Sunday, May 13, 2007

acts_as_solr Screencast

Q: Is it kind of ridiculous how anybody who creates a model-relevant Rails plugin names it acts_as_whatever irrespective of whether or not it changes the way the model actually acts?

A: Yes.

Q: Is find_by_solr easily the dumbest example of bad method naming in the Rails world?

A: Almost.

Q: Despite its naming issues, should I seriously consider acts_as_solr as an alternative to acts_as_ferret and Zed Shaw's preference, Hyper Estraier?

A: Very possibly.

The answer really hinges on the engine's performance and stability. I've heard stories of issues with Ferret and seen examples firsthand. Hyper Estraier's got a very strong recommendation behind it but I haven't had any practical experience with it, or spoken personally with anyone who has. I do know that the next time I set up a search engine on a Rails app, I'll try both of these alternatives out before mucking about with Ferret again (sorry Ferret).

The screencast is very good, but it doesn't tell you about Solr's real-world usefulness. The project comes from Apache Lucene, but I prefer to hear real-world war stories (or live through a few) before leaping to any conclusions. For an intro to setup, though, it's great, and more screencasts is a good thing.