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Yahoo! Businesses The Internet Software The Almighty Buck Apache

Yahoo Becomes Apache Platinum Sponsor 110

jschauma writes "Yahoo published a press release announcing that it has become a platinum sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation. In their company blog, Yahoo points out their particular interest in the Apache projects Lucene and Hadoop, and that they have hired Doug Cutting, creator of both projects and VP at Apache. (Lucene powers the search on Wikipedia; Yahoo also provides hosting capacity to Wikimedia.)"
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Yahoo Becomes Apache Platinum Sponsor

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  • Tax Break? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Sunday December 16, 2007 @11:12PM (#21722114)
    I was curious, can you deduct money you give to the apache foundation as a charitable donation? They are a not-for-profit organization aren't they? It certainly would be an interesting way for companies to mess with their books.
  • Go Yahoo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cumin ( 1141433 ) on Sunday December 16, 2007 @11:14PM (#21722126)

    I gave up on Yahoo many years ago and moved to Google in preference. More and more lately, with improved search results, useful information, less restrictive email, and now support for one of my favorite OSS projects, they lure me back.

    Keep up the good work Yahoo.

    • by Tatsh ( 893946 )
      I'm starting to like Yahoo again too, but can they make a really clean homepage like Google? That's one of the reasons my homepage has been
    • Re:Go Yahoo (Score:5, Informative)

      by Temporal ( 96070 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:14AM (#21722738) Journal
      Err... It's great of Yahoo to do this and all, but as others have pointed out, Google was already a platinum sponsor of Apache, and until now was the only platinum sponsor.

      Google also contributes directly to the Linux kernel, GCC, Mozilla, and many other projects, funds tons of open source development via the Summer of Code program, releases many of its own projects open source (from small things like its Java collections framework to huge things like Android), provides free hosting for open source projects, etc.

      Not trying to diminish Yahoo's contributions -- they release plenty of code too -- but just saying that you can hardly claim Google doesn't do enough for OSS.
    • I agree that it is great that Yahoo is supporting Apache in this way. However, their webhosting (which uses apache, by the way) is still miserable. I'm not talking geocities, I'm talking their Small Business hosting that they tout as being so great. One of the websites I maintain is hosted by Yahoo Small Business. It is possibly the most restrictive host I have ever had to use. The user has very little control over apache settings, and in fact cannot even edit the .htaccess files. The strange, unintuitive,
      • by ynohoo ( 234463 )
        well I'm still complaining about how they crippled Geocities. They crippled the access to try to bleed money out of the community, then after they destroyed the community they stopped caring, and made their ads more intrusive. If they opened it up again it could still be a useful service, but it has been bypassed by the blogging generation.
  • Truly do no evil? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Veroxii ( 51114 )
    Is it just me, or is Yahoo really what Google purports to be these days?

    • Yes, because Google never donates anything to anyone [].

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yahoo donates money to a foundation that Google has already donated tons of money to somehow makes Yahoo what Google purports to be? Yahoo's open source contributions are a tiny fraction of Google's. With the exception of Domain Keys, Yahoo hasn't really made much of an effort to contribute any meaningful tech back to the community over the last several years.
      • by stuuf ( 587464 )
        Yeah, and Google doesn't *actually* believe in open source end-user applications. Sure they'll make sure everyone knows how much of their success is because of open source server components, and they released a few specs and libraries that the community might turn into complete applications. But all the Google-branded apps that everyone loves to use and emphatically recommend to all their friends are proprietary, and either Windows-only or half-assed Wine-based "ports."
    • by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @12:04AM (#21722422) Homepage
      Google is also an Apache platinum sponsor. [] We're happy to have both of them involved!
    • Google sponsored several Summer of Code .... summers and good things came out of it. Some of the SoC projects actually ended as Lucene contributions, too.
  • I hope Yahoo taking an interest in Lucene involves them making heavy improvements to it. Wikipedia's search is the worst.
    • I find myself just using google to search inside of instead of using the actual wikipedia search. It really is quite bad.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Titoxd ( 1116095 )
        Wikipedia's search is crapola, and everybody and their dog knows that. However, It is not because of limitations with Lucene; it is more caused by limitations with MySQL. The MediaWiki database backend stores the text of pages in an InnoDB database, and InnoDB was used because it provides more robustness during simultaneous read and write operations (or at least that is what I understood). However, InnoDB does not allow for the creation of full-text indices, like those needed for Lucene search; MyISAM datab
        • What database does google use?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You're about 20% right. INNODB doesn't support full text searching, which is why wikipedia uses Lucene.

