Fergus McDowall

Fergus McDowall
Senior Consultant at Comperio. Dedicated emacs user.

Elasticsearch Visits Comperio

Yesterday the legendary Shay Banon, inventor of Elasticsearch and Arie Chapman dropped into to Comperio’s Oslo office on their way to the Oslo Elasticsearch Meetup to talk about whats hot in Elasticsearch v1.x. Shay gave the team the lowdown on the latest functionality, and Arie outlined interesting cutomers and use-cases. Shay also talked about how [...]

Get the new version of Forage, the search server for node.js

The new version of Forage is out! 0.3.0 fixes lots niggles with indexing, and gives a pretty hefty improvement to memory usage. There is also a built in matcher for creating cool auto-suggest and auto-complete controls based on the content of the corpus. In related news there is now a family of crawling tools which [...]

Norch is changing its name to Forage

“Norch” appears to be a colloquialism in some far flung corners of the Globe, and this unfortunate semantic mixup was slowing adoption of the otherwise excellent search server formally known as Norch. Henceforth, said search server shall be known as Forage. Check it out here and update all favourites and bookmarks accordingly. In related news, [...]

Norch- a search engine for node.js

***** UPDATE 10th Sept 2013: Norch is now known as Forage- read about this change here ***** Norch is a search engine written for Node.js. Norch uses the Node search-index module which is in turn written using the super fast levelDB library that Google open-sourced in 2011. The aim of Norch is to make a [...]

Introducing Solrstrap: A blazing fast tool for querying Solr in a Googleish fashion

I have just made the first (unnumbered) release of Solrstrap available on github http://fergiemcdowall.github.com/solrstrap/ Solrstrap is a Query-Result interface for Solr- it is intended to be a starting point for those building web interfaces that talk to Solr, or a very lightweight admin tool for querying Solr in a Googleish fashion. Cool things about Solrstrap: [...]

Using Handlebars.js To Display Results From Solr- A Primer

Handlebars.js is a really great way to render search results from Solr. Handlebars.js has become the defacto standard for templating in JavaScript, filling the void left from the abandonment and non-replacement of the jQuery template project. Handlebars.js is an implementation of the mighty platform-independant mustache project JavaScript templating makes it a lot easier to implement [...]

Solr and Javascript Templating (Solr meetup presentation, September 2012)

Here is a copy of the short presentation I gave at the Solr meetup on the 4th September 2012. Read it if you want a really high level view of the cost, performance, and functional benefits of using Javascript templates to create search applications. One of the live demos has also been uploaded here to [...]

Make an “instant search” application using JSON, Ajax and JQuery

Update 20th Feb 2013: Instant search is now implemented on Solrstrap, the lightweight Solr interface written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Check it out here. Here is a quick demo that demonstrates how to create an “instant search” service using JSON, ajax and JQuery. This instant search application uses the excellent OpenSearch interface provided by [...]

Super Fast Image Search with JSON, JQuery and Flickr

Here is a way to build up a really simple image search application using HTML, CSS and JQuery. One thing that can be improved about most image search apps is that browsing search history is sloooow. This image search app provides a neat solution to the history/speed issue by simply displaying results in a push-pop [...]

User-Centric Design for Deploying FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

The presentation I gave on behalf of Comperio at the 2011 Sharepoint Conferance in Anaheim California is now online here. It discusses a strategy for overcoming the challenges that implementers will face when creating internal search applications. In brief, everybody knows that user-experience (UX) is paramount, so why do organisational dynamics conspire to prioritise UX [...]


Comperio AS
Øvre Slottsgate 27
NO-0157 Oslo,
+47 22 33 71 00
View map


Search Provider Sverige AB
Gamla Brogatan 34
SE-11 120 Stockholm
+46 8-21 49 00
View map