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#1 2013-08-02 13:49:24

kasprosian
Member
Registered: 2013-08-02
Posts: 28

Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Hi,

There are clearly plenty of desktop search engines out there for files on your OS. However, there is also a huge amount of system information that is accessible only through specific commands with specific flags. Is there a search engine for that?

Some information that could be more "searchable":
* which processes using which sockets, which ports, and opened from which files
* on a server with a couple hundred users stored in a relational db -- how would you be able to find information about those users?

----------------------------------------

So far, the discussion has only been about queries related to finding information. Another fairly interesting category are queries that you want the computer system to do for you.

* Compiling -- running into problems doing a static linking of C++ source code that depends on Boost libraries.
* Installing system packages
* Notifications about missing system packages
* Installing Python modules
* SML interpreter -- esoteric and (at times) monolithic error messages
* running binaries that you just compiled, or scripts that you just wrote

...to list a few.

-----------------------------------------

any thoughts on that?

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#2 2013-08-02 13:54:21

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,190
Website

Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

I'm not really clear on what you are looking for as you seem to use "search engine" interchangeably with what I'd call an indexer.

Search engines would not find files on your OS, but an dekstop search or indexing tool (e.g., mlocate) would do this.  So I thought  you were looking for a new type of desktop-search tool or indexer.

The rest of your post though does sound like you are looking for a web/internet search engine.  Can you clarify this?

If it is the latter, I'm still not exactly sure what you want, but you may want to look into duck duck go with it's "bang" syntax which allows you to search within certain categories or sites - and many of them are for *nix systems, programming, and sites such as CPAN, CTAN, CRAN, etc.

EDIT: strictly speaking "search engine" and "indexer" are interchangeable - they are the same thing.  But in common usage, it seems the former term is for tools for web searching and the later for tools for searching the local system.  Hence my confusion: I'm not sure which flavor you are asking about.

Last edited by Trilby (2013-08-02 13:59:16)


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#3 2013-08-02 14:08:44

kasprosian
Member
Registered: 2013-08-02
Posts: 28

Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Trilby wrote:

I'm not really clear on what you are looking for as you seem to use "search engine" interchangeably with what I'd call an indexer.

Search engines would not find files on your OS, but an dekstop search or indexing tool (e.g., mlocate) would do this.  So I thought  you were looking for a new type of desktop-search tool or indexer.

The rest of your post though does sound like you are looking for a web/internet search engine.  Can you clarify this?

If it is the latter, I'm still not exactly sure what you want, but you may want to look into duck duck go with it's "bang" syntax which allows you to search within certain categories or sites - and many of them are for *nix systems, programming, and sites such as CPAN, CTAN, CRAN, etc.

EDIT: strictly speaking "search engine" and "indexer" are interchangeable - they are the same thing.  But in common usage, it seems the former term is for tools for web searching and the later for tools for searching the local system.  Hence my confusion: I'm not sure which flavor you are asking about.

Right, I believe that search engine is basically a gross misnomer, as a web search engine is not really a "search engine" in the semantic meaning of the phrase. In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_search_query, there are two significant categories of queries NOT related to information.

I think a better term would be AI. A fictional example would be JARVIS from Iron Man.

And the advantages of a client-side AI versus a web search engine is that the AI has intimate knowledge of your system, and when it comes to technical matters such as compiling with static linking, that local knowledge can save hours of Googling because the error messages from the compiler are hardly comprehensive or detailed enough.

A recent experience of mine was compiling very simple C++ source code that depended on Boost.FileSystem. I spent hours Googling based on the errors that the C++ compiler gave me, but the only error all along was that there are two versions of the Boost library -- one for dynamic linking, and another for static linking. I was missing the version for static linking, but I, the developer, would not discover this information so easily, while an AI could at least notice that there are missing libraries.

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#4 2013-08-02 14:32:22

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,190
Website

Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Ah, well ... how can we make an artificially intellgence if the natural variety is already so rare? wink


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#5 2013-08-02 14:44:12

kasprosian
Member
Registered: 2013-08-02
Posts: 28

Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Trilby wrote:

Ah, well ... how can we make an artificially intellgence if the natural variety is already so rare? wink

It's not such an impossibility tongue. Chess engines completely outclass humans nowadays (to the point that a grandmaster can be beaten almost 100% of the time). Machine learning (e.g. Facebook News Feed, Google search). Google search very early on did the search task much better than humans could.

Last edited by kasprosian (2013-08-02 14:44:45)

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#6 2013-08-02 15:22:52

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,432

Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Chess engines rely on careful valuation of moves performed by humans.
If you run a query which you can then rate or tell the computer that result A and B is exactly what you were looking for, C is less good and D is rubbish, maybe over time you could create an expert system tailored to your needs and preferences.

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#7 2013-08-02 19:44:37

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 19,329
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Re: Search engine for system info (as opposed to filesystems)?

Not a Community Contribution; moving to GNU/Linux discussion...


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