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Re: cygwn uses for public document retrieval

Mike, FWIW I thought about answering this and decided I didn't have enough to offer, but Carlo's observations essentially match my own; this sort of thing can sometimes be done on a site-by-site basis, but that's usually the best you get. I have not, however, talked to

That is why you may be pleasantly surprised if you hit the ncbi eutils link. Surely, you can apprecaite how big a problem this is given the volume of information available- any serious usage requires automated access and it is just as easy to provide as a web page.

anyone about more automation-friendly access. (Honestly, I have not dealt with government sites and some of the ones I have played with probably wouldn't be very happy about auto-grabbing :-)

The government doesn't have any reason, other than server load constraints, to be unhappy about this- the private sites have various issues but perhaps a little thought on usability could impact revenue models ( I am big on advertising and free-to-user access but admit there are problems in the automated access area).

This first came to my attention in the investment area but it is pretty obviously
extendable to many areas. Let's say you want to provide weather info on your
site? Could you do this easily from NOAA? I actually think their support is generally
good but I haven't actually checked this out. I do know that patents are literally
intended to be "open" but the simple voliume of patents makes manual access
essentially useless. With the SEC documents, we now have the potential to spot
many possible problems but, IMO, just need better electronic tools.

There is a slightly related issue that comes up while considering the local government
situation. Often, they have information of relevance for a limited time ( child abduction alert,
ban on outside watering, utility outage, etc) and for a location defined audience.
If you had a site that managed to get location info from visitors, you may be able to
go to a clearinghouse and get the latest alerts and offer them to visitors.
( I ran into one case where a municipal sewer system was getting clogged because someone
within a several block region was flushing nylon towels- the professional response was to
go door-to-door with flyers- seems there is a better way since the offender may not even
be the owner/occupant and never see the flyer- could be a visiting nurse for example).

Anyway, at least youi appreciate the problem and have not seen a wide-spread effort
to offer automation friendly data for people wishing to redistribute it.

...especially the ones that run ads; not that WebWasher doesn't kill those anyway.)

KDE: Desktop Excellence

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