[LINK] YaCy, open source search engine
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Nov 29 21:05:54 AEDT 2011
YaCy takes on Google with open source search engine
(Good idea, stupid name)
By Iain Thomson in San Francisco Posted in Software, 29th November 2011
A project calling itself YaCy pronounced "ya see" aims to break
Googles headlock on the search market by giving away an open source
search engine that can be used both online and within an intranet.
<http://yacy.net/en/index.html> and <http://search.yacy.net/>
The YaCy engine is based on peer-to-peer connections rather than search
queries being run thorough a central server. Users download the software
and act as peers for search, ensuring that no content can be censored and
no search results can be recorded and analyzed on central servers.
"Most of what we do on the Internet involves search. It's the vital link
between us and the information we're looking for. For such an essential
function, we cannot rely on a few large companies, and compromise our
privacy in the process," said YaCy project leader Michael Christen in a
"YaCy's free search is the vital link between free users and free
information. YaCy hands control over search back to us, the users."
Once installed, the computer sorts out its own individual search indexes
and rankings, and all search requests are encrypted to ensure user
Version one of the software has now been released, and so far over 1.4
billion documents have been indexed and 130,000 searches carried out.
As of mid-afternoon Pacific time, the sites web portal for search
<http://search.yacy.net/> was struggling under the load of interested
users, but it should be back to robust health shortly.
"We are moving away from the idea that services need to be centrally
controlled. Instead, we are realising how important it is to be
independent, and to create infrastructure that doesn't have a single
point of failure," said Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software
"In the future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems, free software
search engines like YaCy are a vital building block."
There wont be any chewed fingernails at Mountain View or Redmond any
time soon, but YaCy is an interesting bit of software, albeit one with a
lot of work still to be done. SEO poisoning, for example, will have to be
addressed if the application becomes popular, and legal problems may
ensue with some search terms.
Nevertheless, the call is out for developers and coders to help develop
the system further, and this is just the kind of project that could get
the open source community motivated. ®
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