Search Changes

Until this week, our search system has been powered by Syracuse, a custom Lucene search server we wrote four years ago. Although the code is technically open source, we never developed a community for it, so the project has idled quietly within our software stack. We’ve received many user requests to “fix” the SourceForge.net search system, from stale index data to general relevance scoring, so today we’re starting to address the issues.

We’re moving to Apache Solr, which has a robust feature set and active community. Solr will give us the ability to add new features like spell-checking, highlighting, and a clean faceted searching experience. We’ll also fix stale index data, incorporate new data like ratings, tags, and icons, and drop some of our unreliable data like the activity rating.

We’re beginning the update by migrating our Project search feature to Solr. We’re combining our Software Map and Search areas into a single Search interface that incorporates faceted browsing by category to recreate the Software Map experience. In addition to browsing by topic, we can now browse projects by development status, license, and programming language.

We want to hear what you think of the new search features – send us support tickets, leave comments here, or just catch us on IRC. Let us know what we’ve overlooked or what we should add or change to improve the search experience. We will enhance the initial release based on your feedback. When we’re reasonably happy with Project search, we will update Tracker, Forum, and Mailing List searching as well.

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