Instantsearch-electron, a boilerplate for desktop search applications

At the last Search Party I introduced a new project called instantsearch-electron. instantsearch-electron adds React InstantSearch on top of electron-react-boilerplate, so that you have search functionality and an excellent desktop application development environment all in one place.

I was working on an app that uses these technologies and decided to factor out what I had done into a boilerplate and share it.

:camera_with_flash: Screenshot

By default, the boilerplate is configured to point to an index of famous quotations, and includes a basic set of React InstantSearch components - a search box, a refinement list for quote nationality, and a refinement list for author. Pointing to a different Algolia index is just a matter of changing keys and attribute names, and adding/removing search widgets is easy if you have basic knowledge of React. See the React InstantSearch documentation to learn how.

:arrow_down: Download and run (no coding required!)

For each tagged release of the boilerplate, I have been uploading a downloadable macOS zip and DMG file. The boilerplate creates all of these using just a single NPM command, which is really handy.

Download and install the DMG and you’ll see a new application on your computer called InstantSearch. For non-Mac users, there is not a direct download, but you can easily build for your platform by following the packaging instructions from the boilerplate.

This will be the quote searching application in the screenshot above. If you are a quotes geek like me, you might find the app useful. There are over 175,000 quotes in the index that it searches, including author, date, keywords and nationality attributes.

:card_index: Use with any Algolia index

While the quotes are nice, there are many more types of data that you could search. You can use this with any Algolia index that you maintain. If you search some indices many, many times a day, you might find a desktop experience more ergonomic and productive than doing it from a browser tab that stays open all day.

:pray: Contributing

Feedback and contributions are very welcome. If someone has some desktop app design experience, I would love to get your thoughts on how to make the boilerplate look and feel as native as possible. I also think an optional menu bar experience could be cool.

:ping_pong: Challenge

Download and install the app, then search and find a cool quote and post it in a reply below.