Adventures in Full Text Search

Sarah Allen (Mightyverse)
Location: Ballroom III Level: Novice
Average rating: ***..
(3.09, 34 ratings)

Search is a common feature on every website, but there isn’t a single common solution, nor are there easy, comparable datapoints between the options. As a Rails developer, how do you choose the right solution? This talk will review Solr/Lucene, Sphinx and Postgres’ new search features, then discuss which solutions are appropriate for which problems. Sarah will draw from her experience with several search implementations for a range of use cases, including a CMS search plugin and a multi-lingual web application, Mightyverse.

Photo of Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen


Sarah Allen’s active projects are Mightyverse,, RailsBridge and a couple of not yet released iPhone and iPad apps.

Mightyverse is a mobile startup focused on helping people communicate across languages and cultures. The technology is still being incubated, but parts of it are emerging at Currently, Mightyverse is primarily self-funded, so Sarah is paying the bills with independent consulting and training at Blazing Cloud.

Sarah has been part of the OpenLaszlo core team, but of late has been distracted by Ruby, Rails and mobile development. In her spare time, she works to diversify the SF Ruby on Rails community with a focus on outreach to women.

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Picture of Sarah Allen
Sarah Allen
06/11/2010 8:33am EDT

Hi Richard & Gabe,

I’m sorry I didn’t go deeper into Sphinx and Solr. I ended up switching up the talk a bit after getting some feedback from a few people and going into more of the search features. I should have reviewed the talk description again and left in the slides on Solr vs. Sphinx vs. Postgres. Sorry about that!


Richard Miller
06/11/2010 8:22am EDT

“This talk will review Solr/Lucene, Sphinx and Postgres’ new search features, then discuss which solutions are appropriate for which problems” Barely touched on Sphinx and Solr.

Picture of Gabe Varela
Gabe Varela
06/10/2010 3:17pm EDT

Would have liked a broader dive into relevancy and comparisons of different solutions.

Christopher Jeris
06/10/2010 9:47am EDT

Nice overview, but I would have liked more depth about Solr.

Picture of Edd Wilder-James
Edd Wilder-James
03/24/2010 12:12pm EDT

Looking forward to this session. Do you plan to touch on MySQL full text indexing as well?

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