A well-designed information retrieval (IR) framework should provide powerful abstractions for common IR concepts and techniques. Central to the success of such a framework is whether these abstractions can be implemented to satisfy users' demands of functionality, performance, flexibility, and ease of use.
This paper discusses implementation issues for a multimedia IR framework in the context of the recently proposed FIRE design. We present the software architecture of the framework, and outline the cornerstone components of its implementation. Issues of reusability, ease of use, and performance are discussed with references to solutions adopted in FIRE.