Saturday, September 28, 2013

The personal (corporate?) search tool I want

The modern publicly traded corporation is to data as water is to iron. Corrosive. There are reasons why this is getting worse - legal, regulatory, economic, political, technological. It's a long story, but trust me on the corrosion part.

Now if I kept all my data  on my personal dry dock workstation (we still have them) I could resist this, but there's power in sharing. So over time pieces of my extended (work) memory have fallen into abandoned repositories. Recently the number and complexity of these abandoned repositories ran past my cognitive limits.

In the long run part of the the solution is a corrosion resistant knowledge repository, but in the short run I need a way to track and search my archives and working repositories. I need an integrated personal search tool for pulling in data from a variety of server based search APIs. [4].

I haven't seen a tool like this and I can't be the only one who needs one; there's probably a (very) wee market here [1]. At least 10 people. Worldwide.

It's not too hard to imagine how it might work as a web app:


There's a search box, a drop down with "All" or single target searches. Send (?Customized) strings to APIs of various repositories like SharePoint_1, SharePoint_2, Yammer, XWiki, Confluence, Rally, JIRA and so on. Get results back, convert to a normal form, display in a grid.

On the other hand, a web page of links to the various search engines would be better than nothing, and an embedded set of search forms would be quite good esp. with a little javascript to copy a string from one field to every search string.

So what I need is an environment that lets me start with a simple web page of links, then add embedded forms, and gradually build more capability over time. A kind of hobby project I can work on when I'm stalled on my real work and need something to that's plausibly work related.

Maybe Meteor ... 

[1] Before Google there were tools like this for the public net, but post-Google those have been relegated to (mostly) failed meta-search engine projects like dogpile,, and, arguably, duck duck go. I haven't found tools that work inside corporate firewalls.

[4] My personal custom search engine fills a similar role for the Google-accessible net.

See also

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