On Mon Jun 1 2015 Barak A. Pearlmutter wrote:
> To put a slightly different perspective on this, I have a sizable
> bbdb file, and sometimes I can't find someone because I'm spelling
> their name wrong. Maybe Steven vs Stephen. The classic way to deal
> with this is to do a SOUNDEX search, or one of its successors.
> A hook here would be useful for this purpose. It wouldn't make
> sense to redefine string-match though. Perhaps there should be a
> standard string-match-loose which is used for
> potentially-approximate matches like this and which has a double
> handful of configuration options and tweaks that can be fiddled
> with by prefixes in the search string.

This is interesting, though it might go in a somewhat different
direction than what the OP had in mind who, I believe, was concerned
that typing Chinese names can be cumbersome so that he wanted an
ascii-based shortcut.

GNU Emacs comes with lisp/soundex.el (for many years).  Yet probably
this does not solve problems with other languages.  It seems to me
that soundex was designed for English only.  Every language has its
own phonetic rules.

The algorithms listed by Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonetic_algorithm are all for the
English language, except for one algorithm for German.

There is also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approximate_string_matching

Again, all this is not specific to BBDB either.  It can probably be
useful for various emacs packages.  But BBDB is probably one of

Any approximate search will give you yet more matches than what you
get otherwise.  So it might not always simplify life if you have a
large BBDB file.  Therefore, exact and approximate search tools
should probably exist in parallel.

BBDB Home Page: http://bbdb.sourceforge.net/

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