May 2009 - Archive




As a direct response to ongoing practical input from customers who regularly interact with our tech support engineers, Thunderstone Software will release Version 7 of the Thunderstone Search Appliance on June 8, 2009. We've added a number of desirable new features — which also apply to our Parametric Search Appliances and to Thunderstone's entire line of Appliance products. These performance enhancements include:

  • Faster Category Searching
    We've provided a new setting to improve category search speed when categories are distinct/non-overlapping (i.e., when no URL belongs to more than one category.)
  • Enhanced Federated Search (Thunderstone Meta Search)
    Search users can now select which back-end profiles to actually search, from a list configured by their Appliance administrator.
  • Character Match Mode
    Non-English/Unicode character support is greatly improved with this setting, which not only allows case-insensitive searching of foreign characters but also enables ignore-accents ("e" matches "é"), ligature expansion ("oe" matches "œ") and more.
  • Language Analysis Module
    An optional feature for Appliance owners who pay to have it activated, this setting improves CJK (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) searches with extra processing to put spaces between words so they can be found without wildcards when adjacent to others.
  • MySQL in DB Walker
    We've added support for crawling MySQL databases to our DB Walker.
  • Updated "Look and Feel"
    As well as receiving some improvement from having its text slightly reorganized, the administrative interface also now employs Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for more modern HTML usage.

All Thunderstone customers with current Appliance maintenance agreements in place automatically qualify to receive the downloadable Version 7 software update. Please phone +1 216 820 2200 if you have any questions (business days, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Eastern Time.)


“We use our Thunderstone Search Appliance 1000 not for web searching but for internal directory searches of call logs, packing lists, sales lists, invoices, load sheets, etc. People would formerly request needed documents, and we'd have to manually make photocopies and deliver them — which required lots of time and effort. Now that we have a Thunderstone Search Appliance, everybody can search and find what they want quickly and easily. It seems to work very well for what we need.”

Michael Lee
Director of I.T.
Carry-On Trailer Corporation


Thunderstone's R & D team has several other exciting enterprise search development projects in the 2009 pipeline, as our staff continues to work on:

  • TEXIS Version 6
  • Webinator Version 6
  • TEXIS Catalog — our newest eCommerce search engine for online catalogs

Plus, we will continue adding even more features to the Search Appliance products this year. Look for details on all these scheduled releases in future issues of Thunderstone News.


Just the Facts, Ma'am — Specifying the content with Keep/Ignore tags

As websites grow larger and more complex, they contain more and more "cruft" that search engines stumble upon. Things that may be small or even hidden by javascript and CSS are front and center to search engines. Standard headers, menus and breadcrumbs are just some of the things that may be polluting your search's data.

Keep Tags and Ignore Tags allow your page authors to indicate what should and shouldn't be used from a webpage. It allows you to trim the fat from your pages so the only thing that gets searched is the content, instead of all the other fluff.

  • Keep Tags specify a beginning and ending expression, and only the content between the beginning and end are kept. This is performed on the HTML source, so it's common to use comments as the begin/end tags.
  • Ignore Tags specify a beginning and ending expression, and the content between the beginning and end tags is DISCARDED. This is also performed on the HTML source, so HTML tags/comments are fair game.

Which to use? Both can accomplish the same goal. It's just a question of which will be logistically easier for you. If you have mostly content with just a little bit of extra info, Ignore Tags will probably be easier. If you have a small amount of content awash in a sea of cruft, then putting Keep Tags around the content may be easiest. Plus, you're not limited to using just one or the other. You can also use a combination of Keep Tags and Ignore Tags on your content as you see fit.

Feedback, suggestions and questions are welcome. Send your email to

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