LocalBrit Search Built In 24 Hours

    July 24, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Rome may not have been built in a day, to quote an obvious saying, but the search engine at LocalBrit.co.uk moved from scratch to launch in that time.

Marathon coding sessions have been a time-honored tradition in the world of programming. Jolt Cola, pepperoni pizza, and a burning desire have been enough to push a determined hacker to create something from scratch.

Developer Ahmed Farooq of iBegin had an available datasource, and the motivation to build LocalBrit, a United Kingdom local search engine. He hit the ground running at 8 am local time, and except for the stemming technology he already had, created the site in a day.

He provided a running timeline of his work beginning after getting his dog to shut up and starting work. These are a few excerpts from his work:

8:10 am – wrote data importer. Takes data in text format and throws it into split mysql databases.
8:20 am – first peak of frontpage design. Happy. Need inner page done, and then cut.
8:27 am – received spam email. Good to know the world is still spinning
10:01 am – first ‘set’ of data is being synchronized. Blazing fast. Goody
10:02 am – Dammit. Artifacts in the db – duplicate db. Have to restart process.
2:43 pm – Still hunting Geocoding. This is a problemo.
12:56 am – Back. Daily Show and Colbert Report are most hilarious.
2:10 am – Bah. Some error in my processing, invalid SQL queries

And so on. Farooq did take some time off for sleep, from 2:58 am to 7:24 am. After returning from his little break, he addressed a couple of issues with the database and the query. When 8:01 am rolled around, Farooq declared himself winner.

LocalBrit offers a very straightforward interface. Find [blank] in [blank] and hit enter. The results return on the right side of the page, while a Google map appears next to that. Business information comes from a database that Farooq said fell into his lap “about a week ago, by what can only be described as a freak series of coincidences.”

Now it is up and running. It isn’t perfect, but it can find pubs in Brighton and umbrellas in Sheffield. The question now is what will Farooq do for an encore?


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.