Senna & Tritonn: Fast full text search in Japanese

Friday afternoon, I met with Tetsuro Ikeda-san and Teruyoshi Hazama-san of MySQL’s long-time key partner in Japan, Sumisho. Ikeda-san and Hazama-san taught me about their work on full text search in Japanese.

Senna is an engine for fast full text search in Japanese. The Senna project derives its name from Formula I driver Ayrton Senna. “But he’s dead”, I protested. “Sure, but he is a legend and will always be associated with speed.” I cannot protest there — and the numbers I saw for Senna’s full-text search defend the choice of name.

Tritonn is the combination of Senna into MySQL. The Tritonn name refers to two things: Triton Square in Tokyo, where Sumisho has its offices, and to the fact that MySQL through our dolphin logotype is associated with the sea. Tritonn is spelt with two n’s in order to simplify web search, so as not to be confused with the Greek god Triton (the messenger of the deep, son of Poseidon, god of the sea) and the many other things named after him.

I recommended Hazama-san to meet at the MySQL Users Conference with key guys in MySQL Engineering: Sergei Golubchik who wrote MySQL’s Full-Text Search feature, Peter Gulutzan who knows all there is to be known about standards and character sets, and Alexander Barkov who implements all there is to be implemented about character sets.

Good luck to Senna and Tritonn!