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From David Spencer <>
Subject Incremental Search experiment with Lucene, sort of like the new Google Suggestion page
Date Sat, 11 Dec 2004 00:36:27 GMT

Google just came out with a page that gives you feedback as to how many 
pages will match your query and variations on it:

I had an unexposed experiment I had done with Lucene a few months ago 
that this has inspired me to expose - it's not the same, but it's 
similar in that as you type in a query you're given *immediate* feedback 
as to how many pages match.

Try it here:

This is my "SearchMorph" site which has an index of ~90k pages of open 
source javadoc packages.

As you type in a query, on every keystroke it does at least one Lucene 
search to show results in the bottom part of the page.

It also gives spelling corrections (using my "NGramSpeller" 
contribution) and also suggests popular tokens that start the same way 
as your search query.

For one way to see corrections in action, type in "rollback" character 
by character (don't do a cut and paste).

Note that:
-- this is not how the Google page works - just similar to it
-- I do single word suggestions while google does the more useful whole 
phrase suggestions (TBD I'll try to copy them)
-- They do lots of javascript magic, whereas I use old school frames mostly
-- this is relatively expensive, as it does 1 query per character, and 
when it's doing spelling correction there is even more work going on
-- this is just an experiment and the page may be unstable as I fool w/ it

What's nice is when you get used to immediate results, going back to the 
"batch" way of searching seems backward, slow, and old fashioned.

There are too many idle CPUs in the world - this is one way to keep them 
busier :)

-- Dave

PS Weblog entry updated too:

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