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CNET News: Project Searches for Open-Source Niche

Aug 18, 2003, 22:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stefanie Olsen)

"An emerging Web search project is out to keep Google, Yahoo and MSN honest--and improve the process of finding useful, noncommercial information on the Net.

"Called Nutch, the project is developing open-source software for locating documents online. But unlike major search providers, it won't cloak its formulas for matching relevant results to visitors' queries. Rather, it will provide an open window into its calculations, with links to explanations on how it determined each result, according to lead architect Doug Cutting.

"'All of the existing search engines have secret methods for deciding which documents are the best documents,' said Cutting, whose resume includes research and development stints at Excite, Grand Central and the Palo Alto Research Center. 'Search is something that's a basic need for users of the Internet--it's a valuable tool and yet it's controlled secretly, and that seems like a bad setup. People have the right to know how their search engine works so they can trust it...'"

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