Additional functionality


Prototype: function BuildExcerpts ( $docs, $index, $words, $opts=array() )

Excerpts (snippets) builder function. Connects to searchd, asks it to generate excerpts (snippets) from given documents, and returns the results.

$docs is a plain array of strings that carry the documents’ contents. $index is an index name string. Different settings (such as charset, morphology, wordforms) from given index will be used. $words is a string that contains the keywords to highlight. They will be processed with respect to index settings. For instance, if English stemming is enabled in the index, shoes will be highlighted even if keyword is shoe. Keywords can contain wildcards, that work similarly to star-syntax available in queries. $opts is a hash which contains additional optional highlighting parameters:

  • before_match: A string to insert before a keyword match. A %PASSAGE_ID% macro can be used in this string. The first match of the macro is replaced with an incrementing passage number within a current snippet. Numbering starts at 1 by default but can be overridden with start_passage_id option. In a multi-document call, %PASSAGE_ID% would restart at every given document. Default is <b>.

  • after_match: A string to insert after a keyword match. Starting with version 1.10-beta, a %PASSAGE_ID% macro can be used in this string. Default is </b>.

  • chunk_separator: A string to insert between snippet chunks (passages). Default is .

  • limit: Maximum snippet size, in symbols (codepoints). Integer, default is 256.

  • around: How much words to pick around each matching keywords block. Integer, default is 5.

  • exact_phrase: Whether to highlight exact query phrase matches only instead of individual keywords. Boolean, default is false.

  • use_boundaries: Whether to additionally break passages by phrase boundary characters, as configured in index settings with phrase_boundary directive. Boolean, default is false.

  • weight_order: Whether to sort the extracted passages in order of relevance (decreasing weight), or in order of appearance in the document (increasing position). Boolean, default is false.

  • query_mode: Whether to handle $words as a query in extended syntax, or as a bag of words (default behavior). For instance, in query mode (one two | three four) will only highlight and include those occurrences one two or three four when the two words from each pair are adjacent to each other. In default mode, any single occurrence of one, two, three, or four would be highlighted. Boolean, default is false.

  • force_all_words: Ignores the snippet length limit until it includes all the keywords. Boolean, default is false.

  • limit_passages: Limits the maximum number of passages that can be included into the snippet. Integer, default is 0 (no limit).

  • limit_words: Limits the maximum number of words that can be included into the snippet. Note the limit applies to any words, and not just the matched keywords to highlight. For example, if we are highlighting Mary and a passage Mary had a little lamb is selected, then it contributes 5 words to this limit, not just 1. Integer, default is 0 (no limit).

  • start_passage_id: Specifies the starting value of %PASSAGE_ID% macro (that gets detected and expanded in before_match, after_match strings). Integer, default is 1.

  • load_files: Whether to handle $docs as data to extract snippets from (default behavior), or to treat it as file names, and load data from specified files on the server side. Up to dist_threads worker threads per request will be created to parallelize the work when this flag is enabled. Boolean, default is false. Building of the snippets could be parallelized between remote agents. Just set the ‘dist_threads’ param in the config to the value greater than 1, and then invoke the snippets generation over the distributed index, which contain only one(!) local agent and several remotes. The snippets_file_prefix option is also in the game and the final filename is calculated by concatenation of the prefix with given name. Otherwords, when snippets_file_prefix is ‘/var/data’ and filename is ‘text.txt’ the sphinx will try to generate the snippets from the file ‘/var/datatext.txt’, which is exactly ‘/var/data’ + ‘text.txt’.

  • load_files_scattered: It works only with distributed snippets generation with remote agents. The source files for snippets could be distributed among different agents, and the main daemon will merge together all non-erroneous results. So, if one agent of the distributed index has ‘file1.txt’, another has ‘file2.txt’ and you call for the snippets with both these files, the sphinx will merge results from the agents together, so you will get the snippets from both ‘file1.txt’ and ‘file2.txt’. Boolean, default is false.

    If the load_files is also set, the request will return the error in case if any of the files is not available anywhere. Otherwise (if load_files is not set) it will just return the empty strings for all absent files. The master instance reset this flag when distributes the snippets among agents. So, for agents the absence of a file is not critical error, but for the master it might be so. If you want to be sure that all snippets are actually created, set both load_files_scattered and load_files. If the absence of some snippets caused by some agents is not critical for you - set just load_files_scattered, leaving load_files not set.

  • html_strip_mode: HTML stripping mode setting. Defaults to index, which means that index settings will be used. The other values are none and strip, that forcibly skip or apply stripping irregardless of index settings; and retain, that retains HTML markup and protects it from highlighting. The retain mode can only be used when highlighting full documents and thus requires that no snippet size limits are set. String, allowed values are none, strip, index, and retain.

