Squeal: SQL Access to Information on the Web

Ellen Spertus

The World-Wide Web contains an abundance of semi-structured information, including hyper-links between pages, structure within hypertext pages, and structure within the addresses of pages (URLs). Because of the difficulty in h~tnessing this structural information, many Web tools fail to make use of it, instead treating the Web as though it were a fiat text collection. We introduce Squeal, a SQL-like language for querying the Web as though it were in a relational database. We describe simple but powerful ~pplications built on top of Squeal, which we call "ParaSites" because they make effective use of this underutilized information on the Web, often in ways unintended by the information’s authors.

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