Lute Search Refinements

TL;DR checkout the improved search experience.

A user contacted me asking how they could search for a given composer (Anthony Holborne), a given type of music (galliard), and then further refinements based on other properties (title, key etc.). Before, you could add all these search terms in the input and get relevant results. But results would include pieces by Holborne that weren’t galliards, and galliards not by Holborne.

Luckily for me, there has been a recent update to Meilisearch, the underlying search engine, that allows us to create “facets” and search through them. The user is now able to further refine their search with a UI that looks like this:

Refinements UI


The UI implementation is greatly simplified by react-instantsearch-dom from Algolia. However, I noticed that the lib is now deprecated in favour of react-instantsearch. So I took this opportunity to upgrade, which had some nice improvements around styling elements.

Previously, I was styling the class name in my css file, but now we can style within the jsx like this:

    item: 'w-max space-x-1 bg-teal-400 dark:bg-teal-600 rounded px-2 py-1',
    category: 'space-x-1 block',
    list: 'space-y-1',


To update my Meilisearch deployment, I just needed to bump the tag in my docker compose file and run docker compose up -d. To enable the refinements feature, I needed to update my Rust code that seeds Meilisearch, adding the properties I want the user to be able to filter on. That was a simple as this:

index.set_filterable_attributes(["difficulty", "date", "composer", "type_of_piece", "key"])

And then it all just works and is extremely fast!


If you are interested in seeing the diffs, here is the frontend code and the seeding code.