  • allow_empty: Allows empty string to be returned as highlighting result when a snippet could not be generated (no keywords match, or no passages fit the limit). By default, the beginning of original text would be returned instead of an empty string. Boolean, default is false.

  • passage_boundary: Ensures that passages do not cross a sentence, paragraph, or zone boundary (when used with an index that has the respective indexing settings enabled). String, allowed values are sentence, paragraph, and zone.

  • emit_zones: Emits an HTML tag with an enclosing zone name before each passage. Boolean, default is false.

Snippets extraction algorithm currently favors better passages (with closer phrase matches), and then passages with keywords not yet in snippet. Generally, it will try to highlight the best match with the query, and it will also to highlight all the query keywords, as made possible by the limits. In case the document does not match the query, beginning of the document trimmed down according to the limits will be return by default. You can also return an empty snippet instead case by setting allow_empty option to true.

Returns false on failure. Returns a plain array of strings with excerpts (snippets) on success.


Prototype: function BuildKeywords ( $query, $index, $hits )

Extracts keywords from query using tokenizer settings for given index, optionally with per-keyword occurrence statistics. Returns an array of hashes with per-keyword information.

$query is a query to extract keywords from. $index is a name of the index to get tokenizing settings and keyword occurrence statistics from. $hits is a boolean flag that indicates whether keyword occurrence statistics are required.

Usage example:

$keywords = $cl->BuildKeywords ( " query", "test1", false );


Prototype: function EscapeString ( $string )

Escapes characters that are treated as special operators by the query language parser. Returns an escaped string.

$string is a string to escape.

This function might seem redundant because it’s trivial to implement in any calling application. However, as the set of special characters might change over time, it makes sense to have an API call that is guaranteed to escape all such characters at all times.

Usage example:

$escaped = $cl->EscapeString ( "escaping-sample@query/string" );


Prototype: function FlushAttributes ()

Forces searchd to flush pending attribute updates to disk, and blocks until completion. Returns a non-negative internal flush tag on success. Returns -1 and sets an error message on error.

Attribute values updated using UpdateAttributes() API call are only kept in RAM until a so-called flush (which writes the current, possibly updated attribute values back to disk). FlushAttributes() call lets you enforce a flush. The call will block until searchd finishes writing the data to disk, which might take seconds or even minutes depending on the total data size (.spa file size). All the currently updated indexes will be flushed.

Flush tag should be treated as an ever growing magic number that does not mean anything. It’s guaranteed to be non-negative. It is guaranteed to grow over time, though not necessarily in a sequential fashion; for instance, two calls that return 10 and then 1000 respectively are a valid situation. If two calls to FlushAttrs() return the same tag, it means that there were no actual attribute updates in between them, and therefore current flushed state remained the same (for all indexes).

Usage example:

$status = $cl->FlushAttributes ();
if ( $status<0 )
    print "ERROR: " . $cl->GetLastError();


Prototype: function Status ()

Queries searchd status, and returns an array of status variable name and value pairs.

Usage example:

$status = $cl->Status ();
foreach ( $status as $row )
    print join ( ": ", $row ) . "\n";


Prototype: function UpdateAttributes ( $index, $attrs, $values, $mva=false, $ignorenonexistent=false )

Instantly updates given attribute values in given documents. Returns number of actually updated documents (0 or more) on success, or -1 on failure.

$index is a name of the index (or indexes) to be updated. $attrs is a plain array with string attribute names, listing attributes that are updated. $values is a hash where key is document ID, and value is a plain array of new attribute values. Optional boolean parameter mva points that there is update of MVA attributes. In this case the values must be a dict with int key (document ID) and list of lists of int values (new MVA attribute values). Optional boolean parameter $ignorenonexistent points that the update will silently ignore any warnings about trying to update a column which is not exists in current index schema.

$index can be either a single index name or a list, like in Query(). Unlike Query(), wildcard is not allowed and all the indexes to update must be specified explicitly. The list of indexes can include distributed index names. Updates on distributed indexes will be pushed to all agents.

The updates only work with docinfo=extern storage strategy. They are very fast because they’re working fully in RAM, but they can also be made persistent: updates are saved on disk on clean searchd shutdown initiated by SIGTERM signal. With additional restrictions, updates are also possible on MVA attributes; refer to mva_updates_pool directive for details.

Usage example:

$cl->UpdateAttributes ( "test1", array("group_id"), array(1=>array(456)) );
$cl->UpdateAttributes ( "products", array ( "price", "amount_in_stock" ),
    array ( 1001=>array(123,5), 1002=>array(37,11), 1003=>(25,129) ) );

The first sample statement will update document 1 in index test1, setting group_id to 456. The second one will update documents 1001, 1002 and 1003 in index products. For document 1001, the new price will be set to 123 and the new amount in stock to 5; for document 1002, the new price will be 37 and the new amount will be 11; etc.