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From Grant Ingersoll <>
Subject Re: [jira] Commented: (LUCENE-1473) Implement Externalizable in main top level searcher classes
Date Wed, 03 Dec 2008 22:52:48 GMT

On Dec 3, 2008, at 2:27 PM, Jason Rutherglen (JIRA) wrote:

> Hoss wrote: "sort of mythical "Lucene powerhouse"
> Lucene seems to run itself quite differently than other open source  
> Java projects.  Perhaps it would be good to spell out the reasons  
> for the reluctance to move ahead with features that developers work  
> on, that work, but do not go in.  The developer contributions seem  
> to be quite low right now, especially compared to neighbor projects  
> such as Hadoop.  Is this because fewer people are using Lucene?  Or  
> is it due to the reluctance to work with the developer community?   
> Unfortunately the perception in the eyes of some people who work on  
> search related projects it is the latter.

Or, could it be that Hadoop is relatively new and in vogue at the  
moment, very malleable and buggy(?) and has a HUGE corporate sponsor  
who dedicates lots of resources to it on a full time basis, whilst  
Lucene has been around in the ASF for 7+ years (and 12+ years total)  
and has a really large install base and thus must move more  
deliberately and basically has 1 person who gets to work on it full  
time while the rest of us pretty much volunteer?    That's not an  
excuse, it's just the way it is.  I personally, would love to work on  
Lucene all day every day as I have a lot of things I'd love to engage  
the community on, but the fact is I'm not paid to do that, so I give  
what I can when I can.  I know most of the other committers are that  
way too.

Thus, I don't think any one of us has a reluctance to move ahead with  
features or bug fixes.   Looking at CHANGES.txt, I see a lot of  
contributors.  Looking at java-dev and JIRA, I see lots of engagement  
with the community.  Is it near the historical high for traffic, no  
it's not, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I think it's a sign  
that Lucene is pretty stable.

What we do have a reluctance for are patches that don't have tests  
(i.e. this one), patches that massively change Lucene APIs in non- 
trivial ways or break back compatibility or are not kept up to date.   
Are we perfect?  Of course not.  I, personally, would love for there  
to be a way that helps us process a larger volume of patches (note, I  
didn't say commit a larger volume).  Hadoop's automated patch tester  
would be a huge start in that, but at the end of the day, Lucene still  
works the way all ASF projects do: via meritocracy and  
volunteerism.     You want stuff committed, keep it up to date, make  
it manageable to review, document it, respond to questions/concerns  
with answers as best you can.  To that end, a real simple question can  
go a long way and getting something committed, and it simply is:  "Hey  
Lucener's,  what else can I do to help you review and commit LUCENE- 
XXXX?"  Lather, rinse, repeat.   Next thing you know, you'll be on the  
receiving end as a committer.


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