Microsoft Open Sources Big Components Of It’s Bing Search Engine
Mega tech companies like Microsoft and Google’s recent interest in the F.O.S.S community might raise a few eyebrows as free software enthusiast wonder why the sudden peaky nature of these companies and what exactly are they after.
Microsoft is looking to tighten its relationship with the open source community by announcing that is open- sourcing some big components of its Bing search engine.
The company has tried on so many occasions to keep Linux and anything open-source at bay but with the recent surge of users turning to operating systems like Ubuntu or Linux Mint, the Redmond base company’s efforts to put a fleece on F.O.S.S has been futile and like they say “when you can’t beat them, join them.”
The parts that are going to be open sourced includes a “baby search engine” named BitFunnel, a tool for preparing text to be used in BitFunnel, and a just-in-time C compiler. While these projects are currently in the nascent state, we can expect them to benefit Bing’s development (and developers outside the Bing data centres) in the long run.
“BitFunnel is a library for high-performance full-text search over a chunk of the internet, spread across thousands of machines. It is based on a probabilistic algorithm that identifies and ranks documents according to queries involving keywords, phrases, and mathematical expressions.”
The above statement is from project leader for Microsoft Satya Nadella and the list of projects in works includes:
BitFunnel: A “baby search engine” that’s an experiment in text search/retrieval.
WorkBench: A tool for preparing text to be used in BitFunnel. It’s based on Java and Lucene.
NativeJIT: An open source cross-platform library for the high-performance just-in-time compilation of C expressions. It’s written in C++.