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Relation function

Starting with version 3.0, Sofawiki supports the Relation language. Relation is at first a query language for the Sofawiki database. But it is more than that. It is a general purpose programming language that allows you to program calculations directly in your templates.

In certain aspects, Relation ressembles the Query function and it has its origin in it. Relation executes Relational Algebra on a stack of relations. Relation is however a complete refactoring and has several improvements:

You find the full documentation of Relation on the website for Belle Nuit Relation, because this is also an Desktop and a command line application.

There is a playground special:relation

Implementation differences

For 90%, the code is identical with the code described in Belle Nuit Relation. There are some differences, first because we are in a server environment and in a Sofawiki context, second because some instructions are not yet ported.

filter name (hint)? (, name (hint)?)*

Belle Nuit Relation provides no instruction to create a relation from Sofawiki fields. Filter fills this gap. You provide the names of the columns and for each name you can give a hint as a quoted strings. Filter returns a relation with all tuples where the value of the field is url-equal (see swNameURL in inc/utilities.php) to the hint, means it contains the hint.

The hint is optional. If you do not provide a hint, the tuple always fullfills the requirement for this field even if the field is not present. If you provide a wildcard "*", the field must be present, but can be empty. The hint can also be a name for a variable you defined before.

You can use the wildcard * at the end of the list, but only if you provide a non-empty hint for at least one field.

The internal fields with the prefix _ (like _name) can be used.

Filter finds internally all results but returns only results from namespaces that the user can access or that can be transcluded.


virtual pagename

Executes the page and then reads the fields. Pagename must be quoted and can be an expression.


import pagename

Reads the fiels of a page. Pagename must be quoted and can be an expression.



You can either read from a comma separated or tab separated file from within the uploads, if the filename has either the extention ".csv" or ".txt". JSON is not yet ported.
You can read from the cache folder. If the file exists both in site/files and site/cache, the file with the newer modification date is used.
Or you can read from memory within the function, if the filename does not have an extension



You can either write to the cache folder with an extensions ".csv" or ".txt. This allows you to cache complex relations you use often, but which do not update every second.
Or you can write to memory without extension. The lifetime is during the relation function, not the page.



In Belle Nuit Relation the only parameter is a number which can limit the lines as in print 5.
In Sofawiki, you can also use the paramter 'csv', 'tab' and 'json' and you get a textarea with the formatted output to be used for copy paste.


Note that unlike the Query function, there is no output if you do not use at least once the print instruction.


The template uses a page of the template namespace and the name does not need the extension ".txt".

input variable default (, field default)*

The relation query can be made interactive. The input instruction shows a form with variables where you define a default value and a submit button. The relation stops here, until the user uses the submit buttom.



Examples for Rosetta Code

Not yet supported functions