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Site-wide search with Laravel Scout & Sphinx

I needed to set up a simple indexer to increase site performance.  After looking at the different options, like Elastic Search, Meilisearch, TNT Search, ect.  I ended up on Sphinx.  Sphinx is a little dated, but it’s very fast and doesn’t have a lot of dependencies, since it’s written in C++.

To start I installed Sphinx

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sudo apt-get install sphinxsearch

Then updated the config file

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cd /etc/sphinxsearch/
sudo nano sphinx.conf

Here’s a very simple full-text search example

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source database
{
  type          = mysql
 
  sql_host      = localhost
  sql_user      = user
  sql_pass      = secret
  sql_db        = database
  sql_port      = 3306 # optional, default is 3306
}
 
source src_articles : database
{
    sql_field_string = name
 
    sql_query   = SELECT id, name from articles
}
 
index articles
{
    type        = plain
    source      = src_articles
    path         = /var/lib/sphinxsearch/data/articles
 
    min_prefix_len = 3
 
    index_exact_words   = 1
    expand_keywords     = 1
 
    charset_type = utf-8
}
 
indexer
{
        mem_limit               = 256M
}
 
searchd
{
        listen                  = 9312
        listen                  = 9306:mysql41
 
        # log file, searchd run info is logged here
        # optional, default is 'searchd.log'
        log                     = /var/log/sphinxsearch/searchd.log
 
        # query log file, all search queries are logged here
        # optional, default is empty (do not log queries)
        query_log               = /var/log/sphinxsearch/query.log
 
        read_timeout        = 5
        max_children        = 30
        pid_file            = /var/run/sphinxsearch/searchd.pid
        seamless_rotate     = 1
        preopen_indexes     = 1
        unlink_old          = 1
        workers             = threads
        binlog_path         = /var/lib/sphinxsearch/data
        collation_server    = utf8_ci
        thread_stack        = 6144K
}

Then we need to start Sphinx, make sure to run it under the sphinxsearch user and run the index and create the cron to re-run the indexes once a day at midnight

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sudo nano /etc/default/sphinxsearch and set START=yes
 
sudo su sphinxsearch -s /bin/bash
indexer --all
/etc/init.d/sphinxsearch start
 
sudo crontab -u sphinxsearch -e
0 0 * * * indexer --all --rotate

Then, install the plugins we need for Laravel

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composer require laravel/scout:6.0.0
composer require constantable/laravel-scout-sphinx
php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Laravel\Scout\ScoutServiceProvider"

Then you need to add these into the providers in config/app.php

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Constantable\SphinxScout\ServiceProvider::class,
Laravel\Scout\ScoutServiceProvider::class,

Alright! That should get Sphinx all set on the server, and ready to go in Laravel. In all models you want to be searchable, add this (also, they all need to have indexes defined in Sphinx settings)

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use Laravel\Scout\Searchable;
 
use Searchable;

Now comes the controller method to intermingle the models :X This is still a WIP, scout has a very limited version of eloquent attached to it, so you can’t set the offset by hand. So this is as close as you can get with out-of-the-box Scout.

This supports a JSON version that intermingles 6 results from each source for an autocomplete field, as well as a paginated version.

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public function search(Request $request) {
        $rsx = $request->header('X-Requested-With');
 
        if (!($page = $request->get('page'))) {
            $page = 1;
        }
 
        $searchResults = [];
 
        if ($q = $request->get('q')) {
            $tables = ['article','video','book'];
 
            if ($rsx != 'XMLHttpRequest') {
                //get totals for pagination
                $total = 0;
                $totals = [];
                foreach ($tables as $k => $table) {
                    $totals[$k] = ('App\Models\\' . str_replace('_', '', ucwords($table, '_')))::search($q)->paginate(1);
                    $totals[$k] = $totals[$k]->total();
                    $total = $total + $totals[$k];
                }
 
                $pagination = new LengthAwarePaginator([], $total, $perPage);
                $pagination = str_replace('/?', '?q='.$q.'&', $pagination->render());
 
                $parts = sizeof($totals);
                foreach ($tables as $k => $table) {
                    $offset = ($page - 1) * 3;
                    if(($offset + 3) > $totals[$k]) {
                        $parts = $parts - 1;
                    }
                }
                if($parts==0)$parts=1;
                $perpart = 9 / $parts;
            }
 
            foreach($tables as $k => $table) {
                if ($rsx != 'XMLHttpRequest' && ($offset + 3) > $totals[$k] && $page != 1 && $totals[$k] != 0) {
                    continue;
                }
 
                $model = ('App\Models\\'.str_replace('_','',ucwords($table,'_')));
                $searchResults[$k] = $model::search($q);
                if ($rsx == 'XMLHttpRequest') {
                    $searchResults[$k] = $searchResults[$k]->take(6)->get()->all();
                } else {
                    $searchResults[$k] = $searchResults[$k]->paginate(floor($perpart)+($table == 'article' && is_float($perpart) ? 1 : 0))->all();
                }
 
                $searchResults[$k] = array_map(function ($i) use ($table) {$i->type = $table.'s';return $i;}, $searchResults[$k]);
            }
 
            $searchResults = $this->array_zip_merge($searchResults);
            $searchResults = array_filter($searchResults);
        }
 
        if ($rsx == 'XMLHttpRequest') {
            $rta = [];
            foreach ($searchResults as $s) {
                $rta[] = array(
                    'name' => $s['name'],
                    'date' => $s['updated_at'],
                    'link' => $s['link'],
                );
            }
            return json_encode($rta);
        }
 
        return view('search_results',['pagination'=>$pagination,'q'=>$q, 'searchResults'=>$searchResults]);
}
 
private function array_zip_merge($args) {
        $output = array();
        // The loop incrementer takes each array out of the loop as it gets emptied by array_shift().
        for ($args = $args; count($args); $args = array_filter($args)) {
            // &$arg allows array_shift() to change the original.
            foreach ($args as &$arg) {
                $output[] = array_shift($arg);
            }
        }
        return $output;
}

These resources were really helpful in getting everything set-up

https://laravel.com/docs/8.x/scout
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-and-configure-sphinx-on-ubuntu-14-04
https://sam-ngu.medium.com/site-wide-search-in-laravel-with-scout-27bbdc75ae8
https://github.com/franksierra/OSMServer

Published inPHPScripting

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