Monday, April 10, 2006


New Internet startup Webaroo has emerged from stealth mode! After gettings the news from Google News, I decided to check out the product... and my verdict is that its great. Essentially , Webaroo is a free service that scours a subset of the Web without a live Internet connection. (Read more about how it works)
The key, Webaroo says, rests in giving users "more bang for the memory buck". Using techniques similar to a search engine such as Google, Webaroo "crawls" the internet, selecting pages "with high quality, broad coverage, and small size".

More from Webaroo in the future:
* A web pack containing a million articles from Wikipedia
* More topics for web packs (current web packs are limited to certain cities and the FIFA World Cup)
* A service that will be able to store "the whole of the web" on a 40GB hard drive.
* The company also announced today a deal with Acer, the world's fourth-largest branded PC maker, under which the Webaroo system will come pre-installed on the manufacturer's machines.

Webaroo is a really ambitious service, co-founded by Rakesh Mathur [from IIT-B] (also a co-founder of Junglee, which was sold to Amazon before the bubble burst). This idea may be revolutionary, but I have no doubt about it becoming a very popular and successful service.

The add websites feature is really cool, except that they limited the link depth to 1 only. (It is something like HTTrack, with a powerful search function and maybe more efficient caching.) Currently, I am waiting for them to expand their web packs (which is like 256 MB each ... not really 'small size').

Breakdown of Webaroo
My initial analysis of Webaroo suggests that it runs like a server (on http://localhost port 1000). In addition, it appears to be made using MSVCPP (there is a file MSVCR71.dll in C:\Program Files\Webaroo\dist )and it uses Microsoft .NET Framework according to the section on System Requirements. It appears to use AJAX and also Python (python24.dll in C:\Program Files\Webaroo\dist), and according to the credits (from taskbar webaroo icon, goto about and then credits), it contains BitTorrent P2P software and lots of other stuff. There is even a link going to Webaroo sourcecode, which appears to be an invalid link. Looking at the general coding, I notice that Webaroo includes nifty.js and the 'frames' on the page seems to be AJAX based. Try saving a page or look at the source code. Also settings appear to be stored in XML files in the program files webaroo folder. And websites which you have added to content are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\Your_Username\Application Data\Webaroo\Packages.

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