Lucene Hackdays in London & Montreal

We ran a couple of Lucene Hackdays over the last couple of weeks: a chance to get together with other people working on open source search, learn from each other and to try and improve both Lucene and associated software. Our first Hackday was in London, hosted by Mimecast at their offices near Moorgate...Continue reading

Haystack Europe 2018, a brief retrospective

It's been a couple of weeks now since the first Haystack search relevance conference in Europe, which we ran with our partners Open Source Connections (OSC). Just under a hundred people came to the Friends' House in Euston for a day of talks covering both the business and technical aspects of relevance engineering. Doug Turnbull of OSC started the day by introducing what would be a major theme of the conference, Learning to Rank, and how Bloomberg had used and benefited from open sourcing their ...Continue reading

Three weeks of search events this October from Flax

Flax has always been very active at conferences and events - we enjoy meeting people to talk about search! With much of our consultancy work being carried out remotely these days, attending events is a great way to catch up in person with our clients, colleagues and peers and to learn from others about what works (and what doesn't) when building cutting-edge search solutions. I'm thus very glad to announce that we're running three search events this coming October. Earlier in the year I atten...Continue reading

Lucene Solr London: Search Quality Testing and Search Procurement

Mimecast were our kind hosts for the latest London Lucene/Solr Meetup (and even provided goodie bags). It's worth repeating that we couldn't run these events without the help of sponsors and hosts and we're always very grateful (and keep those offers coming!). First up was Andrea Gazzarini presenting a brand new framework for search quality testing. Designed for offline m...Continue reading

London Lucene/Solr Meetup – Relevance tuning for Elsevier’s Datasearch & harvesting data from PDFs

Elsevier were our kind hosts for the latest London Lucene/Solr Meetup and also provided the first speaker, Peter Cotroneo. Peter spoke about their DataSearch project, a search engine for scientific data. After describing how most other data search engines only index and rank results using metadata,...Continue reading

Haystack, the relevance conference – birth of a new profession?

I've just returned from Charlottesville, Virginia and the Haystack search relevance conference hosted by our partners Open Source Connections. The venues were their own office and the Random Row brewery next door - added once they realised that the event had outgrown its humble beginnings as a small, informal event for maybe 50 people into a professional conference for over twice that number with attendees from as far afield as the...Continue reading

London Lucene/Solr Meetup – Java 9 & 1 Beeelion Documents with Alfresco

This time Pivotal were our kind hosts for the London Lucene/Solr Meetup, providing a range of goodies including some frankly enormous pizzas - thanks Costas and colleagues, we couldn't have done it without you! Our first talk was from Uwe Schindler, Lucene committer, who started with...Continue reading

Inspiring students to work in Open Source Search

I've recently been asked to join the Industrial Advisory Board for the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex and will be talking to students there on Monday 5th February, repeating a similar talk I did last year. The subject is 'Working in Open Source Search' and I'll describe how we founded Flax back in 2001, how we've built, tuned and implemented open source search engines and some of the client projects we've worked on. It's been a fascinating journe...Continue reading

Elastic London Meetup: Rightmove & Signal Media and a new free security plugin for Elasticsearch

I finally made it to a London Elastic Meetup again after missing a few of the recent events: this time Rightmove were the hosts and the first speakers. They described how they had used Elasticsearch Percolator to run 3.5 million stored searches on new property listings as part of an overall migration from the Exalead search engine and Oracle database to a new stack bas...Continue reading