Jimmy Wales, the founder of community driven encyclopaedia Wikipedia and its parent company Wikia, said last week that he is in the process of laying the foundations for a community-developed web search service designed to rival search engines from companies such as Google and Yahoo.
Wales told attendees at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention that the Wikia search service will combine computer-driven search algorithms and the much-needed human involvement that’s currently missing from the top search engines. He claims that the human editors would help to untangle search terms that have multiple meanings.
He also revealed that the search results would be generated using Lucerne, another open source project, and has said that he is looking to enhance the software in the future. He hasn’t revealed what he’s going to do to enhance Lucerne at this time though.
Wikia recently acquired Grub from LookSmart Ltd, an open source distributed web crawler that claims it will help to revolutionalise Internet crawling technology using a global community of volunteers to crawl every website every day. Users wanting to take part can download the client from the Grub homepage
– this will cut Wikia’s costs, as the company won’t need a network of computers to crawl the web.
Wales revealed that he expects a public version of the service to be available late in 2007 - there’s more here
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