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More NT / Index Server Problems - 5/08/2000

A few days ago, I decided to pursue parallel development of this site on multiple platforms at least in part because I was not able to get Microsoft's Index Server to index the new virtual site that I had set up as the home for this site. I was surprised because I'd had Index Server working for months. In fact since I've worked with IIS 3 and 4, I've considered Index Server to be one of IIS's strengths. Since it provides good full text searching with boolean logic and I'd paid for NT server and I knew how to set up Index Server, it made good sense to put this to use a a real working tool.

I was working on Java and also use Perl. Those of you who are familiar with these products know they have huge HTML document sets. Where I'd worked previously I'd gotten used to putting Cold Fusion, IIS and other online documents into virtual directories indexed by Index Server allowing me to do full text searches of my online documentation. I did this with my Java and Perl documentation as well some other electronic document collections. To help keep things simple, I made sure my search form included appropriate "scopes" so that I could limit a search to just Perl documentation or just the Java SDK or just the Java Tutorial, etc.

This has been a truly valuable tool, often letting me find just what I need with much less work than trying to drill down through the documentation menus. Naturally I was somewhat surprised when I couldn't get my new virtual site to be searchable. These other HTML document collections are virtual directories logically inside the default system web site but physically located outside the default web site directory tree.

While I've made several minor adjustments to security and IIS settings within the new virtual site, I haven't touched anything related to Index Server for days or more specifically when I last worked with it and could not get it to do what I wanted. I have done several searches since then and everything seemed like it has been for months. Just before I started to write this, I did a search for something in the Perl documentation and got no results. I started with "my" and index server said that was an excluded word. I don't remember what other words I tried but I tried "local", limited to the Perl documentation and got no results. I then tried "global" and finally "perl" and still got no results.

Finally I tried "perl" on the entire site and got results. None of them were from the default site. All the results were from my new virtual site. I am so frustrated I want scream or punch holes in the wall. How can this be? What has changed now? How much more time am I going to waste on this one? I am making almost no progress at all towards setting up my new web site and spending practically all my time troubleshooting things that don't stay the same on NT from one day to the next. Maybe at some point I'll remember some change I've made that could somehow logically cause this but at the moment, I swear I haven't touched the IIS management console since I was trouble shooting the CGI set up two days ago and the Index Server management console for more than a week. I'm sure I've done some searches in the past two days and had normal results.

Not only are the results coming from the new virtual site, the URLs that Index Server are returning are for the IP address of the primary site. (I have no DNS yet.) The directory and file names are from the new site which don't exist under the default site so when I click to retrieve the document, I get a 404 not found error.

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