Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Haystack is a product for Plone used to do auto-classification of content. I've talked about it a little bit before but never given much of an introduction to it before.

Haystack is built around libots which is available for many platforms. ots is a set of Python bindings to the library and I've made it available on cheeseshop. This means you can ez_install its

easy_install ots

or you can grab it yourself from either:

cheeseshop or from svn

After that you'll want to get Haystack, the product for Plone that will get you started.

Once that is installed you'll have access to a new portlet that will show you the interrelationships between content on the system and a tool that will give you more control over the analysis of content.

Of interest:

haystack_tool.summarize(unicode, asHTML=False, ...)
return either a unicode or html highlited summary of the text you passed in

haystack_tool.topics(unicode, count=5, ...)
return a list of topics extracted from the content

Its pretty simple to things like auto suggest keywords/subjects with this tool and Bling in conjunction. Topic maps and other fun things are pretty simple as well. As it gets more use there are many options to expand on the kind of classification and clustering that are available.

Have Fun


Anonymous said...

Sounds very promising, however install fails with actual Plone 2.5 and Zope 2.9.3:

2006-06-29T09:05:15 ERROR Zope Couldn't install Haystack
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/opt/Zope-2.9.3/lib/python/OFS/Application.py", line 790, in install_product
File "/var/Zope-2.9.3/Products/Haystack/__init__.py", line 34, in initialize
import tools
File "/var/Zope-2.9.3/Products/Haystack/tools/__init__.py", line 7, in ?
import HaystackTool
File "/var/Zope-2.9.3/Products/Haystack/tools/HaystackTool.py", line 61
def topics(self, unicode, count=5, config.DEFAULT_LANGUAGE):
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
(I have installed libots, pyrex and ots)

Anonymous said...

Interesting project!

Unfortunately I could checkout Haystack from SVN

I tried:
svn co http://svn.objectrealms.net/view/public/haystack/trunk/Haystack/ HayStack

svn co http://svn.objectrealms.net/public/haystack/trunk/Haystack/ HayStack

but no luck.

Also couldn't compile ots on OS X, sigh...

Would be nice to see HayStack become newbie friendly some day.

Anonymous said...

we are using it in a production server we set up to cover the Mexican elections using Python 2.4.3, Zope 2.9.3 and Plone 2.1.3 with no problems.

we have served up to 60,000 visitors a day using CacheFu in a quite small machine.

BTW, the site is in Spanish language.

Anonymous said...

I'am very interested in this product.
Could you give us a working link?
I have tried svn and had a look at http://objectrealms.net/projects but nothing works.

Anonymous said...

any update on availability of haystack from svn?

Sohrab said...

I can't get the Haystack product for plone. Has the SVN url changed?

I got the files anyway from http://svn.objectrealms.net/view/public/browser/archived/haystack/trunk/Haystack
but that doesn't seem to install.

Any help regarding where to get the tool that works and/or how-to?

Unknown said...

You wouldn't happen to have once lived in West Virgina once a long time ago.

My name is Ralph

if not I apologize.

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