You can’t throw an exception these days without hitting a developer working on a Lucene-based OPAC. Casey Durfee’s doing it, and will be presenting it at the Code4Lib conference under the provocative title “Open-Source Endeca in 250 Lines or Less”. Art Rhyno and Ross Singer have been doing it for a long time. Lucene guru Erik Hatcher is developing Solr Flare, a Ruby/Solr DSL (domain specific language) in his spare time over the next couple months, partly “to demonstrate a faceted browsing front-end on our library’s holdings (~3.7M records)” – and he too will present at Code4Lib. SirsiDynix is using Lucene in Horizon 8.0 (click the Horizon 8.0 tab). And yes, Bess called it last May, in the posting that introduced me to Solr. But would she have twigged if she hadn’t already been working on Lucene, at my suggestion?
This is the year of Lucene in library-technology-land. By the time another Ghost of Christmas Present comes around, these pioneers will have taught us all a lot about such things as pouring metadata from our ILS’s into Lucene indexes, keeping them in sync, managing faceted browsing based on dynamic data such as circ status, and most important, whether Lucene and Solr scale to the levels we need. 2007 is going to be a very educational year. The Lucene/Solr Preconference attached to Code4Lib will be historic.