Improve project search engine (GSoC task)

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Revision as of 10:33, 2 March 2021 by Vlorentz (talk | contribs) (Potential mentors: add IRC nicks)
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The homepage of the Software Heritage archive features a small search engine, that searched in project URLs and project metadata. Project metadata includes name, description, authors, etc.

By the time GSoC starts, it will be implemented by a very small Python service (under 100 lines of code) backed by ElasticSearch.

Task description

This service is a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that was written to replace an older service, based on PostgreSQL, which was too slow. So there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of adding features and making results more relevant.

Most of the features we have in mind are to allow finer search on project metadata, instead of simply doing a full-text search on the entire metadata; but we are open to suggestions.

Depending on your preferences, this can be either purely backend changes, or may involve changes to the web interface to use these new features.

Desirable skills

  • Python 3 and Git are a must to work on any Software Heritage project
  • either ElasticSearch (if you want to improve the existing search component) or an alternative (if you want to rewrite it with a different backend)

Potential mentors

  • Stefano Zacchiroli <> (zack on IRC)
  • Valentin Lorentz (vlorentz on IRC)
  • Vincent Sellier (vsellier on IRC)

Other relevant (but independent) tasks

This task is only about searching on the existing Elasticsearch database; you may also be interested in Mine information from archived content (GSoC task) and Mine information from external sources (GSoC task) to fill this database; but those are completely independent tasks.

This database only contains project URLs and metadata, not source code. Source code search is more complex, but is available as an internship topic