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Picky: A Semantic Search Tool Built in Ruby

Here’s another semantic search tool for Web application developers: Picky, a “a semantic text search engine for categorized data, such as varchar fields from a database.” It’s written in Ruby and you can grab the source here.

The developer, Florian Hanke, emphasizes that Picky is not a replacement for for full text search engines like Sphinx and Lucene. It’s just for searching small, structured data very quickly.

The features include:

  • Flexibly configure indexing
  • Easily configure handling query text, e.g. splits_text_on: /[s/-“&]/
  • Multiple data sources (DB, CSV, …)
  • Choice of in-memory or Redis indexes.
  • Partial searching, pick*
  • Phonetic similarity, pecky~
  • Categorized searching, napoleon, title:war
  • Weighing not only categories, but combinations! { [:title, :author] => +3, [:isbn, :author] => -5 }
  • Range queries
  • Comfortable routing, route %r{/books} => book_query

You can find out more on the features page.

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