[Xapian-devel] FastMail's search using Xapian

Greg Banks gnb at fastmail.fm
Tue Apr 2 10:01:27 BST 2013


I thought some folks on this list would be interested to know that the new full text email search feature rolled out today by FastMail


is powered by Xapian. All the code for indexing and searching emails is Open Source and in Fastmail's version of the Cyrus IMAP server.


That isn't the most recent code but its pretty close.
We expect that code will be merged into a future release of Cyrus (but not the next release which is imminent).

We evaluated Solr, Sphinx and Xapian. Sphinx was the fastest but had a number of deployment issues due to our unique requirements.
I must say that the Xapian learning curve put us off for a while, but after gaining experience with other search technologies that became less of a problem.
In the end the ability to run Xapian as a library linked with our C application, and thus to control startup times and memory usage more easily than with a standalone server, was the deciding factor.

Anyway, thanks for a great piece of software, and keep up the good work.

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