Archie search engine

From Academic Kids

Archie is a search engine designed to index FTP archives, allowing people to find specific files. The original implementation was written in 1990 by Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan, and Peter J. Deutsch, then students at McGill University in Montreal.

The earliest versions of archie simply contacted a list of FTP archives on a regular basis (contacting each roughly once a month, so as not to waste too much resources on the remote servers) and requested a listing. These listings were stored in local files to be searched using the UNIX grep command. Later, more efficient front- and back-ends were developed, and the system spread from a local tool, to a network-wide resource, to a popular service available from multiple sites around the Internet. Such archie servers could be accessed in multiple ways: using a local client (such as archie or xarchie); telneting to a server directly; sending queries by electronic mail; and later via World Wide Web interfaces.

The name derives from the word "archive", but is also associated with the comic book series of the same name. It is not clear whether this was originally intended, but it certainly acted as the inspiration for the names of Jughead and Veronica, both search systems for the Gopher protocol, named after other characters from the same comics.

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