[pmwiki-users] SelectQuery development: database records as pages?

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Tue Sep 26 20:56:32 CDT 2006

On Tue, Sep 26, 2006 at 05:15:44PM -0500, Ben Stallings wrote:
> To be honest, I haven't used pagelists yet.  I'm going to go read up on 
> them now.  But my gut reaction to this idea is that database information 
> is fundamentally more structured than wiki information, and rightly 
> so... my purpose in writing SelectQuery and UpdateForm was to use the 
> wiki as a *front end* for the data, not to actually bring the data into 
> the wiki.  [...]
> I'd like a second opinion from someone who knows more about what 
> pagelists can do... would it be useful to do what Pico is suggesting? 
> Or would it open a whole new can of worms?  

I think the most important point to be made here is that pagelists
are all about doing things with lists of *pages*.  At the heart of
the pagelist command is the idea that we're creating a list of
pages of some sort, and then doing some processing on each page
in that list.

Somehow I think this is really different from SelectQuery, which
is really about allowing arbitrary queries into MySQL databases,
and such queries will probably always be more powerful than (:pagelist:).

Still, I can see how using (:pagelist:) to access records in a MySQL
table could be somewhat useful.  It wouldn't be that hard to do, either--
here are the key points:

  - Each record in the MySQL table is conceptually a "page" in PmWiki
  - Each record can be referenced by some unique identifier that
    fits the PmWiki pagename format
  - There's a way to get a list of all of the identifiers (pagenames)
    from the table
  - When PmWiki requests reading of a particular page (i.e., record),
    the PageStore object returns a "page" where the text of the page
    is a series of page text variable definitions.  

For example, if we have a table with columns "name", "address", "city",
then the custom PageStore object would query the table for a record
and return markup text that looks like:

    name: Alice Adams
    address: 123 Any Street
    city: Anywhere, USA

Then (:pagelist:) would be able to make lists of records using
pagelist templates and the page text variables.

But as you mentioned, this is really more of "looking at a database
as if it were a series of pages" instead of "providing an easy way to
query a database".

Hope this helps,


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