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Comprehension Syntax

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalSIGMOD Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994


The syntax of comprehensions is very close to the syntax of a number of practical database query languages and is, we believe, a better starting point than first-order logic for the development of database languages. We give an informal account of a language based on comprehension syntax that deals uniformly with a variety of collection types; it also includes pattern matching, variant types and function definition. We show, again informally, how comprehension syntax is a natural fragment of structural recursion, a much more powerful programming paradigm for collection types. We also show that a very small "abstract syntax language" can serve as a basis for the implementation and optimization of comprehension syntax.

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