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Speaker Interview: Aleksandr Parfenov

Flexible full-text search   Wednesday 15:00   Baltic I

GitHub: asp437 LinkedIn: asp437 Facebook: asp437 Company website:

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I graduated Innopolis University in summer 2017. During the study, I mostly pay attention to basic and fundamental subjects as well as low-level technical ones. I think that technologies, languages, and frameworks change all the time but fundamental knowledge helps to faster get familiar with all new things.

Since June 2017 I'm a developer at Postgres Professional and working on PostgreSQL fulltime. My main area of interest related to PostgreSQL development is full-text search. Additionally, I'm interested in low-level things like system programming, networks, concurrent and parallel processing, etc. but now I don't feel confident with it.

Have you enjoyed previous conferences, either as attendee or as speaker?

Unfortunately, I didn't attend any of the previous conferences.

What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

My colleague and I will talk about how to configure full-text search effectively and flexible. The talk would be divided into two parts. During the first one, we will take an introduction into full-text search, talk about FTS abilities in PostgreSQL, which problems it can solve and how to properly use it. During the second part, we will talk about changes that we preparing for following PostgreSQL release with a more flexible way to configure FTS to get rid of some drawbacks. For example, nowadays it's impossible to properly work with a set of documents of different languages or use more than one dictionary for each work at the same time. Also, there are a lot of hidden logic in dictionaries and configurations that can't be changed at the current state. There are few more problems to solve with FTS which will be discussed during the talk.

We chose this topic in order to meet two goals:

1) Show how PostgreSQL could be used in full-text search problems and that this is both simple and flexible tool. Unfortunately, it can't fully replace special FTS systems such as ElasticSearch or something else. At least for now.

2) We want to show how FTS tools in PostgreSQL could be modified to solve a wider range of problems. Also, we're interested in feedback related to both current FTS state and changes that we preparing.

What is the audience for your talk?

The main audience for the talk are application developers and DBA since both of them may use full-text search in their work. The main focus is on developers since they are working more with a way how data should be processed for solving users' problems. On the other side, DBA could use knowledge from this talk for a more efficient way to structure data in PostgreSQL.

What existing knowledge should the attendee have?

We try to make the talk friendly for people who didn't work with FTS before. We will start from FTS introduction with its basics and a short discussion of main goals of it. But since there are many things we should cover and focus on a new approach to configure FTS, we won't discuss basic things in details. I think knowledge about that tsvector and tsquery are and its goals are desirable but not mandatory since it will be mentioned during the introduction part.