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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject [lucy-dev] Generalize Tutorial for multiple host languages
Date Thu, 04 Nov 2010 23:30:58 GMT

Most of Lucy's documentation has been written so that it will work with
multiple host languages.  To the extent possible, class descriptions, method
descriptions and so on are host-language neutral -- only code samples need be

Our multi-chapter Tutorial is still Perl-specific, however.  It would be great
if we could adapt it for use across multiple host languages -- but right now,
it has dependencies which will not be available for every language/platform

Currently, the tutorial builds sample applications designed to be used in a
web context using an HTML presentation of the United States Constitution as a
corpus.  For HTML parsing, CGI processing, and paging through results, we use
dedicated Perl modules, some of which belong to the Perl core and some of
which must be obtained from CPAN.

To eliminate these dependencies, I think the Tutorial should be simplified to
build a command-line app, and the corpus should be changed to plain text.
Every potential host language has basic file and directory manipulation
capabilities; it should be possible to generalize the tutorial prose so that
it can work with all of them without modification.

Additionally, by eliminating those CPAN prerequisites entirely, we skirt the
issue of dependency licensing.

The only downside is that easily-customizable sample applications are
compelling (see Ruby on Rails), and we'll be taking our "instant web search"
kit and making it less handy.  

We face a similar challenge with the CustomQueryParser Cookbook entry
-- which uses Parse::RecDescent -- but that will be harder to resolve.  I'm
not sure what to do about that one, except possibly remove it from the
distribution and publish it elsewhere as an independent article.  

Marvin Humphrey

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