I Published My Common Lisp Docstring Search Engine

My Common Lisp documentation search engine has been published to http://lisp-search.acceleration.net. In a previous post I wrote about using the montezuma full-text search engine to build an index of documentation available from within my common lisp runtime. I ended up going the extra mile on this one and indexing all of the documentation available for all of the packages in quicklisp (as well as readme files and other packages that sbcl had already loaded). The result is a 90M search index (4M tar.gz) that can be used search through all of the doc strings of all of the easily loadable packages.

The user interface is a bit clunky, searches don’t always return the most relevant results first, but it is live, fast, and seems already useful. Perhaps with some help from the internet, this search engine can reach its full potential. I named the software package that does this manifest-search-web, because it was inspired by gigamonkey’s manifest project. I still have not come up with a reasonable name for the published search engine (lisp-search seems a touch blasé and under-descriptive).

Hopefully, I will never again spend time writing a library only to find the already written, open source alternative after I publish mine. Also, perhaps this will inspire better doc-strings, now that doc-strings might be what leads to someone finding your project.

Other things todo:

  • Integrate manifest-search with slime
  • Have the documentation index be distributable in quicklisp (not sure how to do that efficiently)
  • Find a way to unify CLIKI, l1sp.org, lisp-search and other lisp documentation resources into a more cohesive single website / search
  • Improve the query language to ensure that it behaves according to user expectations as opposed to lucene expectations

As always, please report bugs and make suggestions for improvements. Cheers and happy lisping.

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