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I sent the message inquiring about the feasibility about the search engine to the webdev list (the volunteers working on the Bootstrap site).
Dorai Thodla who is on the web-dev group said the following and I got his ok to post it to this list.
YOu can build a search engine on top of email archives.
That was one of the data types we were looking
> at supporting for the first version of I-files. (Intermediate
> files, part of the Hyperscope project)
> A message archive consists of messages that are semi-structured. The
> header has a predictable structure and the detail needs to be indexed
> using KWIC
> (key word in context). Both of them are well known methods.
> Google already does that a bit with discussion boards. With something
> like hyperscope we can go one step further. We can set up semantic
> between threads, topics and follow on topics and build a more useful
> MLF: Now if we only had a Hyperscope.....(hum to the tune of “If I only had a brain” J )
Mei Lin Fung