          Luecene, however, has no relationship to mySQL at all. It's a totally separate entity that stores its indeces on the *file system* in its own binary format.

          You can use lucene to index myISAM, innodb, Oracle, or just a bunch of text files you have sitting around. In no way is it dependent upon the existence, or capabilities, of mySQL however.

        • FYI, there is a way to search InnoDB tables - Sphinx Search [], and it's pretty fast too.
        • by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @04:01AM (#21723308) Journal
          Lucene is a full text indexer. It does NOT need MySQL full text indexing; it does full text indexing all by itself. This is a primary point.

          If Wikipedia had used MyISAM (or MySQL hadn't tied full text indexing to their storage engines), Wikipedia could have used MySQL full text searches instead of Lucene. That is a completely different matter, though.

          So, please, mod parent to oblivion. (And when do we get a "Wrong" moderation? It could be a warning to moderators to look before they mod things up again...)


        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by vhogemann ( 797994 )
          I guess that there's two search mechanisms in place at wikipedia, one search for the exact title of the article, and anoter is a fuzzy full text search. The first one is provided by MediaWiki, and the second one is powered by Lucene.

          The title search takes only exact matches, and probably that's the crappy one.

    • I was surprised to hear they used Lucene.. I don't think Lucene is bad, I've checked it out and it has a nice feature set (as well as being robust), but Wikipedia's search is awful.

      This whole thing is also interesting from the Google Knol vs Wikipedia angle.
    • Wikipedia's typo-correction project [] recommends using Google when searching for common misspellings of words, because Wikipedia's built-in search is so terrible by comparison.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by otisg ( 92803 )
      Wikipedia search may not be great, but Lucene itself is an amazing toolkit. I tend to think that without Lucene half of the companies that have some kind of a search companies (think Web2.0) wouldn't know what to do.
      Lucene is great and free. FAST, Autonomy, Google Appliance, Endeca, etc. are all *massive* and *expensive*. Compare that to the free and super-flexible Lucene! Oh, and it's not like there is no professional support and services around the Lucene stack! Just look at [] and
    • by xant ( 99438 )
      Wikipedia's search may or may not be terrible (I've never had any problems..) but I doubt it's Lucene's fault. I've written a pylucene-based application, and I found the search results to be outstanding.

      That said, Lucene really does need lots of help. It's terrible to compile, the bindings leave something to be desired, it seems to be a resource hog and it needs built-in numeric range search ("find me all typewriters costing more than $100 and less than $400").

      I hope Yahoo! is actually interested in helpi
    • Wikipedia's search is bad because the implementation blows. It not Lucene's fault, it's the fault of the mediawiki devs. Lucene has implementations ready for every kind of search improvement trick you can think of. Simple example, you can boost the importance of different fields. Mediawiki could easily boost the influence of the title field, but I'm pretty sure that they don't. When I search for UDP, the first hit is about UDP ports, the second is the disambiguation page for UDP. Lucene allows for all sorts
  • They released Flickr Uploadr under GPL (2 only) []

    The interesting thing here, it is using xulrunner from Mozilla && there no Linux binary!!!
    • I'm still waiting them to go all the way and add local photo album support to it. Looks like they're getting there. I really need to be able to organize stuff offline a-la picasa, only with an easy to upload interface. Kind of like the api they added to picasa for smugmug.
    • Completely offtopic, but never a bad time to push a worthy tool: there's an excellent command-line, Perl-based tool [] to upload images to Flickr. Not necessarily your cup of tea if you want/need to organise or sort images before uploading, but if you've got a lot of photos to put online all at one, tagged and titled, this might be the tool for you! Anti-Perl people (the thought!) can look up other script-based command line tools on Flickr's API page [] (of all places).

