Search and Other Notes

Shared this is with my team about search engines ideas for custom development of our learning site:

Search Engines

  • Class-Central searches for top online courses. Notice the recommendation process including “student interests” and reviews. We can develop “student interests” by tracking number of hits to courses.
  • Moocha search engine developed for online courses from leading MOOC universities. Notice the speed of the results but don’t be fooled because the course database may be limited. However, the page response is focused on speed rather than rich text. This is how we need to think of search – speed
  • Yahoo open sourced their search engine, named Vespa, that drives, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, and other Yahoo sites. announcement . The code is accessible at Vespa Quick Start

Definitions of the day for Less-tech savvy (and the tech savvy):

Open Source: code that is freely accessible to the public. However, it is does not mean that you can freely integrate the code within your application. You need read the license associated with the open source code. Popular open source products at Wiki Open Source Packages. Also read about open source licenses at

Responsive Design: “an approach to web design aimed at allowing desktop webpages to be viewed in response to the size of the screen or web browser one is viewing with.” – Wiki – Responsive Web Design. The way to do this is not to develop a mobile application from the scratch but, instead, add special stylesheets (we call it CSS – Cascading Style Sheets – see wiki on CSS) in your website code to turn into it mobile-friendly displays when accessed via mobile and, at the same time, stay in its desktop-mode when accessed through regular desktop or laptop computers. The predominant tool for integrating responsive design in your application is Bootstrap that can be used in commercial products as described in its license

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