H4DEV.com searchable database for ruby and rails developers


H4dev.com is a searchable database for ruby, rails and javascript
developers, concentrating on the following areas:

  • ActiveRecord, SQL, MySQL: database design, maintenance and
    performance tuning

  • Ruby and javascript language specifications, standard library, and
    each languages’s multiple implementations/releases

  • Ajax libraries: jquery, YUI, Prototype framework, scriptaculous,
    mooTools, extJS

  • Browser engines, and their bugs, for HTML, CSS, javascript: Firefox
    3, 3.5 ; Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8

  • full-text indexing/queries: SOLR/lucene, Sphinx

  • Developer’s tools: text editor (vim, emacs, NetBeans, textmate,
    eclipse), source control (git, SVN),
    • Ruby and javascript testing frameworks; unit testing, BDD /
    specifications, integration testing

The aim of this project is to have a database of ruby language syntax,
tools, development techniques and bugs that make the search process
less arduous for beginning and intermediate programmers. A database
like this entails cataloging 10’s of thousands of URL’s into a topic
map, collecting in each database record discussions of a narrow issue
by different authors. I’ve tried to address all the tricky things
about searching software topics: acronyms, compound words
(“ActiveRecord”, actsAsSolr), etc.

So I’d like people to try it, give me feedback on the UI and how easy
it is to locate stuff. The other aim of this project is to present a
couple dozen or more URL’s in the search result on one page, so the
query terms can be refined. The Title Tags on the “Search Hits” page
(where it says “mouseover” under “Sphinx Hits”) convey a lot of
information about what’s in the database record). Questions welcome,
too, of course.

One thing about stopwords: It’s best if you manually edit out short
words like “if”, “and”, “but” if they’re not essential to the query. I
haven’t resolved which words should get knocked out of query strings,
since many of them are important in ruby (“and”, “if”, “through”,
“or”, “not”) and linux “etc”, “cat”. I’d like to execute the query
both ways (knocking out stopwords and leaving them in the query
string), in SOLR or sphinx search rather than in the Rails
controller. If anybody has any input please let me know.