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From "Erick Erickson" <>
Subject Re: Exception in WildCardQuery
Date Sat, 08 Apr 2006 17:04:19 GMT
I have to disagree. Nowhere in the javadoc is this condition noted. There is
no way for a user to know that this is a restriction, and forcing developers
to find this by having a program fail, even with a better error message, Even if this were in the javadoc, I still have to
remember it. And my memory isn't what it used to be....

Optimization where it really doesn't count is, in my experience, bad.
Period. I'm making the assumption that setting up the query is a tiny
fraction of the time spent in a search. I'm perfectly willing to lose those
"very few clockticks" in code that accounts for a tiny, tiny fraction of my
search time than I am willing to be surprised by behavior that I have no way
of anticipating. And spending the developer/customer/company time chasing
such a problem down. So the notion of a library forcing me to optimize where
*the library writers* think I should raises a red flag right away.

Of course it's a balancing act. I'd also not like the library to get so
concerned with being idiot-proof that it gets noticeably slower. Given all
the time and energy that I expect Lucene to save me, I'm content to let the
Lucene folks make that determination. They are in a far better place to
judge whether this would be worth it or not.

So, I'll put in the bug report and be happy with whatever decision is made
by the Lucene folks.

As you can probably tell, I've spent faaaarrrr too much of my professional
life looking at code that was efficient, complicated, and wrong in some
subtle or not-so-subtle way and caused failures of one sort or another. And
improved execution time by, say, .0001%. I don't accept the efficiency
argument unless it can be shown to matter. The eXtreme Programming folks
have it right, "Make it work, make it right, make it fast". I'd change it a
bit to "make it fast if it matters". Those times it has mattered, my guesses
as to where the time was being wasted have been wrong most of the time.

Ok, now you know where one of my buttons is. I'll get off my soap-box now...


P.S. I'll be glad to exchange a few e-mail with you if you want to try to
persuade me. We probably shouldn't turn this into a philosophical debate
over optimization, since it *is* a Lucene forum.......

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