Did You Know That Lucene Can Do All This?
One presentation given at ApacheCon NA 2011 that has since received a fair amount of attention was "Bet You Didn’t Know Lucene Can…" by Grant Ingersoll, a seasoned Lucene/Solr committer and cofounder of Apache Mahout and of Lucid Imagination, a company that exists to support Lucene and Solr technologies.
How would you respond if someone were to ask you to explain Lucene and Solr in one sentence or phrase? Chances are you would say something about "search technology" or "full-text search." As Ingersoll points out in the presentation, however, these two technologies have been used in a number of other contexts to solve real world challenges requiring more than text searches.
Something I found particularly admirable about Ingersoll's presentation was how he engaged with the community during prep time to find fresh, unique ideas to share with us. Furthermore, given that Ingersoll obviously knows a thing or two about Lucene and Solr, the fact that he was also using his presentation as an opportunity to learn a thing or two shows just how versatile the technologies are.
You definitely shouldn't miss this one if you're interested in Lucene and Solr. Check out the presentation slides below if you want to follow along!