ADS-L Archive is Up!

Grant Barrett gbarrett at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
Wed May 5 03:38:15 UTC 1999

The ADS-L archive relocation and renovation is finished!

Thanks goes out to everyone who offered their assistance (and
commiseration) in getting the new archive up and running, and an extra thanks to
Andrew Payne (apayne at who wrote the script that converted 17,000
poorly-formatted database records into 17,000 individual, clean, numbered,
formatted HTML files. Andrew is a highly-qualified programmer now working
for Sun Microsystems.

You can now make faster searches using Boolean strings and other
variables, and results are returned named by the original message subject. Results
can also be sorted by topic (it uses a keyword indexing feature: very
cool), or confidence, which ranks results according to how many of your
search strings are matched.

There are bound to be problems and suggestions, and I encourage you to
send email to me directly (not the list, please) about them. I already see
that in newer messages, unless a sender included a sig file or closing in
the message, then the sender's name is not included in the archived
message. Also, some of the messages have large, ungainly subject headings in the
search results window, and it would be nice to specify the number of hits
returned. I'll have to fix all these problems at once: running the script,
copying the files over the university super-speed Internet connection,
indexing them and diddling around took about 16 hours of uninterrupted
computer processing time. I'd like to repeat that trauma as few times as
possible, thank you.

In a related matter, thanks to the efforts of Tony Aristar, LinguistList
has taken over the responsibility of turning ADS-L daily digests into web
pages. I had been doing it on my own initiative with the aid of a script
since January, and logs show we'd been getting enough traffic from places
other than Delhi, Singapore and Syria to make it worthwhile. The
LinguistList interface may not be as nice, but it's completely automated and
therefore new pages will be created on time and require no additional human
action. In April, Tony also started a parallel archive to the existing,
complete one. As of this writing, the LinguistList archive of ADS-L will not
contain any messages prior to April 1999.

(As they are doing us a favor, and we gain by our assocation with their
impressive digital footprint, I think we definitly gain more from the
assocation than LinguistList.)

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at

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