Free software powered search engines?

10 réponses [Dernière contribution]
gd_scania
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 09/13/2017

I've read for articles for search engines, which Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu etc are explicitly nonfree.
But few free software friendly search engines like DDG, SearX, Qwant still have their born weaknesses, but what they are?
Also any free software friendly search engines that don't have these born cons? :)

SuperTramp83

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A rejoint: 10/31/2014

What are the cons of searx?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

> What are the cons of searx?

The search results and interface are great, but it has bugs that, though tolerable to me, prevent me from recommending it to most users.

- On some systems, searching into the Firefox address bar sometimes takes you to the Searx homepage instead of actually searching 80-90% of the time. This happens on some systems and not others, even with the same distro and browser, and I'm not sure how to fix it on the systems where it's a problem. A workaround is to go to preferences and change "Method" from POST to GET, but Searx doesn't remember these settings for long. Fortunately it is not a problem on my primary machine running Abrowser in Trisquel.

- Sometimes few or no results show up and I have to enter my query a second time to get results. This happens constantly on my machines running Iceweasel-UXP in Hyperbola, and happens occasionally running Abrowser on Trisquel.

- Sometimes searching gives me an error message (I don't recall exactly what it says off the top of my head) that I'll them keep getting no matter how many times I search. I have to wait several minutes for Searx to start working again.

If you have never encountered any of these bugs, please let me know which browser and Searx instance you use.

SuperTramp83

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A rejoint: 10/31/2014

> On some systems, searching into the Firefox address bar sometimes takes you to the Searx homepage instead of actually searching 80-90% of the time. This happens on some systems and not others, even with the same distro and browser, and I'm not sure how to fix it on the systems where it's a problem. A workaround is to go to preferences and change "Method" from POST to GET, but Searx doesn't remember these settings for long. Fortunately it is not a problem on my primary machine running Abrowser in Trisquel.

Wouldn't know as I never use this feature..

>Sometimes few or no results show up and I have to enter my query a second time to get results

That's true. Doesn't happen that often though, hopefully.

>Sometimes searching gives me an error message

google captcha and shit.. Yes, I get that too from time to time -> just switch instance.

Currently using search.disroot.org, searx.ru, searx.info and searx.me

cheers o/

Mela Sapiens
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A rejoint: 12/19/2018
Magic Banana

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En ligne
A rejoint: 07/24/2010

Please read https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve

In particular the whole section entitled "Untangling the SaaSS Issue from the Proprietary Software Issue" and that sentence, which comes later:

Services such as search engines collect data from around the web and let you examine it. Looking through their collection of data isn't your own computing in the usual sense—you didn't provide that collection—so using such a service to search the web is not SaaSS. However, using someone else's server to implement a search facility for your own site is SaaSS.

If you are actually talking about proprietary JavaScript, then a solution is to use https://duckduckgo.com/html (the HTML version of DuckDuckGo). In Abrowser (or any other Firefox derivative), besides adding the search engine (as proposed when you visit the page) and setting it as the default one, you can set "keyword.url" to "https://www.duckduckgo.com/html?q=" in about:config so that searching from the URL bar leads as well to that version of DuckDuckGo.

GNUbahn
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A rejoint: 02/19/2016

I am confused about the use of DuckDuckGo:

Doesn't it run on proprietary software?

chaosmonk

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A rejoint: 07/07/2017

Although in order to access all of DuckDuckGo's features (image/video/news searches, filtering) you must run proprietary JavaScript, there is a stripped down HTML-only version[1] that allows simple searches. However, I generally don't recommend it to people because they might use the JS version accidentally or be tempted to use it in order to access its features.

Startpage's JavaScript is also proprietary, but all features seem to work with JavaScript disabled, so I recommend this over DuckDuckGo, with the caveat that one should block scripts on this site by disabling JavaScript or using an addon like LibreJS, NoScript, or YesScript.

Searx uses only free JavaScript, and I hope to eventually recommend this to all users with a clear conscience. However, in its current state it is very buggy, and I worry that users will get frustrated, switch to a nonfree search engine, and not know to block that search engine's JavaScript.

I would be glad to know of a fully free, feature-complete search engine that is stable enough to recommend.

[1] https://duckduckgo.com/html

Magic Banana

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En ligne
A rejoint: 07/24/2010

There is no software in the Web pages DuckDuckGo HTML sends you. If you are talking about the server-side software, it runs on DuckDuckGo's computers, not yours: DuckDuckGo deserves the control over it. I believe it has it, i.e., it is free software.

Again: (re)read the section entitled "Untangling the SaaSS Issue from the Proprietary Software Issue" of https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve

Here is an excerpt:

Many free software supporters assume that the problem of SaaSS will be solved by developing free software for servers. For the server operator's sake, the programs on the server had better be free; if they are proprietary, their developers/owners have power over the server. That's unfair to the server operator, and doesn't help the server's users at all. But if the programs on the server are free, that doesn't protect the server's users from the effects of SaaSS. These programs liberate the server operator, but not the server's users.

aloniv

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A rejoint: 01/11/2011

DuckDuckGo also has a "lite" version which works without scripts:

https://duckduckgo.com/lite

SuperTramp83

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A rejoint: 10/31/2014

There is also qwant -> https://lite.qwant.com/

It's quite good (functionality wise)