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February 03, 2009

Lucene Start-Up Lucid Imagination Funded

There's been a good deal of buzz lately about venture money investing in Lucid Imagination, a company that wants to be to search what Red Hat is to Linux.

We're excited to see a commercial venture committed to standardizing and supporting Lucene, the open source Apache project. And their "employs about 10 of the Lucene/solr projects’s top 10 committers" - isn't that about 100% ?

We've done a number of Lucene/Solr projects over the last four years, and we tell our customers that it's a good technology.. but it's a toolkit. Lucid has apparently wrapped system monitoring and "tools for improved search relevancy" into their offering; and will support customers for "$12,000 to $18,000 per year" on subscription.

A good friend of ours who we sometimes call Deep Search uses Solr at his company and he loves it. But then, they have a relatively small number of structured XML documents extracted from their  database, and their content doesn't update very often. Still, he says you can purchase a commercial engine and spend a lot of money and time implementing it; or you can download an open source engine for free, and then spend a lot of money and implementing it, your choice!

There are other free search technologies, both open source and proprietary, from companies as well known as IBM and  Microsoft. And there are a number of other open source search technologies out there. Still, Lucid is to be congratulated for offering support for an exciting and  growing search technology, and their guys obviously understand what it takes to write a search engine.

Bottom line: although we are fans of technology, search methodology is much more important than the underlying technology. Now comes the hard part: making it work.


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