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From "Shai Erera" <>
Subject Re: Moving SweetSpotSimilarity out of contrib
Date Wed, 03 Sep 2008 12:32:32 GMT
Thanks all for the "legal" comments.

Can we consider moving the SweetSpotSimilarity to "core" because of the
quality improvements it introduces to search? I tried to emphasize that
that's the main reason, but perhaps I didn't do a good job at that, since
the discussion has turned into a legal issue :-).

On Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Nadav Har'El <>wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 02, 2008, Chris Hostetter wrote about "Re: Moving
> SweetSpotSimilarity out of contrib":
> >
> > : >From a legal standpoint, whenever we need to use open-source code,
> somebody
> > : has to inspect the code and 'approve' it. This inspection makes sure
> there's
> > : no use of 3rd party libraries, to which we'd need to get open-source
> > : clearance as well.
> >
> > You should talk to whomever you need to talk to at your company about
> > revising the appraoch you are taking -- the core vs contrib distinction
> in
> > Lucene-Java is one of our own making that is completly artificial.  With
> > Lucene 2.4 we could decide to split what is currently known as the "core"
> > into 27 different directories, none of which are called core, and all of
> > which have an interdependency on eachother.  We're not likely to, but we
> > could -- and then where woud your company be?
> I can't really defend the lawyers (sometimes you get the feeling that they
> are out to slow you down, rather than help you :( ), but let me try to
> explain
> where this sort of thinking comes from, because I think it is actually
> quite
> common.
> Lucene makes the claim that it has the "apache license", so that any
> company
> can (to make a long story short) use this code. But when a company sets out
> to use Lucene, can it take this claim at face value? After all, what
> happens
> if somebody steals some proprietary code and puts it up on the web claiming
> it
> has the apache license - does it give the users of that stolen code any
> rights? Of course not, because the rights weren't the distributor's to give
> out in the first place.
> So it is quite natural that when a company wants to use use some
> open-source
> code it doesn't take the license at face value, and rather does some "due
> diligance" to verify that the people who published this code really owned
> the rights to it. E.g., the company lawyers might want to do some
> background
> checks on the committers, look at the project's history (e.g., that it
> doesn't
> have some "out of the blue" donations from vague sources), check the code
> and
> comments for suspicious strings, patterns, and so on.
> When you need to inspect the code, naturally you need to decide what you
> inspect. This particular company chose to inspect only the Lucene core,
> perhaps because it is smaller, has fewer contributors, and has the vast
> majority of what most Lucene users need. Inspecting all the contrib - with
> all its foreign language analyzers, stuff like gdata and other rarely used
> stuff - may be too hard for them. But then, the question I would ask is -
> why not inspect the core *and* the few contribs that interest you? For
> example, SweetSpotSimilarity (which you need) and other generally useful
> stuff like Highlighter and SnowballAnalyzer.
> > Doing this would actually be a complete reversal of the goals discussed
> in
> > the near past:  increasing our use of the contrib structure for new
> > features that aren't inherently tied to the "guts" of Lucene.  The goal
> > being to keep the "core" jar as small as possible for people who want to
> > develop apps with a small foot print.
> I agree that this is an important goal.
> > At one point there was even talk of refactoring additional code out of
> the
> > core and into a contrib (this was already done with some analyzers when
> > Lucene became a TLP)
> --
> Nadav Har'El                        |      Wednesday, Sep  3 2008, 3 Elul
> 5768
> IBM Haifa Research Lab
>  |-----------------------------------------
>                                    |Promises are like babies: fun to make,
>           |but hell to deliver.
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