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From DM Smith <dmsmith...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Lucene's default settings & back compatibility
Date Fri, 22 May 2009 19:37:35 GMT
Michael McCandless wrote:
> Well... I would expect & hope Lucene's adoption is growing with time,
> so the number of new users should increase on each release.  For a
> healthy project that's relatively young compared to its potential user
> base, that growth should be exponential.
>
> And, I'd expect the vast majority of old users don't ever upgrade.
>
> Furthermore, when a reviewer (typically a "new user") tests Lucene
> against other search engines, and fails to check our Wiki for all the
> things we all know you have to do to get good search or indexing
> performance, and then reports in a well-read blog somewhere that
> Lucene's performance isn't great when compared to other search
> engines, and lots of other people read that, cite it, share it, etc.,
> those people are less inclined to try Lucene.  This then stunts
> Lucene's growth.
>   
I would think a reviewer would have to read something other than just 
javadocs to figure out how to set up Lucene. While the javadocs are 
good, and getting better, I did not find them helpful at first. The 
class-at-a-time approach to documentation is too fragmented for me. So, 
what is it that they use that leads to such unfavorable results?

> Yes, we all sit here and say "well that's not a fair review because
> you didn't properly tune Lucene", yet, this kind of thing happens all
> the time.  If Lucene had better defaults out of the box it'd reduce
> how often that happens.
>
> Mike
>
> On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 2:49 PM, DM Smith <dmsmith555@gmail.com> wrote:
>   
>> Michael McCandless wrote:
>>     
>>> On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 2:27 PM, DM Smith <dmsmith555@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>       
>>>> Marvin Humphrey wrote:
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>>>> I feel the opposite: I'd like new users to see improvements by
>>>>>> default, and users that require strict back-compate to ask for that.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> By "strict back-compat", do you mean "people who would like their search
>>>>> app to
>>>>> not fail silently"? ;)  A "new user" who follows your advice...
>>>>>
>>>>>  // haha stupid noob   StandardAnalyzer analyzer = new
>>>>> StandardAnalyzer(Versons.LATEST);
>>>>>
>>>>> ... is going to get screwed when the default tokenization behavior
>>>>> changes.
>>>>> And it would be much worse if we follow my preference for making the
arg
>>>>> optional without following my preference for keeping defaults intact:
>>>>>
>>>>>  // haha eat it luser   StandardAnalyzer analyzer = new
>>>>> StandardAnalyzer();
>>>>>
>>>>> It's either make the arg mandatory when changing default behavior and
>>>>> recommend that new users pass a fixed argument, or make it optional but
>>>>> keep
>>>>> defaults intact between major releases.
>>>>>
>>>>>           
>>>> I think I see your point: A new user is such only for the first release
>>>> that
>>>> they use Lucene. For a first use, there is no backward compatibility
>>>> problem. On the use of a subsequent release, their code still gets the
>>>> latest and greatest and now by the choice they were guided to make, they
>>>> may
>>>> have broken backward compatibility.
>>>>
>>>> So for any user, the only save, thus acceptable use is to never have
>>>> Versions.LATEST, but only a specific version.
>>>>
>>>>         
>>> Right, we would have to not provide Versions.LATEST, ie if you want
>>> latest, you'd pick Versions.LUCENE_29 (in 2.9).
>>>       
>> Why go to all this trouble for a new user?
>>
>> Let's pretend that there are 1,000 new users every release. After 12
>> releases, there are still only 1000 new users but now 11000 old users.
>>
>> How does it help an old user?
>>
>> Those 11000 old users now have to update their code to Versions.Lucene_301
>> (or whatever the latest is) to get the latest changes, but they are also
>> going to have to understand what that means and figure out what parts of
>> their application now behave in a broken manner. Where are they to go to
>> find out that info? CHANGES.txt?
>>
>> When I was a new user, I had to look at example code, read faqs, wiki,
>> javadoc, java-users .... It was a learning curve, fortunately not steep.
>>
>> Don't those resources need to be maintained so as to match the
>> best/recommended practices? Can't that be the place where new users are
>> informed?
>>
>> -- DM
>>
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>>
>>     
>
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