I do so much reading and writing about the IT industry I forget to emphasize some of the joys of using Debian GNU/Linux for my IT.
One of my favourite things about IT is searching. With Google, for instance, we have a powerful tool for finding what’s out there. Of course, with a big hard drive, I can end up with a lot of stuff to search locally:
Cool, eh? Further, I can configure Recoll to index just a few selected directories so my search results are not cluttered with Linux source-code and other stuff I am unlikely to use in my work. Typically, I search PDF, word-processing, spreadsheets and some text files. Often I like to search the OCR results from the PDFs of US DOJ v M$. That’s a gold-mine.
Quoting Bill Gates: People ask, “Will the Internet be the thing that kills you?” I say, with tongue in cheek, “No. It’s all the other things that will kill us, because we’re so distracted by the Internet.â€˜’
Of course it is the Internet that is killing the Wintel monopoly because FLOSS and products running it are so easy to find on the web. What’s really killing M$ is the inability to change away from a business plan that has brought in hundreds of $billions by the efforts of all M$’s slaves. GNU/Linux is a product of the Internet as much as anything because Linus and others actually do share Free/Libre Open Source software as the licence permits, to run, examine, modify and distribute for $0 .
- Transactions: if database update fails in the middle of a transaction, the database is guaranteed to remain in a consistent state.
- Simultaneous search and update, with new documents being immediately visible.
- Support for large databases: Xapian has been proven to be scalable to hundreds of millions of documents.
- Accurate probabilistic ranking: more relevant documents are listed first.
- Phrase and proximity searching.
Relevance feedback, which improves ranking and can expand a query, find related documents, categorise documents etc.
- Structured Boolean queries, e.g. “race AND condition NOT horse”
- Wildcard search, e.g. “wiki*”
- Spelling correction
- Omega, a packaged solution for adding a search engine to a web site or intranet. Omega can easily be extended and adapted to fit changing requirements.
I have tens of thousands of documents indexed with no worry about hitting links further down the page, broken links and other nuisances of the web. Why should programmers have all the fun? I certainly don’t need M$ or its software to get a lot done very swiftly and accurately.