More thoughts about queries
- I want to point out a couple of subtleties about queries.
I think that queries are a fallback position from hypertext. As I said
earlier, hypertext has advantages and the primary one is that it is more
discoverable and navigable than a query (or API or messaging interface
I do think that queries are an important optimization. Sometimes finding
out equivalent information through hypertext would take significant
effort. For instance in the Google case, they have so many word indexed
that for bandwidth reasons their hypertext "tree" would probably have to
be something like this:
They could of course us balancing algorithms to minimize the size of it
but still it would take several back and forth messages to get to the
point where we have the information available from:
This hypertext view may be too slow for much real-world use. But on the
other hand, the hypertext view gives the client access to all kinds of
interesting information. For instance by spidering "prescod" I can find
out all words associated with my name. I could pretty easily find
GoogleWhacks that use my name. ;) I could scan for first names to find
other Prescods. The information available in the hypertext version is a
strict superset of the information available in the query version, but
navigating it may be too inefficient. So I think that in many
circumstances, both views are warranted.
Google might also want to have the query view be a free service and the
navigable view be something that people pay to use for data mining.