Figure 4: Efficient Zymurgy Research using WAIS Technology A user’s initial WAIS journey may be a little rough, but once accustomed to the interface, topic-based research can be made very efficient. Let’s say we’ve been a little out of touch with Bill Clinton’s plans for healthcare reform and want to learn more. We start at the directory of servers and scan for Clinton. This query gives us two databases on the Internet which would be appropriate: Clinton-Speeches and White House Papers. We choose to limit future queries to these two databases. We then provide the keywords health and taxes and WAIS connects to the two servers offering these databases, queries them, and merges the results. We are returned a total of 75 documents by title, sorted by how effectively our keywords matched the document text. We can then choose to either refine our query by adding additional keywords, or choose to browse the documents by title. Although there are several hundred WAIS servers on the Internet today, topic coverage is actually somewhat limited for non-technical topics. TMC provides free source code to implement WAIS servers, although I have yet to see a non-Unix implementation. Several client programs exist, the only Windows-based client was developed by the US Geological Survey (illustrated above).