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Search your content was a session at IndieWebCamp Brighton 2019.

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/searching

IndieWebCamp Brighton 2019
Session: Search your content
When: 2019-10-19 11:40



  • Sebastiaan Andeweg tried stuff for searching for his site, but has nothing working in place now
    • Tried to shell out to (rip)grep, to get a shortlist of content files, then parse those to filter out results in hidden fields or private posts.
  • Martijn van der Ven wrote an IndieWeb search engine in Utrecht powered with temporary SQLite in memory to order all of the externally fetched content by search relevancy
  • Peter Molnar is using SQLite, but it is not very good with Hungarian content, and uses a separate system to seed the database
    • not using grep, because he wants to search more dynamic content, like generated URLs
  • Should you search external data? Should you search your private posts? Should you search your tracking data?
    • Search with completely public data can at least be run on the front end, but as soon as you want to bring in private data as well you need some form of authentication
    • Do you want to offer a private search?
  • Azure and Agolia offer free options for outsourced search.
  • https://github.com/teamtnt/tntsearch came up to Template:Rose as a PHP search engine when a Grav extension for it was published.
    • Found pages that she thought she had lost.
  • Peter Molnar tried Pyhton’s NLTK.
  • Aaron Parecki uses ElasticSearch, set it up once and has not set it up since.
  • If the outsourced search only returns URLs, that might be a way to get around some of the privacy problems.
  • Sebastiaan Andeweg wants to get search on his site. He is running Kirby. Kirby’s old own search was not “good enough”.
    • Thinking about where to index the data. Possible idea: doing a grep search through the flat file storage, than using that short list of files for the “real” search.
  • What happens if you then allow regular expressions through?
  • Three options:
    • Just accept text
    • Accept text and small combnators like “OR” and “AND”
    • Accept full regular expressions
  • Calum Ryan was looking into search for the indieweb guides. It currently would search the titles from a JSON file.
  • In display: think about relevancy. Do you need to make a difference between when someone looks for a tag versus just a random word?



  • UI
    • presenting results: snippets, highlights, etc
  • searchbox functionality:
  • insource or outsource
    • sqlite/mysql/postgres all have built in fts engines
    • free cloud solutions with api - azure, algolia
  • technical resource
    • nltk
    • elasticsearch
    • sql
    • tntsearch
  • privacy issues
    • searching content with private data included - let it be tracking, actually private posts, etc - can only be done on server side safely

Lcowles would like to consider inter-lingual and cognitively diverse searches

Also the difficulty of dealing with symlink or redirected content without dynamism

See Also