“I found it very weird that there essentially is no way to browse the web in an open manner. So that’s what I am trying to build,” the founder of Stract said.

  • Chris@feddit.uk
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    5 months ago

    To save reading the paywalled article, the site is at https://stract.com

    I’ve only done a single search but it gave me a summary at the top, and some discussion forums in a different format. I’m impressed so far!

    • luciole@beehaw.org
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      5 months ago

      It’s a free account, like the one you made so you can write your comment. I’d hardly call it paywalled.

      • Chris@feddit.uk
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        5 months ago

        Tbh I just saw it needed a login and scrolled back up to the link without reading further, so was obviously a bit hasty in my assessment of it being a paywall.

    • Hawk@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      5 months ago

      I did a few searches but had terrible results.

      Searching for “Tokyo”, I got a summary about some Indonesian food chain. I had to scroll down quite a bit to get info about the city.

      It looks interesting, but seems far from ready.

  • Chris@feddit.uk
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    5 months ago

    I’ve just noticed there’s a Fediverse “optic”, so you can restrict it to Fediverse sites.

  • luciole@beehaw.org
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    5 months ago

    For anyone wondering about how they’ll eventually address financial sustainability if Stract takes off:

    Stract is currently not monetized in any way, but its website says it will eventually have contextual ads tied to specific search terms but that it will not track its users, which is similar to the system DuckDuckGo uses. Stract also plans on offering ad-free searches to paying subscribers.

    I’d pay for independent, non meta, ad-free search. I bet a more straightforward approach is more energy efficient as well. In the meanwhile the big tech are running a gazillion processes on our data to suck every bit of wealth they can out of our existence through their free (in it’s littlest sense) products.

  • Lionir [he/him]@beehaw.org
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    5 months ago

    I will say I’m pretty glad to see a search engine which actually is not just a meta search engine. I wish Kagi would attempt this rather than partnerning with Brave.

    One thing I find odd though is why these engines trying to make their own index don’t do the adversarial strategy that Brave Search has done : while using other indexes, collect what people actually click on and use it in your own index. I will note that I do not support Brave.

    • Steve@communick.news
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      5 months ago

      It’s not just a meta search. They do have their own index. And Brave is only one of a dozen-ish external index’s they also use.

  • Admiral Patrick@dubvee.org
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    5 months ago

    I found the GitHub for it: https://github.com/StractOrg/stract/tree/main

    What I still can’t figure out (in my very shallow dive into the repo) is if it’s a meta search engine like Searx-ng or if it does its own crawling and builds its own search index.

    I run Searx-ng and love it, but I’d be interested in a true self-hosted search (though I’d need to devote a lot of resources to build and run such an index).

    Anyone know?

    Update: Looks like it crawls and maintains its own index. From the credits/thanks at the bottom of the readme (emphases mine):

    The commoncrawl organization for crawling the web and making the dataset readily available. Even though we have our own crawler now, commoncrawl has been a huge help in the early stages of development.

  • millie@beehaw.org
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    5 months ago

    This seems cool, and it’s nice to see people creating alternatives to google, but I probably won’t end up using it.

    Over the past few months I’ve tried both DuckDuckGo and Kagi. Both are decent for a lot of things, and Kagi has some really nice features, but in practice they’ve just taught me that I actually want my search engine to know a bit about me.

    If I’m looking for something in the area on a google search, I can literally just search the thing. Google already knows where I am and knows what context I’m probably looking for, so it gets me to important results faster. While that might not be particularly useful for areas where Kagi’s tools shine (like research), it turns out that a ton of my searches are just basic stuff like looking for store hours and phone numbers. In both cases I found myself getting frustrated with not having google as my default, requiring a bunch of extra typing or a manual switch of search engines.

    I’d love to get a viable replacement for google, but realizing how much my searching benefits from their massive pile of data on me, I don’t know that I’ll actually find one without that. It is nice to have an alternative if results get too personalized or if I want to check against like a baseline search, but search is the one place I’ve tried to get away from google that I keep going back.

    I definitely am glad I got away from them for email and document storage, though.

    • 🐠 tiago🍍@beehaw.org
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      5 months ago

      It’s the predicament between choosing convenience or privacy. Apart from local businesses, what other searches have you found are improved by them having your data? For me, it’s money exchange rates.

      (What alternatives do you use for email and storage, though?)

      • millie@beehaw.org
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        5 months ago

        Searches that require some context are often a lot easier to find. Like, if I’m searching for something D&D related, I rarely have to specify that that’s what I’m looking for. If it’s on wikidot, it’ll come up right away. Even for pretty generic words like ‘web’ or ‘death’, it knows I’m looking for the spell on the one hand and the cleric domain on the other, just because I’ve searched for so much D&D stuff and done so over and over again.

        For mail I use Proton, for backup I use iDrive. I’m pretty happy with both.

  • lemmyreader@lemmy.ml
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    5 months ago

    The open source SearXNG is good enough for me so far. Any reason to switch to Stract ?

    • Lionir [he/him]@beehaw.org
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      5 months ago

      Stract and SearXNG are two entirely different projects. SearXNG is just using other search engines to power itself - it’s known as a meta search engine. Stract has its own index that does not use other search engines to power itself.

  • AVincentInSpace@pawb.social
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    5 months ago

    OMG YES! I was really bummed after Gigablast died. Here’s hoping it’ll be more useful than the open source search engines I’ve tried in the past.