home directory and contains all other home
> directories. I have real space in each subdirectory under my domain
> name - /www/myname/ and /home/myname. There is a link from /home to
> /www. This at first caused me some difficulty, but I got it figured out.
> The htdig configuration program/file assume that the website will be
> located under the server's /opt subdirectory - so configure by default
> produces files with this location: /opt/www. "opt" is the name of
> subdirectories in which the user should put non-system programs -
> their applications, if I udnerstand correctly. There are also the
> "var" and "bin" subdirectories.
> Is there a recommended file hierarchy I should use in the
> directory I have available? I am building my site in the
> /www/myname/ subdirectory. That is where cgi-bin is located
> (/www/myname/cgi-bin). Will it be easier, in the long run, to use a
> certain file system - I assume it will be, since htdig, and probably
> other apps, use a common base of standards I am unfamiliar with.

Don't worry too much about the FHS. It's meant for people putting
together packages for distribution. End users are not bound by it,
and individual system installations may go with something very different
in many cases. Go with what works. If your web hosting company imposes
a different hierarchy, the easiest thing in the long run is to go with
their setup as much as possible. It's easy enough to configure htdig
to use any set of directories you want.

I think the whole /opt thing is a Sun-ism that may have been adopted
by some (but certainly not all) Linux distributions. On Red Hat systems,
I go with something more FHS-like.

> I am asking a narrow question - what subdirectories would it be best
> to use in setting up htdig:
> /www/myname/opt (put htdig here as separate subdirectory
> /cgi-bin (htdig automatically puts stuff here
> /var (? not sure what to put here
> /bin (? not sure how to use this one - or
> even where it should be vis-a-vis htdig
> /htdocs (? is the name important or standard?
> the subdirectory "htdocs" - I assume this means hypertext docs -
> and should be where the content is - is "htdocs" a standard name,
> or an abbreviation used by the htdocs people?

htdocs is commonly used as the name for the DocumentRoot, but I don't
think there's any standard involved here. Go with whatever your web host
uses as its document root directory, and put the "htdig" subdirectory that
contains the image files right in that directory. Put htsearch in your
web host's cgi-bin directory if at all possible (and if one is provided),
to avoid having to specify a new ScriptAlias directory for CGI programs.
The rest of the files (executables, common/* files, database directory)
can go wherever you see fit, but make sure the common and database
directories are accessible by the web server's user ID.

Gilles R. Detillieux              E-mail: <>
Spinal Cord Research Centre       WWW:
Dept. Physiology, U. of Manitoba  Phone:  (204)789-3766
Winnipeg, MB  R3E 3J7  (Canada)   Fax:    (204)789-3930

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