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sphiderpro - free download and review

Posted by Tec 
Tec
sphiderpro - free download and review
January 11, 2013 06:34PM
As Sphider Pro is available as free download for a while now at
http://code.google.com/p/sphiderpro/downloads/list
and also at
http://sourceforge.net/projects/sphiderpro/?source=directory
I felt free to do so.

Here is my review on the product.

Summarization: Very disappointing.

Statement of reasons:
Announced to take over from Sphider-plus with big Tam-Tam and a lot of polemic, the Sphider Pro scripts are still very close to the original Sphider, which was released in 2009. As I already stated in another posting:
: . . . it seems they just added some old mods like 'Follow sitemap.xml' and 'Erase & Re-index' to the original Sphider. I've published all these mods in the original Sphider forum several years ago. Adding them to the original Sphider, now they call it Sphider Pro. Okay, in order to remain fair: they also implemented some ideas from Sphider-plus. . . .

But in front of the original Sphider the most important improvements are missing:
- No UTF 8 support. Thus, unable to search for queries in Cyrillic, Japanese, German and other languages.
- Indexing of iframes is not supported.
- Not indexing any kind of feeds.
- No support for IDN URLs.
- Uable to search with wildcards.
- Suggesting to index PDFs, DOCs, etc, the regarding converter are not included.
- Suggesting to contain several search modes, nothing of it is implemented.
- Suggesting to index images, not working.
- Multiple database support is not jet implemented, just separated permission for admin and user in one db.
- Secondary sitemaps are not supported. As result, no links are found.
Application hint: Useless to uncheck the regarding option in Admin settings. The scripts always follow the links in sitemap.xml. It is not that I want to debug the scripts, but please boys, it is not enough to set and unset the variable $follow_sitemap in your config file. You additionally need to use this variable in your script …/admin/spider.php

By the way, also the well-known bugs of original Sphider, for example in category search, are still present.

Regarding the documentation: Thank you for leaving 'Sphider-plus' as part of your poor documentation. Thus, all users are well informed from whom you copied it. Because of my limited English knowledge, even my grammar errors remained!

To all early adaptors: The release dateof Sphider Pro version 3.1 is defined in the docs to Nov. 26, 2012. But having a look at the 'last modified' date of the scripts: Often their date and time is newer than November 26. Are they still debugging their first official release? In order to get always the latest debug version, it might become necessary to write a small batch job for a daily download. Perhaps in the next future the bugs in 'follow sitemap.xml' will become fixed?

It is a great pity that I wasted my time with these scripts. I really was keen to learn from the scripts, which pretend to take over from Sphider-plus. But as in the past, I will be obliged to do it all by my selves.

Tec
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