How to index documents¶
Creating an Index object¶
To create an index in a directory, use
import os, os.path from whoosh import index if not os.path.exists("indexdir"): os.mkdir("indexdir") ix = index.create_in("indexdir", schema)
To open an existing index in a directory, use
import whoosh.index as index ix = index.open_dir("indexdir")
These are convenience methods for:
from whoosh.filedb.filestore import FileStorage storage = FileStorage("indexdir") # Create an index ix = storage.create_index(schema) # Open an existing index storage.open_index()
The schema you created the index with is pickled and stored with the index.
You can keep multiple indexes in the same directory using the indexname keyword argument:
# Using the convenience functions ix = index.create_in("indexdir", schema=schema, indexname="usages") ix = index.open_dir("indexdir", indexname="usages") # Using the Storage object ix = storage.create_index(schema, indexname="usages") ix = storage.open_index(indexname="usages")
Clearing the index¶
index.create_in on a directory with an existing index will clear the
current contents of the index.
To test whether a directory currently contains a valid index, use
exists = index.exists_in("indexdir") usages_exists = index.exists_in("indexdir", indexname="usages")
(Alternatively you can simply delete the index’s files from the directory, e.g.
if you only have one index in the directory, use
shutil.rmtree to remove the
directory and then recreate it.)
Once you’ve created an
Index object, you can add documents to the index with an
IndexWriter object. The easiest way to get the
IndexWriter is to call
ix = index.open_dir("index") writer = ix.writer()
Creating a writer locks the index for writing, so only one thread/process at a time can have a writer open.
Because opening a writer locks the index for writing, in a multi-threaded
or multi-process environment your code needs to be aware that opening a
writer may raise an exception (
whoosh.store.LockError) if a writer is
already open. Whoosh includes a couple of example implementations
whoosh.writing.BufferedWriter) of ways to work around the write
While the writer is open and during the commit, the index is still available for reading. Existing readers are unaffected and new readers can open the current index normally. Once the commit is finished, existing readers continue to see the previous version of the index (that is, they do not automatically see the newly committed changes). New readers will see the updated index.
add_document(**kwargs) method accepts keyword arguments
where the field name is mapped to a value:
writer = ix.writer() writer.add_document(title=u"My document", content=u"This is my document!", path=u"/a", tags=u"first short", icon=u"/icons/star.png") writer.add_document(title=u"Second try", content=u"This is the second example.", path=u"/b", tags=u"second short", icon=u"/icons/sheep.png") writer.add_document(title=u"Third time's the charm", content=u"Examples are many.", path=u"/c", tags=u"short", icon=u"/icons/book.png") writer.commit()
You don’t have to fill in a value for every field. Whoosh doesn’t care if you leave out a field from a document.
Indexed fields must be passed a unicode value. Fields that are stored but not
indexed (i.e. the
STORED field type) can be passed any pickle-able object.
Whoosh will happily allow you to add documents with identical values, which can be useful or annoying depending on what you’re using the library for:
writer.add_document(path=u"/a", title=u"A", content=u"Hello there") writer.add_document(path=u"/a", title=u"A", content=u"Deja vu!")
This adds two documents to the index with identical path and title fields. See
“updating documents” below for information on the
update_document method, which
uses “unique” fields to replace old documents instead of appending.
Indexing and storing different values for the same field¶
If you have a field that is both indexed and stored, you can index a unicode
value but store a different object if necessary (it’s usually not, but sometimes
this is really useful) using a “special” keyword argument
The normal value will be analyzed and indexed, but the “stored” value will show
up in the results:
writer.add_document(title=u"Title to be indexed", _stored_title=u"Stored title")
Finishing adding documents¶
IndexWriter object is kind of like a database transaction. You specify a
bunch of changes to the index, and then “commit” them all at once.
commit() on the
IndexWriter saves the added documents to the
Once your documents are in the index, you can search for them.
If you want to close the writer without committing the changes, call
cancel() instead of
Keep in mind that while you have a writer open (including a writer you opened
and is still in scope), no other thread or process can get a writer or modify
the index. A writer also keeps several open files. So you should always remember
to call either
cancel() when you’re done with a writer object.
filedb index is really a container for one or more “sub-indexes”
called segments. When you add documents to an index, instead of integrating the
new documents with the existing documents (which could potentially be very
expensive, since it involves resorting all the indexed terms on disk), Whoosh
creates a new segment next to the existing segment. Then when you search the
index, Whoosh searches both segments individually and merges the results so the
segments appear to be one unified index. (This smart design is copied from
So, having a few segments is more efficient than rewriting the entire index
every time you add some documents. But searching multiple segments does slow
down searching somewhat, and the more segments you have, the slower it gets. So
Whoosh has an algorithm that runs when you call
commit() that looks for small
segments it can merge together to make fewer, bigger segments.
To prevent Whoosh from merging segments during a commit, use the
To merge all segments together, optimizing the index into a single segment,
optimize keyword argument:
Since optimizing rewrites all the information in the index, it can be slow on a large index. It’s generally better to rely on Whoosh’s merging algorithm than to optimize all the time.
Index object also has an
optimize() method that lets you optimize the
index (merge all the segments together). It simply creates a writer and calls
commit(optimize=True) on it.)
For more control over segment merging, you can write your own merge policy
function and use it as an argument to the
commit() method. See the
implementation of the
You can delete documents using the following methods on an
object. You then need to call
commit() on the writer to save the deletions
Low-level method to delete a document by its internal document number.
Low-level method, returns
Trueif the document with the given internal number is deleted.
