Ontology asks, What exists?,
to which the answer is Everything.
— W.V.O. Quine, Word and Object
q)/Oh what a lovely day
q)2+2 /I know this one 4
/ Oh what a beautiful morning Oh what a wonderful day \ a:42 \ ignore this and what follows the restroom at the end of the universe
Lists are zero or more items, separated by semicolons, and enclosed in parentheses. An item can be any noun.
A vector is a list in which all items are of the same datatype. It can be represented without parentheses. Numeric, boolean, char and symbol vectors have their own forms.
The syntactic class of nouns includes all data structures. Operators, functions and adverbs can be given noun syntax by listing or parenthesising them.
q)count(+) 1 q)count(+;within;\) 3
Attributes are metadata that apply to lists of special form. They are often used on a dictionary domain or a table column to reduce storage requirements or speed retrieval.
Names and namespaces¶
Names consist of upper- and lower-case alphabetics. They may contain, but not begin with, underscores and numbers. For example:
What in the world is a namespace?
— Kenneth E. Iverson
A namespace is a container or context within which a name resolves to a unique value. Namespaces are children of the root namespace (usually just root) and are designated by a dot prefix. Names in the root have no prefix. The root namespace of a q session is parent to multiple namespaces, e.g.
z. (Namespaces with 1-character names – of either case – are reserved for use by Kx.)
q).z.p / GMT timestamp 2017.02.01D14:58:38.579614000
- operators and primitive functions, eg
- as defined in the lambda notation, eg
- as derived from (1) and (2) by adverbs, eg
- q-SQL functions, e.g.
Functions are first-class objects and can be passed as arguments to other functions. Functions that take other functions as arguments are known as higher-order functions.
Operators are primitive binary functions that may be applied infix.
Operators are denoted by glyphs or reserved words or both. They cannot be defined using the lambda notation.
q)|[2;3] / maximum, prefix form 3 q)2|3 / maximum, infix form 3 q)rotate[2;0 1 2 3 4 5] / prefix form 2 3 4 5 0 1 q)2 rotate 0 1 2 3 4 5 / infix form 2 3 4 5 0 1
||less than or equal||
||greater than or equal|
||dict; key; enum; update; delete|
Minimum and maximum
The minimum operator is denoted by both the
& glyph and the reserved word
and. The maximum operator is denoted by both the
| glyph and the reserved word
The following reserved words denote operators.
Adverbs are primitive higher-order functions: they return derivatives (derived functions). They are denoted by six overloaded glyphs:
q)+/[2 3 4] / reduce 2 3 4 with + 9 q)*/[2 3 4] / reduce 2 3 4 with * 24
The control words
while govern evaluation.
Expressions beginning with
\ are system commands or multiline comments (see above).
q)/ load the script in file my_app.q q)\l my_app.q
A script is a text file; its lines a list of expressions and/or system commands, to be executed in sequence. By convention, script files have the extension
Within a script
- function definitions may extend over multiple lines
- an empty comment begins a multiline comment.