[Xapian-discuss] Ordering search results and defining a custom Weight class in python

Robert Kaye rob at eorbit.net
Sat May 31 01:03:09 BST 2008


I'm the lead geek over at MusicBrainz ( http://musicbrainz.org ) and  
we've been using Lucene (PyLucene compiled by a gcj compiled from  
source -- painful) for our search services. When it works its great,  
but getting it to work is an utter nightmare and our method of using  
it has been deprecated. Sigh.

Which brings me to Xapian -- so far I am very pleased by the ease to  
install, indexing speed and ease to port from Lucene. However, since  
we're actually indexing an SQL database (rather than a corpus of txt  
documents) the default scoring method in xapian does not do a good job  
in ordering our search results. (Lucene didn't do so hot either, but  
with Xapian its worse)

Given this, I have two questions:

1. Do you have any tips for how to tweak the ordering of our search  
results? It appears that the desirable results are found, but what we  
consider to be the best match usually doesn't show up as a 100% rank.  
Is there any way to tweak this ranking without creating a custom  
Weight class?

2. If a custom Weight class is the way to go (which I suspect), does  
anyone have an example of how to do this in Python? I've tried to port  
the default C++ example from the docs as such:

class TinkerWeight(xapian.Weight):

#   def __init__(self):
#       xapian.Weight.__init__(self)

     def name(self):
         return "Tinker"

     def serialize(self):
         return ""

     def get_sumpart(*args):
         return 1

     def get_maxpart(*args):
         return 1

     def get_sumextra(*args):
         return 0

     def get_maxextra(*args):
         return 0

But when I call:


it dies in xapian.py with:

2109     def __init__(self): raise AttributeError, "No constructor  

This happens when I define my own constructor or not. Any feedback,  
sample code or clue-by-fours would be greatly appreciated!


--ruaok      Somewhere in Texas a village is *still* missing its idiot.

Robert Kaye     --     rob at eorbit.net     --    http://mayhem-chaos.net

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