SphinxSearch Extension for MediaWiki

While helping maintain the New World Encyclopedia, I tried to install the LuceneSearch extension to replace the default MySQL-full-text-based search used by MediaWiki. Since our server did not come with any pre-requisites necessary for compiling and running Java applications, I spent quite some time on it, and still did not get it to work.

All of sudden (hint, hint,) a message came to the mediawiki developers list about a new search extension that uses Sphinx search engine. Installing Sphinx was a breeze! The extension was an initial “request-for-comments” version, so I started working with the author to spruce it up. You can see the results at NWE, MediaWiki.org, and SourceForge.

A List Apart

This is a classic, of course, but I decided to post something about each site I link to. This is probably the first article I read on ALA site:

The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)

And for the reference, some of the character codes from the article:

  • – (– en dash is used to indicate a range of just about anything, etc.)
  • — (— em dash is used to indicate a sudden break in thought, etc.)
  • ‘ (‘ opening single quote)
  • ’ (’ closing single quote or an apostrophe)
  • “ (“ opening double quote)
  • ” (” closing double quote)

The first version of this post had a silly statement about WordPress needing some tool to help with entering the proper codes for some of these special characters. Well, thanks to a comment from Matt, I know better now 🙂