Summa 1.3.0 Live and Unleashed

As Toke hinted earlier we released Summa 1.3.0 yesterday. It is no secret that the 1.3.0 release cycle was longer than we planned for, but in the end I think the gains have been worth it. It took a lot of hard work (and lots of patience from our families), but we got there.

A lot of effort in the 1.3.0 cycle revolved about 3 main things:

  • Performance We really wanted to be able to provide quick turn around times from top to bottom of the Summa stack.  There’s a lot of activity around Summa these days and we never know where Summa might end up being deployed. Time has tought us that being able to quickly rebuild the indexes and record caches is a huge boon when venturing into unknown territory.
  • Details Make the small details work and do as expected. This means sanitizing the log output to be as useful and concise as possible, but also making sure that it is easy to track any records that are dropped from the indexing chain for what ever reason. Also stuff like being able to update the modification time of one single record and having that trigger a corresponding update of the index
  • Bug fixing Hunt down those kritters and write tonnes of unit tests to to keep that wooden stake through their hearts so that they don’t rise from the dead

The reasons for these points of focus are many, but two things are worth mentioning. The first thing is that we are aiming to use the Summa 1.3 series for production here at the State and University Library of Denmark, which means that we can finally replace the aging “pilot Summa” we are running in production these days (Summa started out as a closed source foray into the realm of relavancy ranked integrated search – and an old version of this project is the basis for the current search engine behind statsbiblioteket.dk). Secondly we felt the need to have a solid base to work on to try out all the cool stuff we have been talking about since we started our journey into the land of searching. This is also why Summa 1.3.0 doesn’t really have any new big features, mostly polish and optimizations of the existing code base.

All in all I am pretty proud of this 1.3.0 release and I am really looking forward to deploying it in a real world scenario. Also; with this milestone set I am confident that we are going to have a blast hacking on the mile long list of cook ideas we have floating around. I should post about some of these ideas soonish, but not today; today I am going to slack off and play with the kids.

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