March 2nd, 2009

Elastic times


Today was a good day, so I thought I would share its results immediately, instead of fine-tuning forever – who knows when I find the time anyways!

I built a little facet browser for the New York Times Article Search API – an impressively fast faceted search engine covering over two million articles. So, give it a spin!

Some caveats:

  • Don’t look for the page navigation – there is none. Pure laziness, will update it soon.
  • The initial counts are based on a search for “the” (which I figured would appear in all articles). Unfortunately, only the top 15 or so values per facet are returned, so you cannot click, e.g. the year 2008 in the beginning. Will fix.
  • The API has a request limit of 5000 queries per day. So if your requests don’t work – come back tomorrow morning :)
  • Unfortunately, the API seems to support only one value per facet. So, all facets are single-select.(fixed, see comments).

The code is based on my totally revamped elastic lists prototype. I used this project as a little sandbox experiment of how easy customization is possible, and especially how to make a switch from a fully client-based to a server–based filtering model.

August 23rd, 2007


I just came across freebase again, and I have to say this thing looks really prospering. Freebase is sort of a metadata / semantic web wiki, structured around topics, types and domains. Essentially, it lets users add descriptions of entities, such as movies, persons, buildings and relate them to each other. The set of properties used, of course, depends on the type of an entity. The project reuses a lot of Wikipedia or other free information, but the interesting thing is the structured approach and, for developers, especially the really powerful API with a very interesting query language approach based on JSON. Mashup time! :)

To get started, browse freebase, e.g. about, say, architecture!