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From "Erick Erickson" <>
Subject Re: Reading from an IndexWriter
Date Mon, 03 Nov 2008 22:40:48 GMT
One thing that others have tried is to keep a RAMindex that you
use for your modifications. That is, an index that *only* has your
mods, not your original index. But, and here's the key, when you
update, you update BOTH your RAM and FS based indexes.

When searching, you search BOTH indexes, giving precedence
to anything in your RAM index. Which, since it should
be much, much smaller than your FS-based one should re-open

So here's the rough outline

At time T, you open both your FS and RAM indexes, the RAM
index is empty.

Any modifications happen to both indexes. Note that no
searches of your FS based index will show any of these
modifications until you re-open your searchers

Any searches look in your already-opened FS index and open
a NEW searcher on your RAM index and searches *that*
index as well.

At time T + X, you decide to go through the pain of re-opening your
FSbased dir, so you close both your indexes and start over.

You'll have to dance fancy on a few points:
> I'm unsure what serves your need best when updating an existing
   document. Do you add it to your RAM-based index first and *then*
   update it? Just add it and do a delete pass on your FS-based
   index when you close them both down?
> your Lucene doc IDs will be wonky, it's unclear (probably, in fact
   unavoidable) that an updated document in your RAM index will NOT
   have the same Lucene ID as the exact copy in your FS-based index,
   assuming you've chosen to copy it over.
> Relevance may be an issue. Your relevance scores in your RAM-based
   index will be "interesting", and probably won't correlate real well to
   relevance scores in your FS-based index.

I don't think any of these are insurmountable, but a lot depends upon your


P.S. this topic has been discussed in the mail archives, but I don't
the topic. You might get lucky searching for something like "real time

On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 5:24 PM, Matthew DeLoria

> I had a question about more about Best Practices and reading from an
> IndexWriter.
> Currently, we have an index which we call the master index. This index, in
> itself, represents our data model. Many clients can access this index.
> However, we have importer and updating clients which essentially add to
> this
> index periodically. These tasks can have specific logic where we can grab
> specific documents, update some of the data, and call
> writer.updateDocument(..). We also allow the adding of documents. Each of
> these tasks however, may depend on data we are adding to the writer at the
> same time.
> For example, I could say writer.addDocument() and a second later I may need
> to do a query for this very document I just added. Currently, we have a
> temp
> directory where all the writing is occurring. We have a searcher that
> searches this index. Now, for this searcher to see the writes that
> occurring
> to this temp index, it needs to be reconstructed each time we need to do a
> search which is very very inefficient, as this could happen very
> frequently.
> Consider the situation where I add a document and then need to get this
> document immediately after. The searcher would need to be closed and the
> reader reopened. I will also have to call a commit (or flush) on the writer
> before doing this. Unfortunantly, we can't have our TempDirectory be a ram
> directory exclusively because we can't guarantee how much memory each
> client
> will have.
> So my question is, is there a way I can read what documents are sitting in
> the writer without having to do this painful flush/reopen? I know this is
> not how Lucene is intended to work but in our case it would be very very
> helpful if we could do the reading and writing from the same
> IndexWriter/Reader so we wouldn't have to keep doing this reopen / flush
> call.
> Second, if nothing like this is possible, is the way I am doing it above
> the
> best possible way - (Calling flush on the writer, calling reopen on the
> indexreader, and reconstructing the searcher)
> I am using Lucene 2.3.2 currently.
> Thanks!
> m
> --
> Matthew P. DeLoria

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