Web services we'd like to see

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Robot Wisdom : One Thread

What new services would you like to see offered on a (free) website?

I'd like a searchengine that lets me request "cyber*" and returns a list of all the ways that prefix is completed on the web.

And I'd like a version of Google that rates articles by how many weblogs linked to them.

And I'd like a searchengine that digs deeply into all the free online newspaper and magazine achives.

-- Jorn (jorn@mcs.com), September 21, 1999


I'd like a database of weblogs sorted by city/location, ideally with a clickable map, ideally with a form so loggers can submit their own.

-- Jorn (jorn@mcs.com), September 22, 1999.

I'd like a database of *synopses* of important books, instead of just reviews. (I have an oldish book called the Thesaurus of Book Digests that does this.)

(DL-- I dunno, sorry. What do you mean about clickable being enough?)

-- Jorn (jorn@mcs.com), September 23, 1999.

I'd like a really sophisticated host for online polls, where you'd automatically get statistics analysing users' answers to multiple questions. Eg, if Q1 was what computer do you use, and Q2 was what browser do you use, it would tell you that 90% of Windows users use MSIE...

-- Jorn (jorn@mcs.com), November 04, 1999.

I'd like a Yahoo (or DMoz) equivalent that consists entirely of critiques of every listed topic.

So I could look under "Internet:WWW:HTML:Stylesheets" and find links to everybody who's criticised stylesheets for whatever reason.

-- Jorn (jorn@mcs.com), December 07, 1999.

My problem is that, except for a few services where I know the provider personally, like nibelung, I don't want to depend on free services because I've got a grasp of the economics.

I've got a couple of features that can be implemented via web based software I'd love to have for free, but I can never be sure when it's going to change, when the service agreement will suddenly say "Oh, by the way, we're selling your personal info, expect your unsolicited e-mail to quadruple", and so forth.

I did some searching today for a difficult to quantify idea and had lots of noise from the engines. Taking one of your requests I started thinking about building a search engine that would use a couple of favorite web logs as URL sources.

And all search engines would benefit with a "recheck this link" addition to their search results so that when I run across a 404 I can quickly tell the engine.

-- Dan Lyke (danlyke@flutterby.com), September 21, 1999.

Re: Clickable map sorted by location...

Do you know of a web database that can be queried to convert city/state or ZIP/postal code info to lat/long? Or would clicking on a map be a reasonable compromise?

(Way optimistic about the things I'll accomplish during my temporary joblessness...)

-- Dan Lyke (danlyke@flutterby.com), September 22, 1999.

Re: Clickable enough: What I mean is a 320x200 or whatever mercator projection of the world and a "Click roughly where you live" sort of thing, rather than an hours, minutes and seconds lat/long sort of thing.

(Which, for some bizarre reason, I always take as an invitation to tie to some sort of missile targeting system. The idea of spidering pages with excessive JavaScript or "blink" tags to such a system through the Internic technical contact entries always appealed to me...)

-- Dan Lyke (danlyke@flutterby.com), September 23, 1999.

I'd like to see free, highly configurable, easy to use search scripts. As a graphic designer and writer with limited knowledge of perl, ssi, etc, I'd still like to be able to try out some of my searching ideas, just to see if they fly/if I can build a 'personal' search engine.

Does anyone know if code like this is avail. for free? I have gotten close with a few scripts, but none of them have been as flexible as I would like.


-- c. bartok (cz1679@yahoo.com), October 10, 1999.

I'd like a version of Deja News that loads fast, because the present version is basically unusable because of all the pomp and circumstance ("Rate It!", ads, etc.).

A website that would allow you to create your own newsgroup - you submit the name of the group and a charter, and an automaton sets up the group for you. I know that this would really clutter up the alt.* hierarchy, but it's not like it's not already a mess...

-- Jordan Ruud (jruudatniagara@sprintmail.com), October 20, 1999.

I'd like Jorn to point to UserLand sites on his WebLog FAQ.

And I'd like peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Happy Holidays! (Let me be the first.)

-- Dave Winer (dave@userland.com), November 01, 1999.

I'd love to see Dru Jay's Framework for Intracreative Publishing further developed.

It would also be nice to have some perl/python libraries that made it easy to use HTTPS..

Also, it would be really cool if someone made a website to help people fill out their taxes, and then generated a PDF file for printing.. :)

-- Michal (sabren) (sabren@manifestation.com), November 04, 1999.

want to get rid of the US-focussed content on the web, don't want it to be Chinese either (not being to serious here, am from EU/.NL)

want an answer to following question: why can i ask 255 different people the same question, and get 1 answer, while i use a search engine, and either get 0 answers, 124.235 answers, 34832949234 more possible answers, and other stuff?

web needs authority, let Dave Winer be the one (so we might get the peace he wants as well?)

-- Hendrik-Jan Bosch (bosch@geo.uu.nl), November 05, 1999.

>>>want an answer to following question: why can i ask 255 different people the same question, and get 1 answer, while i use a search engine, and either get 0 answers, 124.235 answers, 34832949234 more possible answers, and other stuff? <<<<

Because human brains are vastly better at indexing information (and cross referencing with synonyms) than computer programs are.

-- Judy (judy@judywatt.com), November 15, 1999.

>> Because human brains are vastly better at indexing information >>(and cross referencing with synonyms) than >> computer programs are.

Yup. I use a little factoid when I grouse about search engines: I do a search for the text string "baloney sandwich" and eyeball how many links I get referring to the food. Most of the time I get links referring to an alternative rock group or a particular episode of Cartoon Planet.

So far, the only engine which has come close to passing the test is Google.

-- Mike Collins (mc7f@andrew.cmu.edu), December 07, 1999.

Note that DejaNews can now be accessed without all the "Rate Natalie Portman!" cruft by using the following URL:


This has worked great for the past couple of weeks, dunno how long they'll leave it "fixed."

Also note that this option gets rid of their ridiculous 2-tone gray shaded query-result lists that take up 2X the necessary vertical space. It's no longer necessary to select the "Deja Classic" option if you use this URL.

-- John Miles (frotz411@hotmail.com), December 11, 1999.

I should like to see a directory of information/services which are genuinely informative, with a few words which summarise what the site does. The problem with the internet is that there is so much junk to wade through!

-- franziska (franziska@fisken.greatxscape.net), January 07, 2000.

i'd like to see a url database which keeps urls quotable and tracks where pages go. free service of course. maybe with academic sidebranch. kind of a redirecting service.

-- pit (pit@mikro.org), February 10, 2000.


YOU CAN'T .......unless the question is something like, "Is this black or red?" ....Even then, I'm not sure all 255 would cooperate.

-- russ conner (carcomp@uswest.net), June 16, 2000.

I'd like a free, fast-loading, easily configurable web-based mail program like the one outlined in PhilG's "Web Tools Review" (on the ArsDigita site at: www.arsdigita.com/asj/).

Web-based mail really works for me, but Hotmail's limitations are pretty significant, and the ArsDigita service would seem to ameliorate many of its more annoying "features".

Plus I'd rather give PhilG the publicity; Billg's got all he needs...


-- Max Ernst (ernstmax@hotmail.com), June 22, 2000.

Well, I would like a little subdermal chip that, you know, hooks me up. GPS, internet, regulating brain chemistry, shifting metabolism, expanding range of basic 5 senses, with voicecommand control over my myriad biobots, cerebrobots, and testesbots to boot. Sattelite tv, spellchecker, sticky notes, wormcam, godcam,pizzabot and Letterman top ten. Thanks for asking.

-- Monseignor whangdang_doodle (whangdang_doodle@hotmail.com), July 17, 2000.

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