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From: Roy Tennant <roy.tennant(at)not-real.ucop.edu>
Date: Thu Jan 04 2007 - 18:15:01 GMT
Forwarded by permission.
Roy

------ Forwarded Message
From: Prashant Iyengar <iyengar@policy.hu>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 09:44:02 +0530
To: <roy.tennant@ucop.edu>
Subject: Swish-e

Dear Mr. Roy Tennant, I am an indpendent researcher in India and
currently a fellow of the Open Society Institute, Budapest. I've
recently finished implementing a database website of 22000 Indian
Supreme Court decisions from 1950 onwards (http://judis.openarchive.in)
for which I make use Swish-e.

I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to you and your team for
providing such a fabulous tool for free to the open source community.
My website certainly would not have been possible but for the Swish-e
search engine. Being my first such enterprise, I had started off
building my database without a thought to whether I would be able to
search such a bulky database quickly and comprehensively. I had rather
naively assumed that Mysql's fulltext search capabilities would be
adequate for my purposes. I discovered later, unfortunately, that Mysql
capitulates under the weight of 22000+ documents with an average size
of 27kb. Left in the lurch, I tried various other open source search
engine softwares like Perlfect, htdig etc which either didnt support
such a voluminous database - taking hours to index- or were difficult
to install on my webhost. At the point at which I experimented with
Swish-e, I was all but ready to give up the enterprise as lost.
Fortunately, swish-e turned out to be this marvellous tool that it is,
and from that point onwards everything just fell into place. It has
taken me about 5 days to configure swish-e to my liking - constantly
experimenting and adding new capabilities along the way - and I'm now
the "possessor" of an extremely robust search engine of Indian Supreme
Court cases that people are already thanking me for. But I know, and
will always make it known that the real "heroes" of this project are
the people who built Swish-e and gave it away for free. Hope you will
always continue to do so, so that the tribe of independent hackers like
me is maintained.

I dont know how I can give back for what I've got from swish-e. I'm
only a part-time coder and have little knowledge and no experience of
coding in Perl. If there is anything that strikes you as something i
could do to help, please do let me know.

Warm Regards
Prashant Iyengar.


Ps. Some facts about my database that might interest you
1) No of docs: 22070
2) Average size - 27 kb, Full size 530 MB
3) Time taken to index : 10 - 12 minutes
4) Size of index: 190Mb
5) Average search time: Doesnt exceed 1 second (average less than half
a second)

Some problems I encounter:
1) Sorting by dates doesnt work with dates prior to 1970 (since it is
stored as unsigned long). I got around this problem by creating a
pseudo date in each of my documents which was the actual date plus 20
years (since my documents begin from 1950). So swish-e sorts by the
pseudo date and displays the actual date. 2) Still trying to figure out
how to get one numeric property to "reverse sort" by default.

------
Prashant Iyengar
IPF Policy Fellow
iyengar@policy.hu    www.policy.hu/iyengar/
~-~


------ End of Forwarded Message
Received on Thu Jan 4 10:15:02 2007