Deletes any documents where the given (indexed) field contains the given term. This is mostly useful for
Deletes any documents that match the given query.
# Delete document by its path -- this field must be indexed ix.delete_by_term('path', u'/a/b/c') # Save the deletion to disk ix.commit()
filedb backend, “deleting” a document simply adds the document number
to a list of deleted documents stored with the index. When you search the index,
it knows not to return deleted documents in the results. However, the document’s
contents are still stored in the index, and certain statistics (such as term
document frequencies) are not updated, until you merge the segments containing
deleted documents (see merging above). (This is because removing the information
immediately from the index would essentially involving rewriting the entire
index on disk, which would be very inefficient.)
If you want to “replace” (re-index) a document, you can delete the old document
using one of the
delete_* methods on
IndexWriter, then use
IndexWriter.add_document to add the new version. Or, you can use
IndexWriter.update_document to do this in one step.
update_document to work, you must have marked at least one of the fields
in the schema as “unique”. Whoosh will then use the contents of the “unique”
field(s) to search for documents to delete:
from whoosh.fields import Schema, ID, TEXT schema = Schema(path = ID(unique=True), content=TEXT) ix = index.create_in("index") writer = ix.writer() writer.add_document(path=u"/a", content=u"The first document") writer.add_document(path=u"/b", content=u"The second document") writer.commit() writer = ix.writer() # Because "path" is marked as unique, calling update_document with path="/a" # will delete any existing documents where the "path" field contains "/a". writer.update_document(path=u"/a", content="Replacement for the first document") writer.commit()
The “unique” field(s) must be indexed.
If no existing document matches the unique fields of the document you’re
update_document acts just like
“Unique” fields and
update_document are simply convenient shortcuts for deleting
and adding. Whoosh has no inherent concept of a unique identifier, and in no way
enforces uniqueness when you use
When you’re indexing a collection of documents, you’ll often want two code paths: one to index all the documents from scratch, and one to only update the documents that have changed (leaving aside web applications where you need to add/update documents according to user actions).
Indexing everything from scratch is pretty easy. Here’s a simple example:
import os.path from whoosh import index from whoosh.fields import Schema, ID, TEXT def clean_index(dirname): # Always create the index from scratch ix = index.create_in(dirname, schema=get_schema()) writer = ix.writer() # Assume we have a function that gathers the filenames of the # documents to be indexed for path in my_docs(): add_doc(writer, path) writer.commit() def get_schema() return Schema(path=ID(unique=True, stored=True), content=TEXT) def add_doc(writer, path): fileobj = open(path, "rb") content = fileobj.read() fileobj.close() writer.add_document(path=path, content=content)
Now, for a small collection of documents, indexing from scratch every time might actually be fast enough. But for large collections, you’ll want to have the script only re-index the documents that have changed.
To start we’ll need to store each document’s last-modified time, so we can check if the file has changed. In this example, we’ll just use the mtime for simplicity:
def get_schema() return Schema(path=ID(unique=True, stored=True), time=STORED, content=TEXT) def add_doc(writer, path): fileobj = open(path, "rb") content = fileobj.read() fileobj.close() modtime = os.path.getmtime(path) writer.add_document(path=path, content=content, time=modtime)
Now we can modify the script to allow either “clean” (from scratch) or incremental indexing:
def index_my_docs(dirname, clean=False): if clean: clean_index(dirname) else: incremental_index(dirname) def incremental_index(dirname) ix = index.open_dir(dirname) # The set of all paths in the index indexed_paths = set() # The set of all paths we need to re-index to_index = set() with ix.searcher() as searcher: writer = ix.writer() # Loop over the stored fields in the index for fields in searcher.all_stored_fields(): indexed_path = fields['path'] indexed_paths.add(indexed_path) if not os.path.exists(indexed_path): # This file was deleted since it was indexed writer.delete_by_term('path', indexed_path) else: # Check if this file was changed since it # was indexed indexed_time = fields['time'] mtime = os.path.getmtime(indexed_path) if mtime > indexed_time: # The file has changed, delete it and add it to the list of # files to reindex writer.delete_by_term('path', indexed_path) to_index.add(indexed_path) # Loop over the files in the filesystem # Assume we have a function that gathers the filenames of the # documents to be indexed for path in my_docs(): if path in to_index or path not in indexed_paths: # This is either a file that's changed, or a new file # that wasn't indexed before. So index it! add_doc(writer, path) writer.commit()
- Loops through all the paths that are currently indexed.
- If any of the files no longer exist, delete the corresponding document from the index.
- If the file still exists, but has been modified, add it to the list of paths to be re-indexed.
- If the file exists, whether it’s been modified or not, add it to the list of all indexed paths.
- Loops through all the paths of the files on disk.
- If a path is not in the set of all indexed paths, the file is new and we need to index it.
- If a path is in the set of paths to re-index, we need to index it.
- Otherwise, we can skip indexing the file.
Clearing the index¶
In some cases you may want to re-index from scratch. To clear the index without disrupting any existing readers:
from whoosh import writing with myindex.writer() as mywriter: # You can optionally add documents to the writer here # e.g. mywriter.add_document(...) # Using mergetype=CLEAR clears all existing segments so the index will # only have any documents you've added to this writer mywriter.mergetype = writing.CLEAR
Or, if you don’t use the writer as a context manager and call
directly, do it like this:
mywriter = myindex.writer() # ... mywriter.commit(mergetype=writing.CLEAR)
If you don’t need to worry about existing readers, a more efficient method is to simply delete the contents of the index directory and start over.