Solr Flair: Search User Interfaces Powered by Apache Solr

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Solr powers library, government, and enterprise search systems in thousands of applications. This talk will showcase the various technologies and techniques used to build effective user search, …

Solr powers library, government, and enterprise search systems in thousands of applications. This talk will showcase the various technologies and techniques used to build effective user search, browse, and find interfaces on top of Solr. Several of the full featured open-source library Solr front-ends will be shown, including Blacklight and VuFind. We’ll also demonstrate several front-end frameworks including:

• SolrJS - a JavaScript widget library
• Solr Flare - a Ruby on Rails plugin featuring Simile Timeline integration, Ajax suggest, and more
• Solritas - a built-in lightweight UI templating framework

Additionally, we’ll take a look under the covers of http://search.lucidimagination.com and see what makes it shine.

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  • 1. Solr Flair Search User Interfaces Powered by Apache Solr Erik Hatcher erik.hatcher@lucidimagination.com 1
  • 2. patacriticism.org "Poets are the unacknowledged engineers of the world" - Monna Grémejc 2
  • 3. Patacritical Projects • RoSe: Rossetti Search rossettiarchive.org • Collex: Collect/Exhibit collex.org 3
  • 4. serendipity 4
  • 5. Rossetti Archive http://www.rossettiarchive.org/rose/?query=%2Bpresentation+%2B%28archivetype%3Arap%29 5
  • 6. NINES on Collex http://www.nines.org/search/saved?user=erikhatcher&name=wombat 6
  • 7. NINES tag cloud http://www.nines.org/tags 7
  • 8. Finding the Celtic on Collex http://celtic.ibiblio.org/collex/ 8
  • 9. Simile Timeline http://celtic.ibiblio.org/timeline/show 9
  • 10. Geographic http://celtic.ibiblio.org/atlas/show 10
  • 11. Graphs http://celtic.ibiblio.org/graph/show 11
  • 12. Solr • Data Search server, powered by Lucene DB • Document Document Indexing/searching via HTTP, responses Documents in XML, Ruby, PHP, Python, XSLT, etc • Faceting Solr • Scalability: caching, replication, distributed search • Integrates: spell checking, highlighting, Search Results more-like-this, clustering, rich document indexing, data import handling (RDBMS, and more) 12
  • 13. Lucene analysis inverted index from "Taming Text" by Grant Ingersoll and Tom Morton 13
  • 14. Facets • Sets, buckets • (Un)common / similar metadata • Useful for making sense of large datasets: navigation, foraging, context, visualization • By field, date ranges, or dynamic queries 14
  • 15. Solr Flare • Ruby on Rails plugin • facet field detection, autosuggest, saved search, inverted facets, pie charts, Simile Timeline and Exhibit integration • Useful for rapid prototyping • See Flare's big brother, Blacklight, for production quality 15
  • 16. Tang on Flare 16
  • 17. Solr Powered Library Systems • VuFind (PHP) • Kochief (Python) • Blacklight (Ruby) • and others 17
  • 18. • UVA radiation = blacklight • libraries are much more than books • opinionated • Ruby on Rails: best choice for an extensible user interface development framework 18
  • 19. Blacklight @ UVa 19
  • 20. Blacklight @ Stanford 20
  • 21. Blacklight @ AgNIC 21
  • 22. SolrJS • jQuery-based interactions with Solr • Query navigation state management and widgets • Evolving rapidly: Drupal contributed improvements (see http://drupal.org/project/solrjs) coming soon • Live example: http://solrjs.solrstuff.org/ 22
  • 23. SolrJS Example 23
  • 24. Solritas • celeritas: swiftness, speed (Latin), origin of the symbol "c" for the speed of light • solritas:Velocity template rendering of Solr responses • Useful for rapid prototyping and more 24
  • 25. Lucene in Action on Solritas coming soon: lucenebook.com 25
  • 26. LucidFind http://www.lucidimagination.com/search/?q=user+interface 26
  • 27. Food for thought • The interface is the application • URLs are UI too! • Facets aren't just for lists (with counts) • be creative: clouds, maps, graphs, etc... • entice users to forage and browse, facilitate serendipitous discovery 27
  • 28. Shout Out 28
  • 29. 29