What Does Archie Mean?

Archie is (was) an early search program that indexed files on anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers and allowed users to search for specific files. Archie was created by a team of students at McGill University in 1990 – before the World Wide Web led to the adoption of Hypertext as a means of navigation. Archie helped users find files in the directories of public hosts that they might never have otherwise discovered.


Techopedia Explains Archie

Archie was short for archiver, and that is what it did. It ran a script that gathered data from accessible FTP servers and created a database of all the files on publicly accessible FTP sites. This index could then be searched by users, resulting in a list of file matches and the FTP site where it could be found. Archie used regular expressions to handle its search queries.

Archie inspired later search programs called Veronica and Jughead, but none of these could index the content of a file – just the file name. Archie dwindled in importance as the Web expanded, bringing new competitors and new methods of search.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.