Getting all SOAPY

So, we (dealnews.com) rolled out a new site this month, metaprice.com.  Its young and lacking features of many of the other price comparison sites, but is has great potential.  Our hope is to bring together the best features of all the other players in the market in one great application.
Part of this project required using web services with several different data suppliers.  Most support simple REST and SOAP, but some only offer SOAP.  So, given that I bit the bullet and enabled the SOAP extension for PHP5.  Wow!  I was happily surprised.  The last SOAP code I had looked at was the old PEAR code.  It was not that attractive to me.  It required a lot of work IMO to talk SOAP.

Now, with just 3 lines of code, I can get back a nice object that has all the data I need.  Kudos to Brad Lafountain, Shane Caraveo, Dmitry Stogov and anyone else that worked on this extension.  It definitely made my life easier.  Its so easy, I am actually looking forward to making a SOAP server with some of our data.

On another note, I have been a little disappointed with the MySQL FullText relavance matching.  I know that single term searches are not really easy to deal with.  But, sometimes, even multiword searches don’t yield what I would hope.  For example, a search for Windows XP yields 2 systems that includes Windows XP as 2 of the top 4 matches.  There are two other matches there that are good  matches.  And, yes, I do have my min length set to 2.   I am thinking about giving Sphinx a shot to see if its relevance ranking is any better.

Anyone have a good home grown algorithm for relevance?

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2 Responses to Getting all SOAPY

  1. Ryan Kennedy says:

    The PHP5 SOAP extension is really nice. I’ve been playing with Pear SOAP a little recently and it’s sad just how bad it is in comparison to the extension. The extension works well from both the client and the server perspective, not to mention it’s pretty fast.

  2. Well, MySQL FTS does not care about word positions, while Sphinx pulls phrase matches to the top, so multi-word searches could definitely be better.

    Single-word queries would at receive the same rank as of 0.9.7-RC1. However 0.9.8 is going to include statistical ranking; this will help single-word searches a lot.

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