Once upon a time, before Google pwn3d internet search, there were several competing definitions for full text search. Altavista more or less gave you results matching the exact strings you gave it, but in a crazy order that made it painful to use. Excite (my favorite back then) used a dictionary to achieve stemming and synonym matches: searching for ‘dogs’ would also match documents that contained ‘canines’ or ‘dog’. Then Google blew them all away, and established a dominant set of expectations for how text search behaves.
I forgot about this, which is why I’m frustrated by the almost ridiculous complexity of the major server-side text search engines available right now. But it makes sense, once you learn what the options are.
Continue reading “Full Text Search refuses to be a black box”