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? CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL – a Common Query Language 1. What CQL is 2. Motivation 3. Examples and explanation 4.

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Presentation on theme: "? CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL – a Common Query Language 1. What CQL is 2. Motivation 3. Examples and explanation 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 ? CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL – a Common Query Language 1. What CQL is 2. Motivation 3. Examples and explanation 4. Applications 5. Implementation

2 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 1: What CQL is CQL is a query language: – For humans to type – For query forms to generate – For translating other languages into

3 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 1: What CQL is CQL is a query language: – For humans to type – For query forms to generate – For translating other languages into The only query language of SRW/SRU

4 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 1: What CQL is CQL is a query language: – For humans to type – For query forms to generate – For translating other languages into The only query language of SRW/SRU Also applicable in other contexts: – Z39.50 (instead of the Type-1 Query) – Vendor-neutral format for Metasearch

5 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Specifications and implementations CQL is a specification for expressing queries abstractly. – you don't need to know the database schema.

6 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Specifications and implementations CQL is a specification for expressing queries abstractly. – you don't need to know the database schema. It has to be parsed by a CQL parser. – parser produces a form easy to program with.

7 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Specifications and implementations CQL is a specification for expressing queries abstractly. – you don't need to know the database schema. It has to be parsed by a CQL parser. – parser produces a form easy to program with. It has to be executed by some specific database engine. – implementations will vary in what they support.

8 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 2: Motivation Most query languages fall into one of two camps: Complex and powerful, but cryptic and hard to learn – SQL, Prefix Query Format (PQF), XML Query

9 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 2: Motivation Most query languages fall into one of two camps: Complex and powerful, but cryptic and hard to learn – SQL, Prefix Query Format (PQF), XML Query Easy to learn and use, but lacking in power – Google, AltaVista, CCL

10 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 2: Motivation Most query languages fall into one of two camps: Complex and powerful, but cryptic and hard to learn – SQL, Prefix Query Format (PQF), XML Query Easy to learn and use, but lacking in power – Google, AltaVista, CCL CQL aims to make simple queries easy, and complex queries possible (to paraphrase Larry Wall, of Perl)

11 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Learning curves for query languages Power of query that can be expressed Effort in learning query language SQL

12 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Learning curves for query languages Power of query that can be expressed Effort in learning query language SQL Google

13 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Learning curves for query languages Power of query that can be expressed Effort in learning query language SQL Google CQL

14 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 3: Examples and explanation Core concepts Simple terms Quoting Booleans Parentheses Pattern matching Indexes Prefixes Context sets Relations

15 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 3: Examples and explanation Core concepts Simple terms Quoting Booleans Parentheses Pattern matching Indexes Prefixes Context sets Relations Esoteric concepts (Next session!) Word anchoring Proximity More on relations Relation modifiers Boolean modifiers Profiles Prefix mapping

16 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: simple terms Here are some perfectly good CQL queries: fish Churchill dinosaur comp.sources.misc

17 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: quoting Double-quote marks remove the special meanings of special characters like space (which otherwise separates tokens) and of keywords such as and and or. "dinosaur" "the complete dinosaur" "ext–>u.generic" "and"

18 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: quoting Double-quote marks remove the special meanings of special characters like space (which otherwise separates tokens) and of keywords such as and and or. "dinosaur" "the complete dinosaur" "ext–>u.generic" "and" (Backslash removes the special meaning of following double-quote characters.) "the \"nuxi\" problem"

19 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: booleans The keywords and and or are boolean operators. The keyword not is an and-not binary operator. There is no unary negation operator. Case is not significant, so AND and aNd also work. dinosaur or bird dinosaur not reptile dinosaur and bird and reptile dinosaur and bird or dinobird dinosaur not theropod not ornithischian

20 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: boolean precedence The and, or and not booleans all have equal precedence and are evaluated left-to-right. dinosaur and bird or dinobird MEANS (dinosaur and bird) or dinobird dinosaur or bird and dinobird MEANS (dinosaur or bird) and dinobird NOT dinosaur or (bird and dinobird)

21 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: parentheses Parentheses may be used to override the default left-to-right parsing of boolean operators. dinosaur and (bird or dinobird) dinosaur or (bird and dinobird) (bird or dinosaur) and (feathers or scales) "feathered dinosaur" and (yixian or jehol) (((a and b) or (c not d) not (e or f and g)) and h not i) or j

22 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: pattern matching There are two pattern-matching characters: * matches any number of characters ? matches any single character dinosaur*– matches dinosaurs, dinosauria *sauria– matches dinosauria, carnosauria man?raptor– matches maniraptor, manuraptor man?raptor*– matches the plurals of these "comp* *saur"– matches complete dinosaur

23 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: pattern matching There are two pattern-matching characters: * matches any number of characters ? matches any single character dinosaur*– matches dinosaurs, dinosauria *sauria– matches dinosauria, carnosauria man?raptor– matches maniraptor, manuraptor man?raptor*– matches the plurals of these "comp* *saur"– matches complete dinosaur A preceding backslash removes their special meaning. char\*– matches literal char*

24 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: indexes A term of the form name=value is a query for the specified value occurring within the named index.

