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From Peter Carlson <>
Subject Re: Empty phrase search
Date Tue, 17 Dec 2002 07:20:22 GMT

The thought of having an extra field to distinguish this information is 
won't really be that much extra work (maybe 10 min).

You will probably have to create your own Lucene Document type anyway, 
or modify one that already exists such as the HTML document. This 
information about empty fields could easily be added.

As far as if it's a hack, I would say no way. Any other search engine 
has to track this information some how (nothing is free) maybe they 
have a hidden field that describes this. In Lucene you'll know how it's 
all built and have lots of flexibility.

Anyway, if you put it in your own Document, you can have ultimate 
control as to what constitutes an "empty string".

It would be good to hear which way you go and why. It's always good to 
hear why people went with one solution over another. It gives us at 
Lucene feedback about what matters to people.


On Monday, December 16, 2002, at 11:10 PM, Minh Kama Yie wrote:

> Yep, thought of that and having argued it out with the lead on this, it
> would be suitable in my opinion but even I would concede that it is a 
> hack
> in our case since there is no limit to the variety of characters that 
> could
> appear as the value for the field which may be an empty string. Hence 
> there
> isn't the 100% guarantee that there will never be the circumstance 
> when this
> special character or String of characters we choose to represent empty
> fields will appear as a valid value.

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