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From "J. David Boyd" <>
Subject Lucene and remote index and java applet, with no java app server
Date Mon, 10 Oct 2005 13:59:08 GMT
Here's my dilemma.

For years, we have supplied paper documentation to our customers.  Many
pages of paper.  All together, it makes a 3 foot stack when printed.

Also for many years, customers have been asking for docs in electronic
format, so, recently, I wrote some Perl scripts that convert our many
legacy word perfect files into PDF format. (I shouldn't really call them
legacy, as that is still what the documentation author writes in.)

We generate some HTML pages as a wrapper, that break the 543 PDF files
into different modules, and this gets placed on a section of our web site.

The users can see the Module they want, and then grab an appropriate PDF
for that module, and view it in their browser.

Unfortunately, the names are things like MOD00_TBLS_FRMX.pgm.pdf,
PGR254.S1.T33.pgm.pdf, etc. This is _somewhat_ transparent to we
developers, but certainly doesn't make it easy for the end users to find
the appropriate section of documentation that they want

I would like to implement a search facility using Lucene, but I'm not
sure of a few things.

Given that I can generate the index here, at the same time I convert any
changed WP files to PDF, and upload it to our web site, what then do I
do with it.

I don't see, from my interrupted attempts at perusing the Lucene docs,
any functions for a Java applet to access an index that is on a remote
site.  We have no extra utilities available, such as a Java app server
to run the search using RMI (I think I've read the Lucene docs enough to
use the buzzword correctly. :-> )

It seems that I am going to have to write an applet that will download
the index (2M, 1M zipped) to a users local hard drive, then use that
index to find the appropriate PDF file, then download the PDF file, and
start it in the users browser.

I'm assuming a signed applet, since as far as I can tell from my
reading, an unsigned applet won't let any write, or reads, to the local
hard drive occur.

Does this sound feasible?

Would I be better off using Java app, and lava web start, to download a
jarred index, and take it from there?

I'm fishing for feasibility ideas right now, and any help will be
greatly appreciated.

Dave @ TSC in Palm Harbor, FL

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