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Snowball stemming algorithms for use in Information Retrieval

Snowball provides access to efficient algorithms for calculating a "stemmed" form of a word. This is a form with most of the common morphological endings removed; hopefully representing a common linguistic base form. This is most useful in building search engines and information retrieval software; for example, a search with stemming enabled should be able to find a document containing "cycling" given the query "cycles".

Snowball provides algorithms for several (mainly European) languages. It also provides access to the classic Porter stemming algorithm for English: although this has been superseded by an improved algorithm, the original algorithm may be of interest to information retrieval researchers wishing to reproduce results of earlier experiments.

Package version:0+svn546-2


Snowball for Debian

Snowball upstream doesn't build shared libraries, so they are Debian-specific.

 -- Stefano Rivera <>  Fri, 12 Mar 2010 20:04:32 +0200


snowball (0+svn546-2) unstable; urgency=low

  * Pass dpkg-buildflags CFLAGS and LDFLAGS to dh_auto_build
    - No need to check for noopt in build-options.diff any more.
  * Drop unnecessary dh_auto_test override

 -- Stefano Rivera <>  Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:48:59 +0200

snowball (0+svn546-1) unstable; urgency=low

  * New upstream snapshot.
  * Binary package descriptions:


Things to do:

 - Write documentation for how to use libstemmer (as opposed to how stemming
   algorithms themselves work).
   Currently, the documentation in the include/libstemmer.h header file is
   pretty clear and comprehensive, but an overview document wouldn't go amiss.

Things that would be nice to include at some point.

 - Add version numbers to each stemming algorithm, and allow the int



Martin Porter

 - Designed the snowball language.
 - Implemented the 


Upstream-Name: snowball

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