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An open source endeca? Solr, patacriticism and faceted browsing.

This week many of the folks from the UVa library took a field trip to the NCSU library to look at how they do things, especially at their famous endeca OPAC. The OPAC kicks some serious ass, and I’m as impressed as can be about it, and yet…

Today I saw a demo of Erik Hatcher‘s faceted browsing system for the NINES project. It’s built on Apache software: lucene and solr. The project itself is of course open source, too, and an early release is available at

Don’t let the project description fool you. I’m sure it can also be used to “develop interpretive tools for online humanities” as they claim, but what you need to know is that this is the faceted browser for those of us who can’t afford endeca. I can’t wait to see how this develops.

If anyone organizing the Access conference or the next code4lib conference reads this, book Erik as a keynote speaker ASAP. This is hot.


Comment from Duane Gran
Time: May 29, 2006, 11:37 am


Thank you for the kind words of support. We are really excited about the potential use of Collex, the software which powers the faceted NINES search, in other subject domains. The philosophy of distributing metadata to a centralized search is similar to Aquifer while the faceted interface is inspired by Flamenco. I believe it could be useful in the digital Library.

Comment from Bethany Nowviskie
Time: May 30, 2006, 9:30 am

Thanks for the nod, Bess! We have high hopes for the Collex system and would really like to raise awareness about it (and NINES) in the library community. You might be interested to see some designs for the upcoming version: — but of course, the interface is entirely customizable.

Pingback from Solvitur ambulando » Solr Flare is announced!
Time: June 8, 2011, 10:20 am

[...] I called it! [...]

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