About the Search Engine

And What It Will NOT Do

    This excursion into "web-tech" is a feature that has been implemented in a manner that should minimize the time readers have to wait for the results of their searches. This has accomplished in two ways.

    First, each of the "Collections" in FROM MARX TO MAO, as well as Capital, Vol. II, has its own dedicated "search engine" accessible from the respective Directories. This limits the search to the files contained in a given directory. If you're searching for a quote by Mao, the search engine will not be going through 150+ Lenin files, 50+ Stalin files, etc., before it examines the relevant files. The downside of this, of course, is that if you want to search the entire site because you can't recall the author of a choice quote, or you're interested in what each author had to say about a specific topic, you'd have to do five separate searches. Those requiring such a "shotgun" approach to their searches will have to wait until a site-wide search engine is set up.

    Second, each search engine is powered by the same CGI script, "site Search 2.00". Written by Krishnan Jayakrishnan, who has no affiliation with this site, it is a very "robust" and highly efficient program. Although the script has been ever-so-slightly tweaked in terms of its appearance with respect to the input form where the search condition are set, and the output form in which the search results are presented, all credit and many, many thanks are due Krishnan for generously making the script available as freeware and for personally helping to configure the script to run at this site.

    The search engine has one definite limitation: the output returns only the first occurance of the word or phrase searched for in a given file; other instances of the search term(s) which may be in the file do not appear in the output. In order to conduct a complete search of a given file you will have to access that file and then use your browser's "Find" feature to track down all instances in which the word or phrase appears in the file. Sorry about that.

    In spite of this drawback, the search engine is nothing to sneeze at. It is among the best available; none with which I am familiar overcomes this shortcoming. I will continue to keep an eye out for an engine that can do complete searches within a given file. If any of you can, or if you know anyone who can, write programs in PERL and would be willing to enhance the search capabilities of the engine, PLEASE contact me.

Back to From Marx to Mao