image provider

Search Engine Sharpener


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

The intent of this project is to fine tune search engines so they take you to the precise place on a page where the words you searched for are, rather than just to the top of the page.

How does it work? This technique could work with any of the search engines mentioned on my search engines list, though it needs to be slightly customised for each different search engine. The turner is implemented as an Applet that works inside any browser. You feed the Applet your search criteria and select which search engine to use in a listbox. The Applet then sends the request off to the search engine. Instead of displaying the response, it captures the results and displays them in a scrolling region. You then click one of the responses for further investigation. The Applet sends the request off to that website and studies the results. It then modifies the resulting HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) to highlight the words you were searching for and inserts a hidden magic string e.g. supecalifragilisticexpialidocious, or more realistically ^^^^, in hidden text, just ahead of each hit. It then hands that page off the browser to render. See HTML) rendering for how. Because of browser security restrictions, the tuner must write the modified web page to hard disk first. The browser then renders the page. You can then hit the F3 repeat find key in the browser to find each highlighted hit in turn.

Because this Applet does naughty things like write to the hard disk and talk to many different webservers, it must be signed.

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