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From mark harwood <>
Subject Re: Wildcard vs Term query
Date Wed, 26 Sep 2007 09:21:53 GMT
Are you using the out of the box Lucene QueryParser?  It will automatically detect wildcard
queries by the presence of * or ? chars.
If the user input does not contain these characters a plain TermQuery is used.

BooleanQuery.setMaxClauseCount can be used to control the upper limit on terms produced by
Wildcard/Fuzzy Queries.
If this limit is exceeded (e.g when searching for something like "a*" ) then an exception
is thrown.

----- Original Message ----
From: John Byrne <>
Sent: Wednesday, 26 September, 2007 9:48:17 AM
Subject: Wildcard vs Term query


I'm working my way through the Lucene In Action book, and there is one 
thing I need explained that I didn't find there;

While wildcard queries are potentially slower than ordinary term 
queries, are they slower even if theyt don't contain a wildcard? 
Significantly slower?

The reason I ask is that if we assume we are going to allow wildcards in 
a search engine, but we want to optimize, to take advantage of  when 
they are NOT used, do we have to check for the presence of "*" or "?" in 
the term, and create the most appropriate query, or can I assume that 
when a wildcard is not present, the WildcardQuery will be as fast (or 
almost as fast) a a plain term query?

Thanks in advance!
John B.

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