More about Open Source

oOpen Source describes software where the source code is freely available.

Common examples of Open Source software projects include the Linux operating system, the Mozilla Firefox web browser, a powerful alternative to Microsoft Office called Libre Office and indeed many of the programs that run the Internet.

In practical terms Open Source software has a different licence to closed source software: this license usually means that no one company can lock up and control the software. Users of Open Source software are able to inspect how it works and modify and improve the software (or engage others to do this for them) and are encouraged to contribute their changes back to the wider community. This collaborative and open process can lead to very stable, well tested code with few if any hidden flaws.

Contrary to what some (closed source) software companies would have you believe, Open Source software can also offer better security as the algorithms used can be tested and verified in the open. The Flax Team believe that Open Source software is the best choice for implementing search engines, as it allows for rapid, flexible development based on proven technology.

Our software

Our Github account holds the software we publish as open source. This includes the Lucene index explorer tool Marple, the Clade taxonomy/classification system, the Luwak stored search system, the BioSolr project, and patches and plugins for search engines including Apache Lucene/Solr and Elasticsearch. We welcome pull requests and contributions!

Below is a selection of the open source software we use.

Apache Lucene Apache Solr


Elasticsearch Xapian


Scrapy Python


AngularJS Hadoop


Samza Kafka