25 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: indexes A term of the form name=value is a query for the specified value occurring within the named index. title=Churchill– finds biographies of Churchill author=Churchill– finds books written by him title=dinosaur and author=farlow title=(dinosaur and bird) subject=(dinosaur* or pterosaur*) Index names are case-insensitive, so title is the same index as TITLE, Title or tiTLe.

26 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: prefixes The meaning of an index can be specified more fully by a prefix indicating what context set it is from. The meaning of title is different in cross-domain searching (Dublin Core), bibliographic searching (Bath Profile) and heraldry.

27 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: prefixes The meaning of an index can be specified more fully by a prefix indicating what context set it is from. The meaning of title is different in cross-domain searching (Dublin Core), bibliographic searching (Bath Profile) and heraldry. dc.title="the complete dinosaur" property.title=freehold heraldry.title=(viscount or duke) cql.serverChoice=fruit cql.resultSet=YXJjaGJpc2hvcAp Prefixes are case-insensitive.

28 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: context sets A context set is a set of indexes that are related to a particular area (plus some other more esoteric stuff that you can ignore). For example, the Dublin Core context set contains indexes for searching against the fifteen DC elements: title, creator, subject, description, publisher, contributor, date, type, format, identifier, source, language, relation, coverage, rights. The context set prose must define their semantics.

29 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: some context sets A few core sets created by the SRW editorial board: CQL – for core indexes such as resultSetId DC – for metadata searching with Dublin Core Rec – metadata about the record, not the resource Net – network concepts such as host-name and port

30 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: some context sets A few core sets created by the SRW editorial board: CQL – for core indexes such as resultSetId DC – for metadata searching with Dublin Core Rec – metadata about the record, not the resource Net – network concepts such as host-name and port Also, many application-specific sets: Bath, Zthes, CCG, Music Rel – deep voodoo for relevance matching GILS and GEO are in development

31 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor A digression on the CQL context set The CQL context set is special. It contains some magic indexes:

32 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor A digression on the CQL context set The CQL context set is special. It contains some magic indexes: cql.anywhere – searches in all the indexes available cql.serverChoice – allows the server to choose whatever index or indexes are suitable cql.resultSetId – finds the records obtained in a previous search, e.g. for refinement by combining with other query terms.

33 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: relations Usually = connects an index with its relation, but all the other obvious numeric relations are supported: Height = 13 numberOfWheels <= 3 numberOfPlates = 18 lengthOfFemur > 2.4 BioMass >= 100 NumberOfToes <> 3(inequality)

34 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: special relations The keywords any and all can be used as relations, indicating that any one of, or all of, the words specified in the term must be found in the index:

35 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: special relations The keywords any and all can be used as relations, indicating that any one of, or all of, the words specified in the term must be found in the index: author all "kernighan ritchie" – shorthand for author=kernighan and author=ritchie

36 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: special relations The keywords any and all can be used as relations, indicating that any one of, or all of, the words specified in the term must be found in the index: author all "kernighan ritchie" – shorthand for author=kernighan and author=ritchie author any "kernighan ritchie thompson" – shorthand for author=kernighan or author=ritchie or author=thompson

37 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: whole-field searching The keywords exact can be used as a relation, indicating a search for the value of a whole field rather than words within it:

38 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: whole-field searching The keywords exact can be used as a relation, indicating a search for the value of a whole field rather than words within it: title=jaws – finds Jaws and The Jaws of Fate. title exact jaws – finds Jaws but NOT The Jaws of Fate.

39 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor CQL features: whole-field searching The keywords exact can be used as a relation, indicating a search for the value of a whole field rather than words within it: title=jaws – finds Jaws and The Jaws of Fate. title exact jaws – finds Jaws but NOT The Jaws of Fate. title exact "The Jaws of Fate" – finds The Jaws of Fate but NOT Jaws.

40 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 4: Applications CQL has been deployed in many kinds of application: Google-like structureless searching Simple metadata searching with the Dublin Core Bath Profile for bibliographic data Zthes profile for hierarchical thesaurus navigation CCG for collectable card games Music – musicalKey, arranger, duration, etc. GILS (Global Information Locator Service)... your application goes here!

41 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Chapter 5: Implementations There are good-quality free CQL implementations in several important languages: Java (Mike Taylor's CQL-Java package) C/C++ (Adam Dickmeiss in Index Data's YAZ) Python (Rob Sanderson in Cheshire) Perl (Ed Summers' CQL::Parser module) Visual Basic is in development (Thomas Habing)... your language goes here!

42 CQL – a Common Query LanguageMike Taylor Conclusion: What to take home CQL makes easy queries easy and hard ones possible You can use it well without learning the hard bits It is used in SRW/SRU but also applicable elsewhere It is extensible through context sets Existing context sets support lots of applications There are free implementations in several languages Tutorial on-line at:


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