The First Bangalore Lucene/Solr meetup was organized on Saturday, 8th June 2013 courtesy of the initiatives of Anshum Gupta and Varun Thacker. Although I joined in as a co-organizer but honestly I did nothing except tweet about it and show up with some slides.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the rate at which the group went from zero to a hundred members (it stands at a 132 members as of writing this post). Our initial limit for the venue was fifty but it was increased to seventy five once the size of the venue was confirmed. Microsoft Accelerator was gracious enough to provide a conference room and refreshments for the attendees. 50+ people showed up which is pretty good considering that the meetup schedule clashed with some other popular meetups. The agenda was dominated by presentations but quite a bit of time was spent in Q&A.
Vinodh Kumar R (Head of BloomReach India) gave a talk on ranking models (adversarial vs implicit vs real time news) applicable for different kind of search applications.
Varun Thacker from Unbxd talked about Faceted search and result reordering in Solr focusing on e-commerce applications. He introduced term range facets, multi-select faceting and then delved into reordering documents using function queries and query elevation along with examples and use-cases for each.
Here are the slides that I presented:
At the start of my presentation, I solicited an informal poll from the audience to gauge their interest:
- Everyone in attendance was familiar with the projects
- Most of the attendees were already using Solr for search
- Everyone in attendance was using Solr 3.x and no one was on SolrCloud yet
- Almost everyone was evaluating, prototyping or testing SolrCloud
I met Umesh Prasad from Flipkart at the meetup and we chatted quite a bit on Solr’s performance under heavy bulk re-indexing workloads and also about accommodating large elevation and synonym files in SolrCloud. I’m happy to know that Flipkart uses Apache Solr for their excellent search. I also met a couple of search enthusiasts who have used Solr in the past and want to contribute back to the community.
All in all, I think it was a good first step towards establishing a strong Lucene/Solr community in Bangalore. I wish that the next meetup gives more time for one to one interactions and focused conversations around search issues. It’d be nice to have more about Lucene in the next meetup. A lot of people inquired about training on Apache Solr so we may organize a workshop for the next meetup.
Drop me a line if you are interested in attending a Solr training in Bangalore. Also, if you’re in Bangalore and interested in Lucene/Solr or search in general, do join the Bangalore Lucene/Solr Meetup group.