Forum OpenACS Q&A: XML-RPC site.wide.dig interface: comments?
I encourage you to visit my demonstrator and leave comments: is this useful, how you might change it, etc. I'll try to package the code up sometime this week, but if you give me encouragement, well that will make packaging that much easier to do.
The goal is to create a module for the ACS that would let any site call over to an ACS site and ask that ACS site to "search itself" for something. In the long run, I would hope that would yield better results than a Google search of the site, and it might expose to the searcher, closed off portions of the site.
The other use would be to let cooperating community sites (that is, different websites) integrate a little bit more. If you've ever used Michael Cleverly's Community Uber-search, well, this is the kind of service I want to provide, but a bit better. Michael has a crawler up and when you type in your search words, and designate which AOLserver/ACS/Tcl/Postgres sites to search, it goes out and searches each of them. It's wonderfully useful.
My notion is that any site, regardless of the technology it was built, could have a module that lets collaborating sites register with each other and so allows each site to have a service that lets its members perform an ubersearch of a wider community. Communities would be self-defined: ACSers, XML-RPC Soapers (or here too, or even collaborating groups of folks interested in Satanic cult best practices). By turning this into an xml-rpc service, it allows each site to implement it's own search strategy, and it keeps various sites from having to replicate crawlers and indexes of all the sites. In general, it should make ubercommunity searches much easier to implement, and much more easier and flexible over time to administer.