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4.6 Post-Summarizing: Rule-based tuning of object summaries


Beginning with version 1.3, it is possible to ``fine-tune'' the summary information generated by the Essence summarizers. A typical application of this would be to change the Time-to-live attribute based on some knowledge about the objects. So an administrator could use the post-summarizing feature to give quickly-changing objects a lower TTL, and very stable documents a higher TTL.

Objects are selected for post-summarizing if they meet a specified condition. A condition consists of three parts: An attribute name, an operation, and some string data. For example:

        city == 'New York'

In this case we are checking if the city attribute is equal to the string `New York' The for exact string matching, the string data must be enclosed in single quotes. Regular expressions are also supported:

        city ~ /New York/

Negative operators are also supported:

        city != 'New York'
        city !~ /New York/

Conditions can be joined with `&&' (logical and) or `||' (logical or) operators:

        city == 'New York' && state != 'NY';

When all conditions are met for an object, some number of instructions are executed on it. There are four types of instructions which can be specified:

  1. Set an attribute exactly to some specific string Example:

            time-to-live = "86400"

  2. Filter an attribute through some program. The attribute value is given as input to the filter. The output of the filter becomes the new attribute value. Example:

            keywords | tr A-Z a-z

  3. Filter multiple attributes through some program. In this case the filter must read and write attributes in the SOIF format. Example:

            address,city,state,zip !

  4. A special case instruction is to delete an object. To do this, simply write


Duane Wessels
Wed Jan 31 23:46:21 PST 1996