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Subject: Re: [search-ws] CQL Parsing Questions

Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote:
> Tony, addressing your first question:
> From: "Hammond, Tony" <t.hammond@nature.com>
>>        title=(author=kernighan)
>> is equivalent to
>>        author=kernighan
>> "
>> and following up with him he claimed this was cooked into the BNF
> Well first take a look at this thread and see if it helps put this into 
> some perspective.
> http://listserv.loc.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0603&L=srw-ed&D=0&T=0&X=2C676213DF8F2521EB&P=1982 
> This is a convoluted mess that is better ignored.  The grammar has a 
> hole that lead to nonsensical queries and I think that the consensus was 
> that it is harder to fix the grammar than to just say that queries like 
> these are nonsensical.

One can't feeling that if the grammer allows that, then the grammer is 
broken and should be fixed.

> The real issue was a query like  "title=(A or B)".    Is it a shorthand 
> for - "title=A or title=B".   

That also looks like an horrendous piece of syntax to me. I can't think 
of any other language that allows you to specify queries like that. 
Admittedly it is often what people want to do when they first come
across boolean statements, but I really don't think we shouldn't let
them. Especially if it results in a nonsensical mess like

Do people feel that cql is intended for users or machines? My feeling
is that it should be for machine-to-machine communication and therefore
doesn't need any syntactic sugar.

Ashley Sanders               a.sanders@manchester.ac.uk
Copac http://copac.ac.uk A Mimas service funded by JISC

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