      STD_DISCLAIMER(no_relation, happy_customer);
  • Google donates too (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dashcolon ( 946284 ) on Sunday December 16, 2007 @11:58PM (#21722390)
    All you gents lauding Yahoo for being a platinum donor in comparisons to Google should take a look at Apache's donation thanks page [], where google is also listed as a platinum donor
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by linguizic ( 806996 )
      All you people reminding us that Google also contributes to Apache need to keep in mind that Google has allot more money than Yahoo! does. This isn't a pissing contest between the two companies--it's just good news.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    is being used to support FOSS. So what. ALL money is blood money nowadays :-(
  • I guess this puts Microsoft and Yahoo further apart. Not too long ago, it was speculated that Microsoft would make a move to buy Yahoo. Now Yahoo's sponsoring .NET's biggest competitor.
    • by etnu ( 957152 )
      Java and web tech (HTML, CSS, Javascript) are .Net's biggest competitors, not ASF. Tomcat and Apache WS compete with IIS, but that's about the extent of the overlap.
  • Wikipedia, eh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Monday December 17, 2007 @01:02AM (#21722702)

    Lucene powers the search on Wikipedia...
    This is not meant to be a troll, though many may take it that way, but if Lucene is what Wikipedia uses, than either Lucene needs a lot of work, or Wikipedia just isn't implementing it right. Wikipedia's search is just about one of the most unforgiving search functions on the web; unless you hit the spelling perfectly, you often simply will not find what you're looking for, and better not have any extraneous words in the search string either. Which is why I use Google to search Wikipedia...
    • The reason I still generally use WP's search function is the fact that it will take you directly to the article if you get the title correct, and to the results otherwise; quite useful in conjunction with smart keywords, where I can type wp Penguin to get directly at that article. This can be approximated with google's browse by name and I'm feeling lucky functions like: %s



    • Which is why I use Google to search Wikipedia...
      Yeah, everybody does. I have the firefox extension googlepedia [] installed so I always get wiki results when searching google.
    • uses Lucene for searching, I believe. They seem to get it right.
    • After having done some extensive work with Lucene I'd have to say that Wikipedia is not implementing it well if their search does indeed suck (I don't know, I use Google to search Wikipedia). Lucene is a library for building search engines, not a search engine itself. It's possible to implement things like roots of words, synonyms, misspelled words using the Levenshtein distance algorithm [] , etc.. It's a good tool set and you can use the tools to build crap if you're under deadline/lazy/unimaginative or you
  • Like a new drug? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RealGrouchy ( 943109 )
    One of the theories of why violent crime spiked in the late '80s is that crack cocaine was new on the market, and so the territories among the drug lords had to be established and drawn--often through violent means. After the dust had settled and the lines were established in the early-to-mid '90s, violent crime came down somewhat (both in cities like New York that had spent oodles of money on "tough-on-crime" measures, and in places where no additional resources had been allocated).

    Every time I see things
    • One of the theories of why violent crime spiked in the late '80s

      Well, you can have all kinds of theories about anything, I guess.

      Violent crime in the USA was increasing from around 1910 onward, until around 1990, then it began to decrease.

      The rapid decrease in inner city crime since around 1990 correlates well with the increased use of cell phones in these areas. This is probably causal rather than coincidental. The combination of cell phones and rapid response to 911 calls appears to be an effective deterrent to assaults, robberies, breaking and entering, and oth

  • I work on their servers, they all run either FreeBSD or RedHat. (FYI those were the only choices as of a year ago in PXE reimage boots) Its not like they have many robust other hosting choices

    Its good that they are support Apache, but really, they should of just did a joint statment with Goggle when they signed on. Sounds to much like a one-up manship.
  • And there was me thinking that the tendency of Yahoo to cooperate with the Chinese Gov in tracking down "dissidents" would have made anything they did repulsive in the eyes of anyone with a heart. Accepting money off them comes under this assumption.
    Such optimism, when will I ever learn? We're in the West where anything goes and the consequences, as long as they happen to others elsewhere, are of no concern to us. Who cares if we do business with those who have no conscience?
  • The Wikipedia search sucks. It's case sensitive (but not always), doesn't use word stems (though it seems to sometimes), and has other inconsistent results that mix lexical and semantic matches with underwhelming effectiveness.

    Now Yahoo wants the same "quality"? Their creating their most successful competitor in Google has really maimed their senses over there.
  • And Microsoft will become someone's palladium sponsor
  • "Lucene provides search for Wikipedia"

    I hate to say this, but Wikipedia's search is godawful. Sometimes it's more effective to just type what you want into the end of the URL and hope you hit a disambiguation page or something.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling