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

Defining relevance engineering, part 1: the background

Relevance Engineering is a relatively new concept but companies such as Flax and our partners Open Source Connections have been carrying out relevance engineering for many years. So what is a relevance engineer and what do they do? In this series of blog posts I'll try to explain what I see as a new, emerging and important profession. ...Continue reading

Catching MICES – a focus on e-commerce search

The second event I attended in Berlin last week was the Mix Camp on e-commerce search (MICES), a small and focused event now in its second year and kindly hosted by Mytoys at their offices. Slides for the talks are available here and I hope videos will appear soon. The first talk was given ...Continue reading

Highlights of Search, Store, Scale & Stream – Berlin Buzzwords 2018

I spent last week in a sunny Berlin for the Berlin Buzzwords event (and subsequently MICES 2018, of which more later). This was my first visit to Buzzwords which was held in an arts & culture complex in an old brewery north of the city centre. The event was larger than I was expecting at around 550 people with three main tracks of talks. Although due to so...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 search relevance conference – day 1

Last week I attended the Haystack relevance conference - I've already written about my overall impressions but the following are some more notes on the conference sessions. Note that some of the presentations I attended have already been covered in detail by Sujit Pal's excellent ...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

When even the commercial vendors are using it, has open source search won?

There have been some interesting announcements recently which may point to an increasing realisation amongst commercial search firms that an open source model is an essential advantage in today's search market. Coveo have announced that their enterprise search engine can run on an Elasticsearch core, an interesting move for a previously decidedly closed source company. BA Insight, who have previou...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