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I'm new to this list and would like to introduce myself and possibly seek
your support. Im Craig Smith a young Web Services Developer working for
In recent years I have been working privately with an XML Search and
Retrieval engine called OpenKast. Most of my work has been aimed at
developing web based front ends for this engine, but have grown to learn
about its strengths. OpenKast is the brain child of my Dad, George Smith,
and one of his collegues from Memex Information Systems, Andrew
Cruickshank. Having an extensive background in Knowlege Management systems
they set about creating OpenKast, after previously using SGML in another
product. That was in around 1997.
Slowly, they developed it, my Dad providing ideas as he is not much of a
developer and Andrew spending long nights (i'm sure we all know how he
feels) creating the software. I will remember to this day the Tosh
Satellite Pro with 140+MB of RAM and NT4 Server installed that had the
first OpenKast demo I can remember on it. It was a flying machine, there
was one repository with a good few thousand records on it and the query
mechanism which is now complex today was just starting off as a very simple
logical query mechanism. This thing was a 133!!
Today OpenKast is a fully fledged prodcut. I have seen it searching
1,000,000+ XML documents with very complex queries in a matter of
milliseconds. Fair enough it was running on a Dual Xeon server, witha
couple of gig of ram, but the performace is blistering, even on Windows,
and thats running Apache and PHP. It utilises a very simple SOAP interface
for accessing the Engine and is even SSL encryptable. It runs on Linux as
Im sure you can all agree that if an XML based Search and Retrieval Engine
could deliver the sort of performace you see in a good RDBMS based system,
a lot of people would implement and use it.
Now I don't want to seem like I'm rabbling on, or even make it seem like a
sales pitch, all I am looking for is support. I have watched my dad put
many many years of business trips all over the world at his own expense
trying to preach the merits of this software. Quite simply he has got
nowhere, people can see the benefits, they can see the value, but they
never ever adopt the product. Why? The men who adopt the policy trust the
big guns, the small man isn't trustable (is that even a word?) until he is
big. An example? MySQL would never have been adopted in large organisations
unless it was A) Free and B) Used for non-vital systems. Slowly support
grows, in the Open Source community and withing companies, people adopt,
they start buying lisences, they trust it, and slowly MySQL gets somewhere.
The support I seek is similiar. I am trying to pursuade my dad to get this
technology out there, people talk, on the internet, and at work, and
perhaps it could go somewhere. Wouldn't it be great if we could all benefit
from this technology? This may seem even more like I'm trying to get my
dads company off the ground for him. It's not like that, time is slowly
eating away at OpenKast, and soon, it could be lost forever.
All I ask is a reply, to my email address, and let me know if you would be
interested in trying this product. Using it and understanding its
qualities, and believe me, you will. Many of the problems that people have
had implementing such systems have been overcome; encoding speeds, ability
to handle multiple DTDs in one single XML repository, ability to handle
multiple repositories per engine. As an example, and this is going on rough
figures; 500,000 documents encoded in around an hour, the size in an RDBMS
was say 1GB, encoded, it was a mere 800MB and thats with full tagging and
these are complex XML documents, as this is what OpenKast handles best.
So, if you are, email me at email@example.com, and add your name to my
petition to get this software out to all you guys who I am sure would love
to see and use it as I have.
If you wish to discuss more please feel free and I will try to answer as
best as I can, I can always get the answers if needs be.
mail2web - Check your email from the web at