[Xapian-discuss] Using Omega and/or Xapian and how to get started

F. Bos f.bos32 at chello.nl
Thu Aug 4 21:06:49 BST 2005



I'm totally new to Xapian/Omega. I've spent the last couple of hours reading
any documentation I could find as well as quite some postings from the
mailing list archives. I'm interested in using Xapian/Omega in combination
with a website to optimize searching. However I need some help to get


I've been building my website using PHP/HTML. I use Mysql as db system. On
the website I'm building there will be several documents that can be


-          Forums

-          User pages (containing information about a site user)

-          Group pages (containing information on a group of users on the


All these pages are created dynamically using PHP/Mysql. Almost all the
information on these pages is gathered from the database at the moment a
visitor opens a certain page. I have considered searching directly in the
Mysql database but I found out that the processing time would be
unacceptable due to the large sets of data. So I want to use Xapian/Omega


My question now is, what's the best approach for setting up a search engine
with a Xapian/Omega backend?


So far I've learned that I need to get all the data I want to search in a
Xapian database (in documents), indexed in a way that I can optimize my
search demands. I've looked at the PHP examples that are included with the
Xapian bindings and I do roughly understand how these work. However I don't
understand when the index script will have to run. For example: do I need to
run an index script directly after I inserted a new forum post in order to
insert the search terms that are in the post in the Xapian database and for
the post to become searchable? Won't this slow down the posting procedure a


Another thing I don't understand (this probably sounds stupid) is that when
I use the Xapian PHP bindings/functions to index and search, I don't see
where Omega comes in?! Or can I also use Omega from within PHP? I think I
don't really got the hang of how Omega interacts with Xapian and how Omega
interacts with PHP (if the latter is the case at all). 


Last question: does Xapian need a dedicated server or can I also get
reasonable performance when I have the Mysql database, the Xapian database
and the web server software on the same server? 


I know these questions are kind of low level but I hope that someone can
answer these so that I can get started. As I said I'm totally new to this
but I'm very anxious to learn.





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