CDS/ISIS: tell us more

I've now seen CDS/ISIS and its variants mentioned in several places and am still confused about what it is but here's a brief description nonetheless. from the UNESCO ISIS page: Micro CDS/ISIS is an advanced non-numerical information storage and retrieval software developed by UNESCO since 1985 to satisfy the need expressed by many institutions, especially in developing countries, to be able to streamline their information processing activities by using modern (and relatively inexpensive) technologies. The software was originally based on the Mainframe version of CDS/ISIS, started in the late '60s, thus taking advantage of several years of experience acquired in database management software development." take 2, from the CDS-ISIS user forum site: "Mini/Micro CDS/ISIS is a text retrieval program, designed and distributed free of charge by UNESCO. It is widely used for bibliographic (and other) databases throughout the world, and especially in developing countries." If I understand all this properly, it is basically a non-relational database environment commonly used by libraries and other largely nonprofits (20,000+ of 'em) throughout the world. I pulled down the unix version but can't quite make heads or tails of it. Somebody please explain more... update: collected comments from all who offered are available here.

muscat-0.1.0: Dialog Corp IR library

as seen at freshmeat: "Open Muscat is a high performance open source search engine library. It implements the probabalistic model of information retrieval, and is designed for use in applications ranging from full scale Web search engines to searching through email archives." what this doesn't say: muscat comes from the Dialog Corp. and what it also doesn't say: the muscat 'version' of the GPL is missing a significant section of the Real GPL, including the final paragraph which states "This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs." which, apparently, Dialog doesn't understand, because they explicitly solicit requests for commercial licenses as well. somebody please tell them about the LGPL...

[Update, years later: IIRC, the post author was an idiot. This was a legit use of the GPL.]


as seen at freshmeat: "A minor API change for document access, a fix for a bug causing DA file reading to fail, various other bugfixes, extended test suite, and internal code reorganisation." for more see

dba: new gpl version; new maintainers needed

as seen on dba-l: "What's available: A new, improved version of the code (dated March 17, 2000) [available at UCSB here]. This version now offers 'instant gratification,' whereby access to the results of the keyword search in each database is just a click away, without requiring the user to type in their search query again....

The California Digital Library's SearchLight service (
), which was originally based upon the DBA code, has replaced DBA at the University of California, San Diego. Since we are no longer maintaining the code, please join the DBA mailing list and share your patches and improvements with other interested parties directly. We will not be releasing any patches or new versions of DBA ourselves. We encourage you to take the code and use it as you see fit, under the terms of the GPL. If you or your institution would like to volunteer to be the official maintainer of the DBA code, please contact Christy Hightower."


as seen at freshmeat: "This release adds backwards-incompatible API modifications, the ability to write to databases, an API for writing to databases, a QuickStart tutorial, Doxygen use for automatic documentation, prototype distributed searching, and multiple bug fixes. There are now no test suite failures." Visit for more.


from the changelog several bugfixes went into the last version, available at

DubMed 1.1.3 now up

DubMed has migrated to a better server. Its database is now mySql and php3 does the metadata linking instead of corba (now gone). see cvsweb for the code, and the project page for more info.