Gerald Boyd has spent much time learning the internal syntax of web search engines. He has made the fruits of his labor available at an ftp site. Interested Internauts can download FAQs on how to query fifteen generic and eight specialty search engines by email. Included are Alta Vista, Excite, Inktomi, Yahoo, Infoseek, OKRA, Open Text, SwitchBoard, TheList, and others. Also included is a FAQ on how to use an Agora Server to use the web by email. See the Scout Report for March 8, 1996
for more on Agora. The FAQs are of greatest use to those without a web connection, but are also interesting to anyone who is intrigued by the intricacies of search engines. Users should download wsintro.faq (table of contents of FAQs), wscrack.faq (basic strategy for figuring out how to query search indexes via email) and wshelp.faq (Agora help file) before any others. For those who would like to download everything at once, wssearch.zip contains all of the files. Note that while these files are fairly technical, they are very useful for those who need such Internet access.