Thursday April 17 2014
information technology central services at the university of michigan

swishgate

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about swishgate

SwishGate is a utility that allows users to create their own searchable indices of web documents without assistance from the Web administrator. It is based on the swish from EIT. You may want to read swishgate's online documentation.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. All the documents you wish to index in a given collection must be underneath your ~/Public/html directory in IFS. They need not all be contained in the same directory.
  2. Using a text editor, you need to create a swish configuration file, which describes the location of documents you wish to index, filenames to exclude from indexing, and other options. You should read the section in the swish documentation on indexing. Additionally, this sample swish configuration file may be helpful.

    If you need help with UNIX text editors, refer to ITD's QuickNotes Using the Unix Text Editor vi and Using the Unix Text Editor pico.

    If you use pico, invoke pico with the -w flag (pico -w) - this turns off word wrapping which, while useful in composing email messages, causes problems with the swish configuration files. If you receive a message that swish has generated a segmentation fault while trying to build your index file, make sure that the line breaks fall in the proper places (one rule per line, line breaks at the end of each rule, and no line breaks before the end of a rule).
  3. Once you've constructed the swish configuration file, you need to index the files. Log into the ITD login service and run the command
    swish -c config-file
    where config-file is the name of the swish configuration file you created in step 2.
  4. Now that your collection is indexed, you can search it using Swishgate. First, you need to create an HTML form for searching. You should probably start with the swishgate generic sample form (save it and modify it to your liking).
  5. In your form, include the following:
    <form method="post" action="/cgi-bin/swishgate/~uniqname/index.swish">
    where uniqname is replaced with your uniqname, and index.swish is replaced with the path to your swish index file (the same as the IndexFile directive in your swish.conf file).

    This path is relative to your ~/Public/html directory. For example, if your index.swish file is in ~/Public/html/blah/index.swish, then the form action would look like this:
    <form method="post" action="/cgi-bin/swishgate/~uniqname/blah/index.swish">
    (bold used for emphasis)