IDG logo

Advertise with InfoWorld

SiteMap News Test Center Opinions Forums Careers Stock Quote Subject Indexes About Us Search Subscribe Home [Window Manager]

March 2, 1998

Several Web sites can help Windows HTML developers

It seems that almost everyone developing applications for Windows is also developing a World Wide Web site or two. I wrote last week about Alexa, a freeware program that provides users with detailed information about any particular Web site: the number of hits it receives, its owner's address and phone number, even a like or dislike rating based on Web surfers' opinions. But finding the exact site you want -- as well as developing a site of your own that others will want to find -- is still a challenging task.

Now there is a new, free search service designed for developers of Web sites and other HTML applications. It is called devSearch ( devSearch is a highly specialized tool that solves the problems of generalized search engines.

Generic search engines, such as AltaVista and Metacrawler, definitely have their uses. But when you receive 1,000 citations to mostly unrelated topics when searching for a particular subject, it's time to use a more focused approach.

devSearch is a thorough indexer of 23 Web sites that contain detailed information for the HTML developer. Many of these sites don't support a search tool of their own, which makes devSearch all the more valuable.

Included in the universe of resources indexed by devSearch are the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C, the home of HTML standards documents), DevEdge (a Netscape site), Inside DHTML (a site on Dynamic HTML by a program manager for Microsoft's Internet Explorer), and HTML Goodies (a fount of useful code and tutorials).

Of course, devSearch isn't the only search engine that targets its index to support specialized searches. For the past few months, for instance, ( has offered a suite of 100 different tailored searches. None of them is as focused on Windows development as is devSearch, but you may find them handy regardless.

For example, submitting to a generic search engine a term such as "Java" will give you plenty of software references, but it isn't likely to give you many useful hits about the island that is part of Indonesia. Typing "Java" using's Travel filter, by contrast, immediately returns a page of links, all of which are relevant to the Asian archipelago. If you really want information on Java programming, using the Computing & the Internet filter results in a page that's relevant only to that subject.

Clicking's A to Z List link reveals a list of more than 400 databases and indexes that the service has combined in various ways to make up its specialized filters. Making mountains of information such as this more easily accessible to the average Web user is the way Windows developers need to go to expand their market.

Stand still and say cheese

Yet another "snapshot" of the Web has been compiled by the folks at Alexa ( since I wrote last week's column. According to Alexa's Cynthia Lohr, they now have four (not just three) snapshots of more than 800,000 Web sites (increased from 500,000), preserved for posterity since 1996. Using Alexa's Windows software, you can access an old, archived page when you get an error message that a site no longer exists. For those of you with spare time, their historical archive now represents more than 18,000 CD-ROMs of text and graphics. And you thought your hard drive was filling up ... .

Brian Livingston is the co-author of several best-selling Windows books, including the most recent Windows 95 Secrets (IDG Books). Send comments to Unfortunately, he cannot answer individual questions.

Missed a column? Go back for more.

Copyright © 1998 InfoWorld Media Group Inc.


Copyright © 2002. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. is a member of complies with the ASME guidelines with IDG extensions For New media.