This site

This site is the successor to the Mediawiki site.

It reflects the work of the Kx community since 1993, has many authors, and continues to evolve.

Please update your bookmarks

For now the wiki remains at, but it is no longer maintained.


Truncated GitHub URLs are prefixed with the GitHub icon and omit the prefix.

For example, read KxSystems/kdb as

Search tips

The first time you use the Search box it will download and cache the site’s index files. This may take some seconds, depending on your connection, but please be patient: searches will then be very responsive.

  1. For single-character queries such as ?, $ and @ use the Reference Card

  2. The internal search index omits common English words like like or or.

  3. Reference articles are grouped by semantic topic. Your query might be in a heading rather than the title of the page you need. For example, the definition of ss is on the Strings page.

  4. Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

    Searching for a phrase in quotes will yield only pages with the same words in the same order as what is in the quotes.

  5. Use an asterisk within quotes to specify unknown or variable words

    Searching a phrase in quotes with an asterisk replacing a word will search all variations of that phrase. For example, imagine all the * living for today, or * is thicker than water.

  6. Use the minus sign to eliminate results containing certain words

    Eliminate results with certain words if you’re getting a lot of results that aren’t of interest to you. Figure out what terms you’re not interested in (e.g. avg -antivirus) and re-run the search.


The wiki’s Reference section, organised by glyphs, was a good tool for reading q. It was easy to find, for example, all the possible meanings of $. On the other hand, a writer looking for tools to convert between datatypes and representations would have to explore most of the Reference section to be confident she had found them all.

The new site reference has three aims:

  • to be a fast prompt for things already learned
  • to help reading by showing what terms mean
  • to help writing by categorising the tools by semantic topic


A finished work is exactly that, requires resurrection.
John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing”, 1949

The repository for this site is KxSystems/docs. The contribution model is GitHub and Forking Workflow.

To contribute, submit a pull request.

Honor roll

We gratefully acknowledge contributions by pull requests from

  • Alexander Belopolsky
  • Aleks Bunin
  • Geo Carncross
  • Rikesh
  • Thomas Smyth
  • Sergey Vidyuk


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License


This site includes images for which Kx holds neither copyright nor permission. These images serve as links to their original sites. We understand this to be fair use.

If you are a copyright holder and object to this use, please write to


This site is a project of the Librarian.

A librarian’s job is to put information where people can find it.