Yahoo! just announced that they are opening up their search engine
for people to re-rank and augment search results to create custom search engines. I saw an early version of this feature (named Yahoo! BOSS), and have been anticipating the release. Unsuprisingly, I think that some of the popular blogs are wrong about BOSS.
. BOSS is a good addition, but the really creative parts are still just vapor.
The most perplexing coverage is both CNET
somehow confusing BOSS with open source. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do you not get the source code to Yahoo!'s search algorithm, you are forbidden from trying to reverse-engineer it. It is true that Yahoo! contributes various technology to the open-source community, and a Yahoo! engineer recently won the TeraSort benchmark
using the open-source platform upon which Yahoo! search runs. But the actual ranking and indexing algorithms are Yahoo! search's crown jewels, and they would be crazy to give those away. Perhaps people are just confused because "BOSS" ends in "OSS"?