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Re: [p2-dev] p2ql wiki page

Hi David,

On 2010-12-14 23:45, David Orme wrote:

I'm writing:

(a) to provide some hopefully constructive feedback on p2ql, and

(b) because there were two aspects of the p2ql we had to work out for ourselves and if they're documented, we couldn't find them.  :)  I'm writing to confirm our understanding so that we can update the p2ql wiki page with these bits if that is necessary.

That would be really helpful. I'd be happy to answer more questions and help you along in that effort.



We liked p2ql because it separates the concerns of querying for IUs from what you do with the IUs after you've queried for them really cleanly.  It also feels like a natural compliment to our existing API--by adding abstraction that makes common querying use cases simple.

I'm glad you like it. One of the objectives was to enforce a cleaner separation. Both to benefit client frameworks like yours and also to enable future enhancement to how queries are evaluated and how IU's are stored etc.


We couldn't find anywhere in either the bug report nor on the Wiki that described how external Java objects are bound into p2ql.  Here's my current understanding:
  • p2ql is a dynamically typed language in Smalltalk's tradition: It just has receivers and messages, but no data types per se.
  • p2ql is a strictly functional language.  No assignments, but higher-order functions all over the place.  Syntax reminds strongly of Scala. :-D

  • $0, $1, ..., $n refer to the Java objects passed in as query parameters.
  • An unqualified variable or function call refers to the IQueryable's collection.
    • e.g.: select(iu | ....) is the same as saying rootQueryable.select(iu | ...) if Java had proper higher-order functions.
Correct. I can add that for a full query you will have the implicit variable 'everything' so select(iu | ...) is the same as everything.select(iu | ...). For a boolean match query (executed on a per-row basis), the implicit variable is called 'this', so name == $0 is the same as this.name == $0

  • If a message's receiver is an Iterable or an IQueryable, the message must be a higher-order function that iterates across the elements. 
    • ie: if $0 is an ArrayList of IVersionedId, $0.exists(vi | vi.id == 'com.some.bundle') will iterate over $0's elements and return true iff "com.some.bundle" is the ID of an element inside the list.
  • Otherwise, dot notation calls getters on the receiver.  e.g.: if $0 is an IVersionedId, $0.id is the same as writing param0.getId() in Java.
Have I got that straight?  Am I missing anything?

It all sounds correct. For the dot notation, the 'length' and 'empty' can be used on all types of collections and arrays. And analog to how beans work, a boolean isser is resolved too, i.e. the Java method iu.isFragment() can be referenced as iu.fragment.

Thomas Hallgren