Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Observations about Maven Central Search URIs

I was using a Maven Central Search Engine to find a Google GWT artifact. The search engine is very useful, no doubt about it. I then somehow got focused on the actual URI which identifies the specific GWT artifact I was after:


I'm using single quotes just to keep the whole URI expression inside double quotes.

That does not seem like a user-friendly URI to me, and I guess it does not have to be, but I'd just like to analyze it a bit more.

I'm not sure what "|gav|1|" is about, but the main expression (encoded), is really this one:

"g%3A''%20AND%20a%3A'gwt'" which reads like this: "find resources with a group '' and artifact 'gwt'".

Now compare it with this equivalent FIQL expression which CXF will happily help to handle:

thus giving us


This query a bit simplistic but FIQL does start 'scaling' when we want to use composite queries, for example:


which reads "Find all the modules with a given group, with artifact set to 'gwt' or 'gwt-index' and having versions greater than 2.0 but less or equal to 3.0". It's impressive how FIQL can capture so complex queries in a compact way with a URI which humans can understand. FIQL simply rocks and I encourage users to experiment with it more. By the way, check out the client-side FIQL support, can be handy for building FIQL queries inside the HTML forms.

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