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From Michael McCandless <>
Subject Re: Extending StandardAnalyzer considered harmful
Date Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:48:37 GMT
Hmm, sorry about that, and thank you for raising it.

This is indeed not good and should be considered a break in
back-compat since silently things change and it's not easy for you to
discover that.

I think we should at least deprecate Analyzer.tokenStream, and fix
QueryParser (and any others) to use reusableTokenStream. But that's
not perfect since on upgrading you'd only see deprecation warnings,
which you certainly would not expect to lead to changes in

I think the only safe (back compatible) way for us to make such
changes in the future is to make a whole new class for each of the
core analyzers that switch to the new API (and deprecate the old
ones).  Either that, or going forward we make Lucene's core analyzers
final (and, more generally, any other core classes we intend/expect to
make API improvements to).  Or, as you suggested, make tokenStream
final with the change so that you hit catastrophic compilation errors
on upgrading, but that's currently against our back compat policy.


On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:58 AM, Daniel Noll <> wrote:
> Hi all.
> I just want to tell some people an interesting story. :-)
> We had a custom analyser which was implemented like this:
>    public class NoStopWordsAnalyser extends StandardAnalyzer {
>        public TokenStream tokenStream(String fieldName, Reader reader) {
>            TokenStream result = new StandardTokenizer(reader);
>            result = new StandardFilter(result);
>            result = new LowerCaseFilter(result);
>            return result;
>        }
>    }
> Now, this seemed all well and good, and we unit tested the analyser and it
> worked.
> Some time later, a newer version of Lucene added reusableTokenStream() for a
> performance optimisation.  The indexing side was updated to call the new
> reusableTokenStream() method.  Since we had extended StandardAnalyzer, it
> ended up going to StandardAnalyzer's implementation, which puts on a
> StopFilter, so our NoStopWordsAnalyser ended up including a StopFilter.
>  This in itself would have been a minor issue as well, but the QueryParser
> side still called the older tokenStream() method, which resulted in
> different token streams being used for indexing and querying -- even though
> it was the same analyser!
> The end result is that we could never get a hit if the query included any
> stop words.
> The solution in this case was to extend Analyzer instead.  I just thought it
> was interesting that we got affected so much by a new method to the API
> which didn't cause a compilation error or raise any other flags which would
> indicate we had done something wrong.  Our own unit tests still passed
> because they were testing the older method.  Had StandardAnalyzer or its
> tokenStream() method been made final during this change, we would have had
> our compilation fail.  Had it been final from the very first time the class
> was introduced, it would have prevented the problem in its entirety as we
> would have realised much sooner that it wasn't safe to override in the
> beginning.
> Daniel
> --
> Daniel Noll                            Forensic and eDiscovery Software
> Senior Developer                              The world's most advanced
> Nuix                                                email data
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