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Jun 19, 2020
Nov 29, 2013
Jan 24, 2014

HN Search powered by Algolia

This is the Rails 5 application providing HN Search. It's leveraging react on the frontend, algoliasearch-rails for the search and uses wkhtmltoimage to crawl+render thumbnails.

Development/Contributions

We love pull-requests :)

Setup

# clone the repository
git clone https://github.com/algolia/hn-search
cd hn-search

# install dependencies
bundle install

# setup credentials
cp config/database.example.yml config/database.yml # feel free to edit, default configuration is OK for search-only
cp config/application.example.yml config/application.yml # feel free to edit, default configuration is OK for search-only

# setup your (sqlite3) database
bundle exec rake db:migrate

# start contributing enjoying Guard (watchers, livereload, notifications, ...)
bundle exec guard

# done!
open http://localhost:3000

Code

If you want to contribute to the UI, the only directory you need to look at is app/assets. This directory contains all the JS, HTML & CSS code.

Deployment

To deploy, we're using capistrano and therefore you need SSH access to the underlying machines and run from your own computer:

bundle exec cap deploy

There is currently (December 2018) a bug with bluepill stopping the deployment. To workaround it, you need to force a restart with the following command instead:

bundle exec cap deploy:restart

There seems to as well be an issue with thin server, where after deployment orphaned thin processes are not killed. This means that the server tries serving previous version of the app and causes ChunkLoadErrors as the manifest points to no longer existing files. To fix the intermittent errors, you need to ssh to both servers, check for any orphaned thin processes and kill them manually.

ps aux | grep thin
kill <insert old thin process pid's>

Indexing Configuration

The indexing is configured using the following algoliasearch block:

class Item < ActiveRecord::Base
  include AlgoliaSearch

  algoliasearch per_environment: true do
    # the list of attributes sent to Algolia's API
    attribute :created_at, :title, :url, :author, :points, :story_text, :comment_text, :author, :num_comments, :story_id, :story_title
    attribute :created_at_i do
      created_at.to_i
    end

    # `title` is more important than `{story,comment}_text`, `{story,comment}_text` more than `url`, `url` more than `author`
    # btw, do not take into account position in most fields to avoid first word match boost
    attributesToIndex ['unordered(title)', 'unordered(story_text)', 'unordered(comment_text)', 'unordered(url)', 'author', 'created_at_i']

    # list of attributes to highlight
    attributesToHighlight ['title', 'story_text', 'comment_text', 'url', 'story_url', 'author', 'story_title']

    # tags used for filtering
    tags do
      [item_type, "author_#{author}", "story_#{story_id}"]
    end

    # use associated number of HN points to sort results (last sort criteria)
    customRanking ['desc(points)', 'desc(num_comments)']

    # controls the way results are sorted sorting on the following 4 criteria (one after another)
    # I removed the 'exact' match critera (improve 1-words query relevance, doesn't fit HNSearch needs)
    ranking ['typo', 'proximity', 'attribute', 'custom']

    # google+, $1.5M raises, C#: we love you
    separatorsToIndex '+#$'
  end

  def story_text
    item_type_cd != Item.comment ? text : nil
  end

  def story_title
    comment? && story ? story.title : nil
  end

  def story_url
    comment? && story ? story.url : nil
  end

  def comment_text
    comment? ? text : nil
  end

  def comment?
    item_type_cd == Item.comment
  end
end

Credits