Yonik Seeley commented on LUCENE-7453:

I don't think changing the name really helps a new user understand what a docid 
actually is, and the safe ways to use one - that's the much harder part.
The fact that it's transient in a sense (but still cacheable for the lifetime 
of a reader), local to a segment (one has to understand segments and the fact 
that they are mostly immutable), the fact that you *can* reuse one on a 
different view of the same segment (deleted docs), etc.

This naming discussion would have been appropriate during the initial naming 
perhaps, but now a rename would inflict guaranteed pain on all existing devs / 
documentation / books / blogs, ec., all to attempt to safe a few *seconds* of 
new user confusion out of the necessary *days/weeks* of total confusion 
necessary to build a mental model of how Lucene actually works.  In fact, it 
may be just as likely to cause confusion if the new user is using any 
out-of-date resources that use the old terminology.  It sounds like a poor 
trade-off to rename now.

> Change naming of variables/apis from docid to docnum
> ----------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LUCENE-7453
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LUCENE-7453
>             Project: Lucene - Core
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>            Reporter: Ryan Ernst
> In SOLR-9528 a suggestion was made to change {{docid}} to {{docnum}}. The 
> reasoning for this is most notably that {{docid}} has a connotation about a 
> persistent unique identifier (eg like {{_id}} in elasticsearch or {{id}} in 
> solr), while {{docid}} in lucene is currently some local to a segment, and 
> not comparable directly across segments.
> When I first started working on Lucene, I had this same confusion. {{docnum}} 
> is a much better name for this transient, segment local identifier for a doc. 
> Regardless of what solr wants to do in their api (eg keeping _docid_), I 
> think we should switch the lucene apis and variable names to use docnum.

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