Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online
3.23. What's all this talk of indexers and navigators?
An indexer involves a component to gather the data, build the index, and
handle user queries. An example is Archie, a tool that catalogs the holdings of
thousands of anonymous FTP sites. Indexes are efforts to do virtual look-ups
across thousands of Internet servers, like the holdings of anonymous FTP sites,
or the menus in Gopher servers. The idea is to collect a list from each
participating server, and then collect these lists into one database that can
be searched, so that a single query seems to search the entire Internet.
A navigator provides the user with a view of this information, and a way
to search, browse, and select things. It provides an Internet-wide view rather
than a connection to only one site. For example, a single screen of a Gopher
menu may point to resources at a dozen locations around the world!
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