On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM, fork <forkandw...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Pre-9.1 levenshtein is ASCII-only, and I think some of the other stuff
>> in contrib/fuzzystrmatch still is.
> I am only looking at 9.0.3 for levenshtein, so I don't have any thoughts yet 
> on
> multi-byteness so far.   I will have to figure out the multibyte character 
> work
> once I get the basic algorithm working -- any thoughts on that?  Any pitfalls 
> in
> porting?

The main thing with levenshtein() is that if you're working with
single byte characters then you can reference the i'th character as
x[i], whereas if you have multi-byte characters then you need to build
an offset table and look at length[i] bytes beginning at
&x[offset[i]].  That turns out to be significantly more expensive.  As
initially proposed, the patch to add multi-byte awareness built this
lookup table for any multi-byte encoding and used the faster technique
for single-byte encodings, but that wasn't actually so hot, because
the most widely used encoding these days is probably UTF-8, which of
course is a multi-byte encoding.  What we ended up with is a fast-path
for the case where both strings contain only single-byte characters,
which will always be true in a single-byte encoding but might easily
also be true in a multi-byte encoding, especially for English
speakers.  I don't know if that's exactly right for what you're trying
to do - you'll probably need to try some different things and
benchmark.  I would however recommend that you look at the
master-branch implementation of levenshtein() rather than the old
9.0.x one, because it's significantly different, and forward-porting
your changes will probably be hard.

Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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