Instant Search – Always on the Lookout

Last week Google introduced Instant Search: the search results of the top-most suggestion are shown as soon as you type, no search button is required. Or simply explained by Geek And Poke (see also Instant SEO Tip Of The Week):

If this is something you would also like to see in Eclipse, you are lucky. Andrejs Jermakovics was even faster than Google with his InstaSearch. In contrast to Google, it does not use the top-most suggestion but the current – maybe incomplete – query.

InstaSearch is – like the normal Eclipse text search – based on Apache Lucene. If you like exploring Lucene with a nice UI or if you are on the lookout for new features for your application, you are lucky again: check out the code from this SVN repository. I added an additional field “modified” which can be used to restrict the search to recently modified files: “modified:today todo” finds the word todo only in files that have been modified in the last 24 hours (see this pretty small patch).

I’m considering using InstaSearch in Pacx and adding some domain-specific fields. It’s really cool that everyone is allowed to assimilate Eclipse, Lucene, and InstaSearch into his or her own product, even if it’s a commercial product. But don’t forget, if you make changes you have to contribute them back.

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2 Responses to “Instant Search – Always on the Lookout”

  1. Andrejs Says:

    This is great! I really like your idea of “modified” field.

  2. IBBoard Says:

    Except that, isn’t this usable where as Google Instant is just a PITA? There’s just the minor difference in purpose and context between the two that makes “search as you type in text” a little more workable than “keep poking back to the server and guessing results”. Searching based on what has been typed and reducing a displayed list makes sense, but re-searching on the Web seems like it interferes more than helps.

    Not that I hit Google Instant too much – I seem to search from the address bar or type too quickly for it to trigger.

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