The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has recently reclassified the Lucene search engine project from a Jakarta sub-project to a top-level ASF effort.
Lucene is a full text search engine that provides an API and a set of libraries enabling powerful search functionality to be included in all types of Java applications. Doug Cutting
is the project's primary developer.Lucene is offered as a developer toolkit, and requires a certain amount of Java development to implement or integrate a functional search solution.
As an example, for web search, a developer would need to write their own web site spider that populated the Lucene index with Lucene documents.
On the retrieval side, the developer would then need to provide a form handler and query parser that called into the Lucene API for search hits and formatted the results for web presentation.
Given this, its best to think of Lucene as a developer resource and not as a ready to run search engine.
There are several ports of Lucene to other languages. Of note are DotLucene
(C# .NET) and Plucene
Plucene is currently used by Technorati, is embedded in the Eclipse IDE, and is part of www.furl.com's tools.