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Lucene in Action, Second Edition: Covers Apache Lucene 3.0
Author/s    : Michael McCandless, Erik Hatcher, Otis Gospodnetic
Publisher   : Manning Publications
Category   : Miscellaneous Java
Review by : Ulf Dittmer
Rating        : 9 horseshoes

It's been 5 years since the first edition of this book, and Lucene has progressed from version 1.4 to 3.0 since then. This has meant significant new features, performance improvements, a much larger ecosystem around the core library, and more.

That's where the second edition comes in. It still describes the basics (indexing and searching) in as much detail as before, but also addresses new features such as payloads and new query types. The book also covers significant 3rd party extensions (the 'contrib' packages) that are not part of the Lucene core, but are considered of high enough quality to be shipped with it, as well related projects (like the Luke tool for analyzing indexes, and the Tika library that unifies indexing a wide variety of document types).

The book is full of ready to use code examples, is very readable, and is written in a way that one can read a section about a particular feature without having to digest everything that came before it first. So it doubles as a reference book. And, let's face it, there's way more to know about Lucene than one can pick up from articles and forums on the web. I consider the book indispensable to anyone who uses (or considers using) Lucene for more than simple toy projects; it will pay itself back quickly through time saved.
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