(I wrote this post on January 22 and left it in my drafts, probably because I started to write something on my first day usage but didn’t get into the meat of it. I’m putting this up now to try to motivate myself to continue writing in the series, which may in turn motivate me to actually figure out if Open Semantic Search will actually ultimately do the things I’d like it to. -Erin, Feb. 20 2017)
I’ve spent a little less than a day working with Open Semantic Search’s desktop version. I’m starting to form an opinion of it.
It starts like this: the primary fucking download link is broken.
Okay, sure, that’s probably a simple thing. It was available from the mirror, which is the next link down. But it doesn’t reflect well for a project whose primary draw is finding your stuff.
Like with every project ever, open source or not, the documentation leaves something to be desired. Unfortunately, because it comes as an appliance, there’s an essentially no discoverability, so the documentation is necessary but isn’t sufficient.
In case anybody involved with Open Semantic Search ever comes across this: thank you for the “Getting Started” page prior to the Installation page in Administration. Mentioning that choice up front is helpful. Unfortunately I nearly immediately got that page confused with the “Getting Started” under Usage, which starts with an installed and configured and running instance that you’ve already found the interface for.
I’m telegraphing the problems I had.
After finding a working download link and getting everything imported and configured and running, this is what you’re presented with:
I figured it probably needed to index for a while so I just let it do that overnight. When I checked on it after lunch, I found that it had run out of space on its 60GB virtual disk–while indexing only a fairly small amount of what I ultimately wanted it to.
Though this isn’t the fault of the Open Semantic Search folks, my investigation into how you expand the size of the VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) that the OVA exported into revealed that resizing Virtualbox disks is bullshit. IT ISN’T A REAL DISK. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PARTITION MANAGE IT WITHOUT DOWNLOADING A GPARTED ISO.
There is a way to configure the shared drives in the appliance so that the index just lives on the host machine. That may be what I do if I try this again.