Volume 15, Number 3, Sept 1993, p.7

cool-waac: Complete WAAC Newsletter Text Now Online in CoOL

by Walter Henry

I am delighted to announce that articles from the WAAC Newsletter are now available on the Internet in full-text electronic form.

Cool-waac is the latest--and I think the most exciting--addition to the group of full text databases that constitute Conservation OnLine (CoOL), Stanford University Libraries' WAIS server (Wide Area Information Server) which provides conservation information free of charge to anyone connected to the Internet (see "Cool Breeze", WAAC Newsletter, May 1993, v15 n2).

At this time, material from 1987 through 1993 has been mounted and all new numbers will be mounted as they are issued. Eventually cool-waac will contain almost all articles, columns, etc. for the complete serial run, except for a few items judged by the editor to be ephemeral or trivial. Graphics have been left out for the time being, but will be added when I've determined the most effective way to deliver graphic materials in the WAIS environment.

Searching cool-waac isn't much harder than yelling a question at a colleague across the lab floor, and probably a bit more fun. Unlike traditional database that require you to master a formal query language, CoOL will accept almost any reasonably human utterance and try to interpret it sensibly, returning a list--ranked in order of relevance--of articles that seem to be related to your question. Asking a question like "Hey dummy, do you know anything about vapor barriers or do I have to go digging through my files again?" will yield at least one article on the subject. It will probably also produce a few articles that talk about digging, files, and dummies, so you'll very quickly learn how to construct smarter searches; searching for "vapor barriers" works better. When you identify articles that interest you, a few keystrokes will cause the articles to be sent to your machine.

In order to use CoOL, you must be connected to the Internet (see "Islands in the Net: A Guide the Internet," in the September 1992 WAAC Newsletter). To get the complete CoOL documentation, send an email message ("INFO COOL") to waiscool@palimpsests.stanford.edu. More information about CoOL and especially cool-waac will be presented at the WAAC Annual Meeting.

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