ApacheCon – Lucene / Solr Case Studies

Presented by Erik Hatcher – author of Lucene in Action

Reader beware – this post is not very interesting.  Maybe I was expecting too much, but I was a little disappointed by the session.  It was basically a list of projects that have used Lucene.  You can tell that Erik is very knowledgeable (obviously) in use of Lucene.  Unfortunately, though, he starts by listing several projects that he did as pet projects that he has since let die, and most of the rest of the session was a list of projects that use Lucene or Solr.

My one takeaway is that I do need to look into Solr more – but I use Lucene already very extensively, and wasn’t introduced to anything in Lucene in this session that I haven’t already done.

Some interesting projects very briefly mentioned were:

  • Internet Archive / Open Library
  • Smithsonian
  • Zappos
  • Netflix – powered by Solr – and uses it to power their ajax-suggest-dropdown
  • Krugle – a search engine for source code.
  • Howtoons

Here are a list of projects he has worked on.  The first few are dead or dormant.

  • The first was some system for indexing blogs – it’s dead now.
  • The second was http://www.lucenebook.com/ - where he indexed the first edition of his book.  It has since gone offline, but I am confident that it will come back since he is finishing up the second edition now.
  • Then he mentions is http://www.rossettiarchive.org/rose - an example of a simple search engine on a site related to the writings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
  • Next was Collex – www.nines.org/collex- now using Solr.  Nines is “a federation of peer-reviewed resources, citation records, and innovative research tools, made freely available to students and scholars of 19th-century culture.”
  • Blacklight – a search engine for a library system.  http://blacklightdev.lib.virginia.edu/ - which unfortunately for me right now doesn’t work.
  • Solr Flare – Ruby on Rails Lucene plugin for Solr UI
  • VelocityResponseWriter- a way of rendering lucene results from Solr – in its “fledgling state”

For other systems that use Lucene, see: http://wiki.apache.org/lucene-java/PoweredBy

Some users of Lucene mentioned in the session (from the users list):

  • Bixee news
  • MELT project
  • IBM workforce
  • Medicince search engine – www.vidal.fr
  • SolrJS

He also explained that his company, www.lucidimagination.comprovides support, services, and value-add components for Lucene and Solr.

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