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From "Andrew S. Townley" <>
Subject Re: [lucy-user] Feature question about Lucy vs. Ferret
Date Wed, 23 Feb 2011 18:36:00 GMT
Hi Nathan,

On 23 Feb 2011, at 6:01 PM, Nathan Kurz wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM, Andrew S. Townley <> wrote:
>> Well, actually, I want it for more than that.  For my particular needs, I need to
get the field name where the match occurred in the document, and then I'd ideally like to
have the start offset into that field and the length of the match.
> Apart from the lack of Ruby bindings, this won't be a problem with
> Lucy.  It's a data-forward approach, so that if the information is in
> the indexes, you'll have access to it.  You might need to write a
> custom Hit class (or the like), but it will certainly be possible.

Sounds good.

>> One of the things that struck me was the "implementing as much functionality in high-level
languages as possible" comment.  What does this mean, exactly?
>> Why was this approach chosen rather than put all the muscle in the C code and provide
thin wrappers--even via SWIG or something more hand-tailored where necessary/appropriate?
> I think you're missing an implied "And not only that, if you order by
> midnight tonight now you'll also receive..."  Lucy is/will-have a
> complete C core that can be used directly, but it will also be
> possible to override the functionality class-by-class in Perl, Ruby,
> Python, etc.   It's the added potential for accessing this
> functionality from a scripting language that is being highlighted, not
> the requirement.

Does it come with flying cars too?? ;)

>> Part of the reason I ask has to do with the future of my own project.  Much of what
I have now will eventually be rewritten piecemeal in C++ and then wrapped via SWIG so I can
have Ruby and Java bindings as well as use it in other environments natively supporting C/C++.
 Whatever route I end up going for fulltext, this is something that would need to support
the same kind of thing as I'd actually be leveraging it more from the C++ code than the Ruby
> Sounds like an excellent fit for Lucy.   In the same way that we hope
> to allow the C-core to be overridden with scripting languages for fast
> prototyping, it's also should be easy to then selectively optimize
> that with C++.  It's an ambitious multilingual goal, so it's possible
> it will not be fully achieved, but your sort of application is exactly
> the reason this approach was chosen.

Well, all that makes me very optimistic about the future of Lucy.  I'll certainly keep my
eye on things, and if I have time, I'll certainly help if I can.  This is a pretty core feature
of the system I'm building - and it's not your average Web search application - so I'm sure
I'll be able to provide some alternative needs from the middle-of-the-road ones.

Thanks for your replies, guys.


Andrew S. Townley <>

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