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From Erick Erickson <>
Subject Re: a proof that every word is indexing properly
Date Thu, 02 Dec 2010 14:09:24 GMT
I'm really curious how you expert knows that the present system
"indexes every word properly". You can certainly test any scenario that
can be defined precisely via unit tests as Lance suggests.

Ask for *concrete* examples he's concerned with. Write tests to show that
example works. Ask for more. Do NOT accept requiring "proof" that's not
demonstrable by tests, that way madness lies. Besides, it's impossible.

Or just propose a pilot project. Underlying the whole discussion is that
using Lucene makes your business go faster/more profitably/leaner/whatever.
Find a pain point in the current system and volunteer to see if Lucene can
make that pain go away. Then enlist the business side of the company saying
"we can deliver on XYZ better than the old system, should we continue?"

Really, you have to show that you can demonstrate delivering
*business value* with Lucene that isn't being delivered currently. Otherwise
this is just one of those endless technical discussions that has no value
to your company. And if you can't deliver business value, you have no reason
to use Lucene. Or any other new technology for that matter. Once you
demonstrate business value, rational decisions can be made whether the
effort is worth the cost. It's really, really effective to take something
that has been
"too hard to do" with the old system and deliver it in, say, three weeks
with new
technology. *That* demonstration takes most of the wind out of abstract

Pilot projects are especially attractive to management because they can
define the
cost. As in "You have 4 weeks to demonstrate this with a 3 person team".
also give you a much deeper insight into the technology which informs the

Of course you should pick a pain point that you have some hope of solving


On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM, David Linde <> wrote:

> Has anyone figured out a way to logically prove that lucene indexes ever
> word properly?
> Our company has done alot of research into lucene, all of our IT department
> is really impressed and excited about lucene *except* one of the older
> search/indexing experts.
> Who doesn't want to move to a new search engine, is there anyway to
> logically prove, that lucene indexes every word properly?
> One idea we considered is attempting to rebuild the source from the index,
> but it seems like doing that would take a huge effort.
> Any ideas or thoughts, would be very much appreciated.
> Thanks in advance
> David

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