Last Thursday and Friday there was another Drupal CxO meeting. This time it was in Barcelona. The CxO event is for C-level executives of Drupal companies. It's all about business and doing what the Drupal community is good at: sharing knowledge and experience. It was good to see there were besides the usual suspects, new faces. This is just another sign the Drupal community is still growing.
Recently Triquanta build a specialized search engine for the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (www.gemeentemuseum.nl). The goal of this project was to develop a search engine for finding museum objects within large collections. This search engine was based on research done by Marijn Koolen who works as an assistent professor at the University of Amsterdam (www.uva.nl). His research was part of the Catch Project (http://www.catchplus.nl/en).
Now we have a Solr running in a Drupal site, let's have a look at what is actually happening when a request is sent to Solr. We created a basic page titled 'Fox', so let's try to find this page!
At the moment the best search engine available for Drupal is Apache Solr. There are many Drupal sites which actually use Solr to power their search. Using the configuration options of the solr integration modules, the search is already quite decent, and this is where many developers stop tweaking Solr. In some situations however, it might be necessary to tweak solr beyond the standard configuration options. Luckily this tweaking is relatively easy: almost all tweaking of Solr can be done by adding and/or altering parameters to the request to Solr. The Solr integration modules on the other hand, offer hooks to alter the parameters send to Solr. So if the search behavior should be tweaked, the question is not 'Can it be done?', but rather 'What should I send to Solr, to get this behavior?'. This blog series will explain how Solr works in the first place, and will show how to debug and optimize indexing and querying.
Ever had a (Drupal) website that just did not respond fast enough and you could not figure out what was causing it? I bet you did not look at the frontend code. The part which takes place in the browser of the site visitor. As a web developer we all tend to have big and (resource) heavy machines with powerful CPU's. Most of the time that's not the case for the visitor of your website. Even worse, the visitor might be using IE7 or older!
Last Thursday there was another Drupal CXO event. It was the first day of the Drupal business days in Vienna. Microsoft was the host for the event and the first item on the program was a tour of the their office in Vienna. I have to say it was a pretty cool place with plants on the walls and as main asset a slide!
This weekend the first Frontendunited conference was organized in Amsterdam. This conference is the successor of Drupal Design camp. It was a great weekend with lots of interesting presentations on a wide range of subjects.
More than Drupal
It was also really nice to see that there were also presentations from people outside the Drupal community like Jeroen Weijering of the famous JW player and Jan Willem Tulp about data visualizations.