Enterprise search – for free

We recently helped a small marine consultancy, running a Windows network, implement a completely free enterprise search solution. Even SMEs are now finding it hard to keep on top of the information they produce, and there are few low-cost options for searching their documents. Read the case study here (PDF). ...Continue reading

Xapian compared

Vik Singh has been comparing various open source solutions for search. He only spent a weekend performing the comparison, which is probably not enough time to get any search software performing at its best, and his results reflect this. Xapian was marked down for being slow at indexing (he says 5x slower than SQLite - but then again, SQLite isn't a search engine, it's a RDBMS, and...Continue reading

Python and Flax presentation

My colleague Richard Boulton will be presenting at Europython in Birmingham, U.K. next week, specifically at 15.30 on Tuesday 30th June - an abstract is available. He'll be talking about Xapian, Xappy and Flax, and showing examples of these in action including one using a Django integration layer. Update: you can now <...Continue reading

More on performance metrics

Anurag Goel recently carried out a comparitive test of Xapian/Flax and Lucene/Solr. Some interesting results here: it seems Lucene is faster at building indexes, but Xapian is faster and possibly more accurate at searching. We can expect some further speed improvements over the next few months as a new, more compact backend to Xapian is released. By the way, the article mentions Xappy: this is a Python interface to Xapian that is a ma...Continue reading

Performance metrics

Stephen Arnold recently posted some rather impressive performance figures for Autonomy's IDOL search engine. This kind of data is all very well, but without independent testing and more detail it's hard to know how these figures apply to the real world. So here's an idea. Why not create an openly available collection of test data, a set of searches and a set of conditions, then compare the performance of the various av...Continue reading