Simon Willison’s Weblog

Experimental feature: Related entries

I’m experimenting with using MySQL full text indexing to generate a list of “related entries” for each entry (click on an item’s permalink to see it in action). It works by concatenating the item’s title and entry body together and running a full text search on it, which sounds horendously inefficient but seems to work surpsingly quickly. If I decide to keep the feature I’ll probably cache the results somewhere to reduce the overhead, but for the moment it’s fast enough.

Update: I’ve turned it off again—it was resulting in ugly database timeouts all over the place. I’ll switch it back on once I’ve added caching.

Update 2: It’s back on again now, with caching. I’m still getting quite a few database timeouts for some reason—if they don’t resolve themselves I’ll have to do some more tweaking.

This is Experimental feature: Related entries by Simon Willison, posted on 25th April 2003.

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