Free file filters, search & taxonomy tools from our old Googlecode repository

Google's GoogleCode service is closing down, in case you hadn't heard, and I've just started the process of moving everything over to our Github account. This prompted me to take a look at what's there and there's a surprising amount of open source code I'd forgotten about. So, here's a quick rundown of the useful tools, examples...Continue reading

Autonomy & HP – a technology viewpoint

I'm not going to comment on the various financial aspects of the recent news about HP's write-down of the value of its Autonomy acquisition - others are able to do this far better than me - but I would urge anyone interested to re-read the documents Oracle released earlier this year. However, I am going to write about the IDOL technology itself (I'd ...Continue reading

Apache Lucene & Solr version 4.0 released, a giant leap forward for open source search

This morning the largest open source search project, Apache Lucene/Solr, released a new version with a raft of new features. We've been advising clients to consider version 4.0 for several months now, as the alpha and beta versions have become available, and we know of several already running this version on live sites. Here's a few highlights:

An open day on open source search from Sirius & Flax

We spent Friday at the riverside offices of Sirius Corporation, our support partners, for the first and hopefully not the last of their Open Days on open source enterprise search. We were lucky to have Mike Davis, a very well known and highly experienced analyst to open the talks - despite suffering from flu he gave an engaging talk on why open source ...Continue reading

Flax's 10th birthday!

Today marks 10 years since we formed Flax (originally as Lemur Consulting Ltd.). We had an idea that search based on open source software was going to be increasingly important (indeed, our original business model was consultancy based on Xapian) and I think we've been proved right over the decade. Today, in the depths of a recession, we're seeing significant growth in the business and some fascinating opportunities: the sector is still going through rapid cha...Continue reading

Whitepaper – Why you should be considering open source search

I've uploaded a whitepaper I wrote a short while ago : "In these rapidly changing times we don't know what we will need to search tomorrow – so it's important to be adaptable, flexible and able to cope with data volumes that may not scale linearly. Maintaining control over the future of your search software is also key. Open source search has come of age and every modern business should be awa...Continue reading

Open source search evening – ElasticSearch, Xapian and GSoC

Last night there was a small gathering in Cambridge of open source search engine developers and enthusiasts. Richard Boulton hosted the event and began with an introduction to elasticsearch, which is an "Open Source (Apache 2), Distributed, RESTful, Search Engine built on top of Lucene". Richard told us about...Continue reading

ECIR 2011 overview

I spent part of last week at the 33rd European Conference on Information Retrieval in Dublin, as I had been asked to speak during the Industry Day (of which, more later - far too much useful information to cram into one blog post!). Arriving late afternoon on Wednesday I caught up with Olly Betts of Oligarchy, one of the core Xapian developers who'd travelled from New Zealand. Olly ...Continue reading

Open Source action in UK government

I've been reading the revised Open Source, Open Standards and ReUse: Government Action Plan - it's surprising (and heartening) to see this has existed in one form or another since as far back as 2004. The key changes for this version are:

  • suppliers have to show evidence they've considered open source options - hopefully this will be more than a quick trawl through S...Continue reading