The release day of Meilisearch v1 has come and gone. We presented the major changes in our latest version and we spoke at length about all the features you get when you use Meilisearch. Today we give the spotlight to Guillaume Mourier, our Product Manager.
Guillaume’s role is strategic in nature, and that comes with the privilege of having a very good idea about Meilisearch’s future, and how we plan to reach our destination.
Planning Meilisearch’s first stable release
The process for v1 was a bit different compared to the past. This time, Guillaume tells us, the focus was not on including new features or even fixing major issues, but rather on the stability of the product and its API. He believes developers and businesses must have a predictable and stable product—they need to know they can depend on Meilisearch for their daily work. Our ever growing user-base also pointed towards this need. More and more people have grown to rely on our product, and it is our responsibility to not disappoint them.
Because of that, Guillaume planned 2022 as a year heavily focused on stabilization and performance optimization. To give our users the reliability they needed, we had to stop making changes that required programmers altering their workflows or reworking parts of their application. The first step was revising the API so it remained easy to use while serving as a solid and flexible base for new features. The second was adding more fundamental functionality. And the last, but certainly not the least important, was to find ways of improving performance and stabilizing the command-line interface.
Now these strong foundations have been implemented, Guillaume is very excited to start planning and implementing new features. It is time to move into a new era.
It’s the little things that matter
Now v1 is online, Guillaume wants to iron out a longer-term roadmap—there are quite a lot of ideas already, but in Meilisearch’s new development phase we need to be more careful. Users will certainly be more vigilant and demanding as they follow our next steps.
In terms of new features, Guillaume has his sights on a few quality of life improvements.
First of all, he wants to focus on bringing multi-index search to Meilisearch. This much-requested feature would make it easier to create unified search experiences in applications pooling data from many different indexes. This is also sort of a pet project of his: multi-index search has been in the works for some time and it was with a heavy heart he deprioritized it in 2022.
Multi-index search will be released in incremental iterations. A first iteration will make it possible to send multiple search queries in a single HTTP call. This lays down the foundation for the following step: to release a new iteration that natively aggregates search results from different indexes into a single list.
Another area ripe for incremental improvements is Meilisearch's faceted search, which could be much simpler and more intuitive. For example, it is not possible today to sort facet values by the number of matched documents or their name. It is also impossible to search among the facet values themselves. Guillaume is enthusiastic about finding solutions to these problems—he assures us both things will soon be possible with Meilisearch.
Planning and pacing
As the Product Manager, Guillaume needs to think not only about new features, but about Meilisearch’s development process. He believes our current product development cycle is too short, which means we tend to be trapped in a constant rush, running from release to release without enough time to properly think everything through.
He’s very excited with the chance releasing v1 gives him: being able to plan things better, trial more features with users for a longer period of time, and reflect more on the valuable feedback our community gives us. Taking the time for all that enables us to start working more efficiently and prepare things much earlier.
What about semantic and AI-powered search?
Recently, there has been widespread hype in the field of semantic search and natural language processing. Guillaume says it's an area we're following closely. Though these ideas might be very exciting, it is definitely challenging to provide contextualized and personalized search to end users while maintaining excellent performance and keeping Meilisearch a tool developers love to use.
In the future, Meilisearch could evolve to a hybrid search service, uniting the best of both worlds. For now, however, we are focused on continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have created with v1.0.
We hope that piqued your interest—if so, stay tuned for more information on the future of search!
Remember, you can get started with Meilisearch v1 in just a few minutes—everything works out of the box, no configuration required. Want more? We also have a handy Quick Start guide on our documentation website.