Thursday, January 25, 2007

Perlfect for Intranet

We tend to forget things that we knew once and time has to be spent either in digging the old archives/notes or learning the same thing afresh. Yes, many people have to deal with such a range of subjects that they can not recall everything when they need it. For example, a LAMP freelancer will find it hard to remember all Apache (web-server) directives and the new directives that came with the latest version. Besides, this programmer needs to have quick access to Linux, MySQL, PHP, Perl related documents. Efficient knowledge management will certainly boost his/her performance. This becomes more beneficial if knowledge can be shared in a group or organization.

This is typically done by running an intranet website on the Local Area Network and running a search engine to index the documents on it.

How can I set up an intranet website ?

You need to run a web-server. Apache which is a free software is the web-server of our choice. If you have a LAN, you should be able to access your intranet from any computer on the Local Area Network.

Knowledge management with Perlfect

Perfect is a search engine developed in Perl and distributed under GNU GPL (General Public License). You can download and use this for free. Once installed, you need to run the indexer to index the files on your intranet. You are all set to use the results !

Create a directory on your intranet to save your knowledge-documents and get the files indexed. A LAMP programmer may want to download php documentation, to be indexed so that he does not have to search the internet often. Text and pdf documents are also indexed so you can save your own tips/tricks in text files for future reference.

Contributing to the growth of your Knowledge base

If you are working in a group, encourage everybody to save their tips, findings in text files or any other format that Perlfect understands. While writing your knowledge-document, make sure you include all the possible search phrases that a user is likely to use. Assign the responsibility to run the indexer once in a week or more frequently depending upon the size of your group. Perlfect search form can be set to search within a particular directory so you can have different forms for different subdirectories of your intranet if the search starts yielding too many results.