Author image Marvin Humphrey
and 1 contributors


KinoSearch::Docs::Tutorial::QueryObjects - Use Query objects instead of query strings.


The KinoSearch code base has been assimilated by the Apache Lucy project. The "KinoSearch" namespace has been deprecated, but development continues under our new name at our new home:


Until now, our search app has had only a single search box. In this tutorial chapter, we'll move towards an "advanced search" interface, by adding a "category" drop-down menu. Three new classes will be required:

  • QueryParser - Turn a query string into a Query object.

  • TermQuery - Query for a specific term within a specific field.

  • ANDQuery - "AND" together multiple Query objects to produce an intersected result set.

Adaptations to

Our new "category" field will be a StringType field rather than a FullTextType field, because we will only be looking for exact matches. It needs to be indexed, but since we won't display its value, it doesn't need to be stored.

    my $cat_type = KinoSearch::Plan::StringType->new( stored => 0 );
    $schema->spec_field( name => 'category', type => $cat_type );

There will be three possible values: "article", "amendment", and "preamble", which we'll hack out of the source file's name during our parse_file subroutine:

    my $category
        = $filename =~ /art/      ? 'article'
        : $filename =~ /amend/    ? 'amendment'
        : $filename =~ /preamble/ ? 'preamble'
        :                           die "Can't derive category for $filename";
    return {
        title    => $title,
        content  => $bodytext,
        url      => "/us_constitution/$filename",
        category => $category,

Adaptations to search.cgi

The "category" constraint will be added to our search interface using an HTML "select" element (this routine will need to be integrated into the HTML generation section of search.cgi):

    # Build up the HTML "select" object for the "category" field.
    sub generate_category_select {
        my $cat = shift;
        my $select = qq|
          <select name="category">
            <option value="">All Sections</option>
            <option value="article">Articles</option>
            <option value="amendment">Amendments</option>
        if ($cat) {
            $select =~ s/"$cat"/"$cat" selected/;
        return $select;

We'll start off by loading our new modules and extracting our new CGI parameter.

    use KinoSearch::Search::QueryParser;
    use KinoSearch::Search::TermQuery;
    use KinoSearch::Search::ANDQuery;
    my $category = decode( "UTF-8", $cgi->param('category') || '' );

QueryParser's constructor requires a "schema" argument. We can get that from our IndexSearcher:

    # Create an IndexSearcher and a QueryParser.
    my $searcher = KinoSearch::Search::IndexSearcher->new( 
        index => $path_to_index, 
    my $qparser  = KinoSearch::Search::QueryParser->new( 
        schema => $searcher->get_schema,

Previously, we have been handing raw query strings to IndexSearcher. Behind the scenes, IndexSearcher has been using a QueryParser to turn those query strings into Query objects. Now, we will bring QueryParser into the foreground and parse the strings explicitly.

    my $query = $qparser->parse($q);

If the user has specified a category, we'll use an ANDQuery to join our parsed query together with a TermQuery representing the category.

    if ($category) {
        my $category_query = KinoSearch::Search::TermQuery->new(
            field => 'category', 
            term  => $category,
        $query = KinoSearch::Search::ANDQuery->new(
            children => [ $query, $category_query ]

Now when we execute the query...

    # Execute the Query and get a Hits object.
    my $hits = $searcher->hits(
        query      => $query,
        offset     => $offset,
        num_wanted => $page_size,

... we'll get a result set which is the intersection of the parsed query and the category query.


You've made it to the end of the tutorial.


For additional thematic documentation, see the KinoSearch Cookbook.

ANDQuery has a companion class, ORQuery, and a close relative, RequiredOptionalQuery.


Copyright 2008-2011 Marvin Humphrey

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.