November 26, 2004

Metasearching: a new approach

The latest issue of the Library Journal has an article, 'Moving Beyond Metasearching: Are Wrappers the Next Big Thing?', about a $2 million project 'to deliver electronic content no matter where the search is conducted'. The functional ideas are interesting and have the crucial benefit of being easy, intuitive, to use.

But I need to find out about 'wrappers' before I can understand the technology behind it. I must be missing something - from the description given in the article, it sounds like the XML equivalent of html screen-scraping, which the NISO Metasearch Initiative is seeking to get away from. I particularly like the sentence: 'All results from the same vendor are returned in the same layout wherever you search.' It must be true if they're throwing $2 million at it, right?

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