Archives April, 2011

SmartPhone Use and Market Share

When budgets are limited, web product owners can face a daunting task of deciding which SmartPhone device to support first. With market share changing so rapidly, this can be a difficult decision. We've pulled together some statistics on SmartPhone use to help with these kinds of choices.

Google Search Appliance improved, but how much?

As reported by the Real Story group, the latest Google Search Appliance (GSA 6.8) now has faceted search, amongst other things. We blogged on the GSA last year, noting how - although the GSA has some powerful features - its administrative interface and feed control were both somewhat lacking. It seems that the main new features are: faceted navigation, a SharePoint 2010 connector (useful for intranets), and Active-Active mirroring. How many of the glitches we found back in 2009 (such as poor ampersand handling, batch import control and index purging) are now fixed is not clear, although a side-effect of the new faceted navigation seems to be that the search result estimates are now accurate.

Performance of Java vs. Ruby

The Twitter Engineering team (@twittereng) has just achieved an impressive 3x performance improvement for Twitter search queries, largely, it seems, by replacing Ruby-on-Rails web applications with new applications built on Java, coupled with a switch from MySQL to Lucene for the data store.