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Microsoft releases open source projects from Bing Search

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Months after pleasing developers with the codes of its software packages, Microsoft has now started open sourcing its Bing Search. The company has released the algorithm and code of BitFunnel full-text search system that powers the web engine.

Microsoft is sharing the project source in bricks and pieces. The components shared so far are quite minimal. However, the software giant is regularly sharing the code and data on a GitHub page.

“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,” explains Michael Hopcroft, founding member of BitFunnel at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Microsoft’s BitFunnel text search and retrieval system can be a great case study for developers. The Redmond company is expecting support from developers community to improve the project. But the published code is currently in an incomplete state and there is company hasn’t shared any documentation.

In addition to BitFunnel, Microsoft has open sourced a text editor tool, WorkBench. It is generally used for preparing the text for BitFunnel.

Microsoft is also making a major contribution to the open source world by publishing NativeJIT — a C++ program that transforms C data structures into optimised assembly code. NativeJIT was originally developed to store documents in Bing’s database. The program identifies keyword matches in queries and stores data in cluster partitions. The source code is presently in a rudimentary state. Developers need to deal with changes if they call other items via NativeJIT’s CallNode method.