Full Text Searching with SQLite
I'd like to add a search feature back on this site. Previously, I had an arrangement setup with PyBlosxom and ht://Dig, but now that it's Django-powered, I'd like to do something that worked directly from the database instead of crawling the site like ht://Dig did.
After looking a while at various text search engines, I remembered seeing that SQLite just added an FTS1 module in version 3.3.8, which sounds pretty easy to use. Unfortunately the FreeBSD port
databases/sqlite3 doesn't build with that feature.
After poking around a bit, I got it to build with FTS manually, and after a whole bunch more messing around, came up with a patch to add an option to the port to build sqlite3 with FTS. The patch has been submitted to the FreeBSD bug tracker as ports/106281. Hopefully I have all my ducks lined up on that.
Anyhow, in testing the FTS a bit, I found one thing they only hint at on the SQLite website. There's a Porter stemmer built in, even though the wiki says: "The module does not perform stemming of any sort." You activate it by adding
tokenize porter to the table declaration, for example (adapted from their example).
CREATE VIRTUAL TABLE recipe USING FTS1(name, ingredients, tokenize porter);
once you've done that, and inserted some sample data:
INSERT INTO recipe VALUES('broccoli stew', 'broccoli peppers cheese tomatoes');
the searches don't have to be quite as exact, for example:
SELECT name FROM recipe WHERE ingredients MATCH 'pepper'
hits the 'broccoli stew' recipe even through it has 'peppers' and you searched for 'pepper'.
Not sure why the Porter stemmer isn't documented in the SQLite wiki, perhaps it's still a work in progress or being changed for FTS2.