The Apache Software Foundation Announces 10th Anniversary of Apache Lucene

Powers smart search and indexing solutions for AOL, Apple, Comcast, Disney, IBM, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, and more.

Forest Hill, MD – 27 September 2011 – The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced the 10th anniversary of Apache Lucene.

The Lucene information retrieval software was first developed in 1997, entered the ASF as a sub-project of the Apache Jakarta project in 2001, and became a standalone, Top-Level Project (TLP) in 2005. Apache Top-Level Projects and their communities demonstrate that they are well-governed under the Foundation’s meritocratic, consensus-driven process and principles.

“Ten years ago, Apache provided Lucene a home where it could build a solid community. Today we can see the fruit of that community, both through the wide breadth of Lucene-based applications deployed, and through the depth of improvements to Lucene made in the past decade,” said Doug Cutting, ASF Chairman and original Lucene creator.

Apache Lucene powers smart search and indexing for eCommerce, financial services, business intelligence, travel, social networking, libraries, publishing, government, and defense solutions.

“Lucene has changed the world by opening doors that didn’t exist before it arrived on the Open Source scene,” said ASF Member and Apache Lucene Committer Erik Hatcher. “Lucene has massively disrupted the enterprise/proprietary search market, with wide adoption around the globe in every industry.”

Highly performant, Apache Lucene is in use across an array of applications, from mobile to Internet scale, and powers enterprise-grade search solutions for AOL, Apple, IBM (including its artificial intelligence-driven supercomputer Watson), LinkedIn, Netflix, Wikipedia, Zappos, and many other global organizations.

“When it arrived to ASF, Lucene immediately made a huge impact –Lucene was one of those technologies that made a whole generation of businesses possible– it was fast, easy to use, free, and had a growing community of users and developers. Apache Lucene can be found in an amazing number of products and services we all know and use, as well as in products and services we have never heard of,” said ASF Member and Apache Lucene Committer Otis Gospodnetic.

“While it’s been six years since I joined the Lucene community, the last two were certainly the most exciting,” said Simon Willnauer, Vice President of Apache Lucene.

Current Apache Lucene sub-projects are PyLucene and Open Relevance; other sub-projects, including Droids, Lucene.Net, and Lucy, have spun out of the project and are undergoing further development in the Apache Incubator with the intention of becoming standalone TLPs. Solr, the high-speed Open Source enterprise search platform, has merged into the Lucene project itself, whilst former Lucene sub-projects Hadoop, Mahout, Nutch, and Tika have all successfully graduated as autonomous Apache Hadoop, Apache Mahout, Apache Nutch, and Apache Tika TLPs.

Originally written in Java, Apache Lucene is available in many programming languages such as Perl, C#, C++, PHP, Python, and Ruby. “Now, 10 years later, Apache Lucene is backed by a large community of users, contributors and developers with incredible energy poured into Lucene every hour of every day of the year,” said Gospodnetic, who is also co-author of Lucene in Action, and founder of Sematext International.

“Even after 10 years, it seems this blazing community and codebase hasn’t reached its potential yet,” added Willnauer. “I’m proud to be part of this community and look forward to another decade of Open Source Search.”

Hatcher, who is also co-author of Lucene in Action and co-founder of Lucid Imagination, added, “if you need search (and you do!), Lucene is the best core technology choice.”

Hatcher, Willnauer, and other members of the Apache Lucene community will be presenting sessions on data handling and analytics –a.k.a. “Lucene and Friends”– including what’s upcoming in Apache Lucene 4.0 (with performance improvements up to 20,000% from previous versions and more) at ApacheCon, 7-11 November 2011, in Vancouver, Canada. To register, visit

Availability and Oversight

Apache Lucene software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Apache Lucene source code, documentation, mailing lists, and related resources are available at

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)

Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server — the world’s most popular Web server software. Through the ASF’s meritocratic process known as “The Apache Way,” more than 350 individual Members and 3,000 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation’s official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(3)(c) not-for-profit charity, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Cloudera, Facebook, Google, HP, Hortonworks, IBM, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, PSW Group, SpringSource/VMware, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit

“Apache” and “Apache Lucene” are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

# # #