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Ruby Client API for Sphinx
PHP Ruby



This client has been written to interface with Sphinx. It is written by Pat Allan, and has been influenced by both Dmytro Shteflyuk’s Ruby client and the original PHP client – credit where credit’s due, after all.

It does not follow the same syntax as those two, though (not much point writing this otherwise) – opting for a more Ruby-like structure.


sudo gem install riddle


As of version 1.0.0, Riddle now supports multiple versions of Sphinx in the one gem – you’ll need to require your specific version after a normal require, though.

require 'riddle'
require 'riddle/0.9.9'

To get started, just instantiate a Client object:

client = # defaults to localhost and port 9312
client = "sphinxserver.domain.tld", 3333 # custom settings

And then set the parameters to what you want, before running a query:

client.match_mode = :extended
client.query "Pat Allan @state Victoria"

The results from a query are similar to the other clients – but here’s the details. It’s a hash with
the following keys:

  • :matches
  • :fields
  • :attributes
  • :attribute_names
  • :words
  • :total
  • :total_found
  • :time
  • :status
  • :warning (if appropriate)
  • :error (if appropriate)

The key :matches returns an array of hashes – the actual search results. Each hash has the document id (:doc), the result weighting (:weight), and a hash of the attributes for the document (:attributes).

The :fields and :attribute_names keys return list of fields and attributes for the documents. The key :attributes will return a hash of attribute name and type pairs, and :words returns a hash of hashes representing the words from the search, with the number of documents and hits for each, along the lines of:

results[:words]["Pat"] #=> {:docs => 12, :hits => 15}

:total, :total_found and :time return the number of matches available, the
total number of matches (which may be greater than the maximum available), and the time in milliseconds that the query took to run.

:status is the error code for the query – and if there was a related warning, it will be under the :warning key. Fatal errors will be described under :error.

If you’ve installed the gem and wondering why there’s no tests – check out the git version. I’ve kept the specs out of the gem as I have a decent amount of test data in there, which really isn’t needed unless you want to submit patches.


Riddle uses the git-flow process for development. The “master” branch is the latest released code (in a gem). The “develop” branch is what’s coming in the next release. (There may be occasional feature and hotfix branches, although these are generally not pushed to GitHub.)

When submitting a patch to riddle, please submit your pull request against the “develop” branch.


Thanks to the following people who have contributed to Riddle in some shape or form:

  • Andrew Aksyonoff
  • Brad Greenlee
  • Lachie Cox
  • Jeremy Seitz
  • Mark Lane
  • Xavier Noria
  • Henrik Nye
  • Kristopher Chambers
  • Rob Anderton
  • Dylan Egan
  • Jerry Vos
  • Piotr Sarnacki
  • Tim Preston
  • Amir Yalon
  • Sam Goldstein
  • Matt Todd
  • Paco Guzmán
  • Greg Weber
  • Enrico Thierbach
  • Jason Lambert
  • Saberma
  • James Cook
  • Alexey Artamonov
  • Paul Gibler
  • Ngan Pham
  • Aaron Gilbralter
  • Steven Bristol
  • Ilia Lobsanov
  • Aleksey Morozov
  • S. Christoffer Eliesen
  • Rob Golkosky
  • Darcy Brown
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