Minnesota Search Sprint: Your top-five feature requests
by Robert Douglass
In the same way that the Internet itself would not have achieved greatness without the ability to search it easily and efficiently, Drupal's greatness will always be tied directly to the effectiveness of its core search solution. Improving core search for Drupal 7 will be no small task, however. The current implementation is both elegant but complex, robust yet inflexible. The seven coders participating in the Minnesota Search Sprint this weekend have a great challenge as well as a great opportunity. Here are some of the things we hope to achieve:
- Identify the most important weaknesses in Drupal search and create a project plan for fixing them.
- Identify the most important new features currently missing from Drupal search and clear the roadblocks for implementing them.
- Increase the test coverage for Drupal search.
- Increase general developer awareness and knowledge of search.
A large part of what we will be doing is evaluating and planning. Without a roadmap and common understanding of what search is to become, little progress will be made in the Drupal 7 development cycle. However, a coding sprint is all about code, and we'll be writing some of that, too. Specifically I'm hoping that we'll be able to fix one of the top-five bugs, increase search module's test coverage, and come up with a first attempt at one of the top-five new features.
That's a lot! No matter what we manage to code during the three days together, we'll walk away with a high level of agreement about our goals for the next months, and plenty of homework to do.
We'll post regular updates that you can follow on Planet Drupal, as well as in the search group, and we're all ears if you have suggestions or wishes. For anyone wanting to catch up on their search related reading, here are some links:
- Drupal's search compared to Google and Yahoo!
- Drupal's Search Framework: The execution of a search
- Minnesota Search Sprint (Robert's goals)
- 12 patches to improve Drupal search
- A complete of open search issues
- Advancing Drupal Search
- FOSDEM 2008, Drupal ApacheSolr module
- Search working group
- Lucene, Nutch and Solr working group
- Search modules on Drupal.org
- Drupal's search module and scoring factors
- Custom search forms with Views and Fastsearch
Finally, many thanks to University of Minnesota Libraries, Acquia, McDean, Inc. / OpenBand, Workhabit, CivicActions, Laboratoire NT2, and BoldSource for driving Drupal innovation by sponsoring the search sprint.
The sprinters are:
## Your top five
Just so we don't miss anything, what are the features or capabilities that _you_ miss the most in Drupal search? What do you think needs the most improvement? What do your customers ask for in search improvements?