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From Jens Hübel <>
Subject RE: Query grammar is not standard compliant
Date Mon, 31 May 2010 14:23:33 GMT
Of course it should be a common goal to make the query as useful as possible. I totally see
the use cases for DISTINCT, lower, etc. I also agree to the fact that duplicating the whole
grammar is not the best way to extend it. 

On the other side I do not like that someone who just wants to implement a spec compliant
query has to deal with our extensions. 

Perhaps we can find a way where we either have a default implementation that raises syntax
errors or a mechanism in ANTLR to extend the grammar without duplication. I am not the ANTLR
expert, but there might be something like composed grammars. I should investigate that. If
someone has a good idea let us know. We also need to make clear somehow where we have introduced
extensions then.


-----Original Message-----
From: Florent Guillaume [] 
Sent: Montag, 31. Mai 2010 15:09
To: chemistry-dev
Subject: Re: Query grammar is not standard compliant

Hi Jens,

On Sun, May 30, 2010 at 10:56 PM, Jens Hübel <> wrote:
> while further investigating the grammar (for improved integration into OpenCMIS) I detected
some issues that I would like to get fixed:
> 1)
> DISTINCT is not allowed as keyword in CmiSQL

I added it recently to the grammar because it's a useful extension
(that some Nuxeo customers use). Please note that a backend
implementing the grammar can very easily say "syntax error" if it
doesn't want to support this non-spec-based extension. Without this,
someone wanting to implement CMIS + DISTINCT would have to completely
copy the whole grammar.

> 2)
> The rule "string value function" is no longer supported. It existed in earlier versions
of the spec  but was removed. The grammar in our code does not reflect this change in the

Having string value functions like LOWER and so on are also useful
extensions to CMIS that it's nice to have in the grammar even though a
standard backend would not implement them.

> 3)
> only allowed operator with any is "=".  The rule "quantified comparison predicate" was
changed in the spec from allowing multiple comparison operators to only allow "=".  The grammar
in our code does not reflect this change in the specification.

Same as above, it's a useful extension in Nuxeo that is better put in
a basic grammar.

> 4)
> The grammar is also not yet complete (the full text part is missing). I added a separate
issue for this. Again this was added with later revisions of the spec.

Yes, fulltext is still missing.

> I have done all changes except 4) locally and updated the gunit tests accordingly. If
there are no objections I will check-in the changes.

I'd really like to keep the SQL grammar useful for all projects that
will use CMIS, and that includes extension above and beyond CMIS for
those that need it. Again, this doesn't harm in any way the backends
that want to implement just the spec.

> I have created two JIRA entries for these issues:
> Remarks:
> Change 2) has some implications:  This change implies that functions like LOWER(...)
etc. are no longer permitted. Can someone remember the TC decision for this change? ( I browsed
the CMIS JIRA but could not find it).

I seem to remember that it was to have simple semantics, LOWER
introduces language issues that we didn't want to spend time

> The grammar currently is quite loosely coupled to the rest of the code. There are no
dependencies on it from other unit tests or sub-projects. For the future my suggestion is
that a custom ANTLR grammar is a valid integration point with opencmis (to allow custom specific
enhanced features in the query language). But for our internal code, tests and documentation
it should strictly be what the standard says.

Ok then let's not implement DISTINCT, LOWER, ANY <> and so on for the
in-memory and other backends, but please keep them in the ANTLR


Florent Guillaume, Director of R&D, Nuxeo
Open Source, Java EE based, Enterprise Content Management (ECM)   +33 1 40 33 79 87

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