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From d-fader <>
Subject Partial / starts with searching
Date Thu, 05 Feb 2009 09:17:10 GMT

I'm new to this list, so please don't be too harsh if I missed some 
rules or something. Since about half a year I'm using Lucene and I think 
it's awesome, respect for all your efforts!

Maybe the 'issue' I'm addressing now is discussed thouroughly already, 
in that case I think I need some redirection to the sources of those 
discussions :) Anyway, here's the thing.
For all I know it's impossible to search partial words with Lucene 
(except the asterix method with e.g. the StandardAnalyzer -> ambul* to 
find ambulance). My problem with that method is that my index consists 
of quite a few terms. This means that if a user would search for 'ambu 
amster' (ambulance amsterdam), there will be so many terms to search, 
it's not doable. Now I started thinking why it's impossible to search 
only a 'part' of a term or even only the 'start' of a term and the only 
reason I could think of was that the Index terms are stored tokenized 
(in that way you (of course) can't find partial terms, since the index 
actually doesn't contain the literal terms, but tokens instead). But 
Lucene can also store all terms untokenized, so in that case a partial 
search would be possible in my humble opinion, since all terms would be 
stored 'literally'.

Maybe my thinking is wrong, I only have a black box view of Lucene, so I 
don't know much about indexing algorithm and all, but I just want to 
know if this could be done or else why not :) You see, the users of my 
index want to know why they can't search parts of the words they enter 
and I still can't give them a really good answer, except the 'it would 
result in too many OR operators in the query' statement :)

Thanks in advance!


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