Building a search engine into a project

Ray Bennett smilingeyes at
Sun May 4 21:49:01 EDT 2003

Do you have really good reason not to be using a database?  It just 
seems like your application is ideally suited for databases.  
Especially if you get to tens of thousands of records.  And Revolution 
seems to (I have NO experience with databases in Rev) give you adequate 
access to standards-based databases, so it might actually be less work 
than it seems.

Relative to expandable and searchable without the DB, however, there 
may be a million right answers, but one classic HyperCard approach 
would be to basically create a card catalog that resembles those that 
we old timers had to learn in library class in high school (along with 
the Dewey Decimal System).

One card per book.
Each card contains separate fields for:
    ISBN Number
    Dewey Decimal Number (do these matter anymore????)
    (number in stock, last ordered, and all of the other things 
bookstores worry about  that libraries don't)

Adding a book is adding a card.

Searching can be focused (by Author, by Title, by ISBN Number) or 
free-form (Google-like, you search every field
on the card).   With the performance in Rev, before a few thousand 
titles, free-form searches are probably okay, but remember that once 
you're users are trained on free form, going to targeted searches may 
feel restrictive.

Finally, don't neglect the "browse" effect.  You know, when you wander 
through the bookstore and see related titles near each other on the 
shelf.  This is where our old buddy Dewey comes in handy.  You can set 
up virtual book shelves and let people actually look at a shelf full of 
books which are kind of related to what they're looking for.

I would guess that if you haven't already Googled for a library 
application built in HyperCard, MetaCard, SuperCard, or such, that you 
should.  I'd be surprised if something close to what you're after 
hasn't been done before.


On Sunday, May 4, 2003, at 19:01 America/New_York, James Lewes wrote:

> I was thinking of using Revolution to build a catalog for a bookstore.
> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it expandable and 
> searchable
> without having to link it up to a database.
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> use-revolution at

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