search is sexy

Posted by Otis Chandler on August 20, 2007
We've made some major upgrades to our search capabilities last week. There should be three very noticeable differences:

  1. search is now very, very fast
  2. we now search editions and not books
  3. you can now search for groups by title or description

search is sexy (and fast)

Much like the woman in the red dress, the problem of search has always attracted smart engineers. This is because its a really hard problem to solve. Some companies, like Google, make it part of their corporate culture and image that that search is sexy and that they are good at it. Other companies, like Miss Dewey, take this a little too literally. At Goodreads, we are fortunate enough to be able to stand on the shoulders of Giants. Our search is now powered by some stellar open-source software called Lucene, running in a container called Solr. This is a major improvement from our previous database-based solution.

search editions, not books

Goodreads relies on an army of volunteer librarians to combine all editions of books that, for the purposes of rating and reviewing a book, ought to be considered the same. Our new search servers are now capable of using this data to show more clear search results. We think the improvement is enormous. Enjoy!

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