London Lucene/Solr Usergroup – website search and indexing the cloud

This week's London Lucene/Solr Meetup was hosted by asset management company BlackRock who also provided our first speakers. BlackRock manages an astonishing $4.7 trillion in assets (that's more than the GDP of Germany) and operates 90 different websites with around 250,000 content items, so a good and accurate website search engine is essenti...Continue reading

Lucene/Solr London User Group – Alfresco & Datastax

We had another London user group Meetup last week, hosted by who also provided some tasty pizza - eaten under the 'Love Mondays' sign from their adverts, which now lives in their boardroom! A few new faces this time and a couple of great talks from two companies who have incorporated Solr into their platforms. First up was Andy Hind<...Continue reading

More than an API – the real third wave of search technology

I recently read a blog post by Karl Hampson of Realise Okana (who offer HP Autonomy and SRCH2 as closed source search options) on his view of the 'third wave' of search. The second wave he identifies (correctly) as open source, admitting somewhat grudgingly that "We’d heard about Lucene for years but no customers seemed to take it seriously until all of a s...Continue reading

London Elasticsearch User Group – September Meetup

Last night I joined a good-sized crowd at a venue on Hoxton Square for some talks on Elasticsearch - this Meetup group is very popular and always attracts a good proportion of people new to the world of search, as well as some familiar faces. I started with a quick announcement of our own Elasticsearch hackday in a few weeks ti...Continue reading

Why GCloud search is badly broken & how to fix it

The GCloud initiative and the associated CloudStore are a great idea - hoping to level the field of UK government IT supply, take advantage of flexible and agile delivery of software and services and help SMEs like ourselves compete against the large System Integrators (SIs) that dominate this market. GCloud sales have now reached £154m although this is still a fraction of what the UK government spends on IT. We're on GCloud 5 Continue reading

Lucene Revolution 2013, Dublin: day 1

Four of the Flax team are in Dublin this week for Lucene Revolution, almost certainly the largest event centred on open source search and specifically Lucene. There are probably a couple of hundred Lucene enthusiasts here and the event is being held at the Aviva Stadium on Landsdowne Road: look out the windows and you can see the pitch! Here are some personal reflections: a number of the talks I attended toda...Continue reading

Search Solutions 2012 – a review

Last Thursday I spent the day at the British Computer Society's Search Solutions event, run by their Information Retrieval Specialist Group. Unlike some events I could mention, this isn't a forum for sales pitches, over-inflated claims or business speak - just some great presentations on all aspects of search and some lively networking or discussion. It's one of my favourite events of t...Continue reading

Cambridge Search Meetup – Search for publication success and low-cost apps

After a short break the Cambridge Search Meetup returned last night with our usual mix of presentations, questions, networking, beer and snacks. We had a few issues with the projector and cables (one of these is on the shopping list for next time) so thanks to both presenters and audience for their patience! First up was Lian...Continue reading