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[EP-tech] Searching for null/unset values

I concur - having tried this in a script against some test data:

my $ds = $session->dataset("buffer");
my $searchexp = $ds->prepare_search();
$searchexp->add_field( $ds->get_field("date"), undef, "EX" );
my $list = $searchexp->perform_search();
print STDERR $list->count;

Gives me the same number as running the SQL statement
SELECT eprintid, date_year FROM eprint WHERE eprint_status = "buffer" AND date_year IS NULL;

And replacing the undef with a number (e.g. 2018) gives the same results as ending the SQL with

       ... AND date_year = 2018;

Good spot and definitely something that could be clearer in the wiki.


From: eprints-tech-bounces at ecs.soton.ac.uk [mailto:eprints-tech-bounces at ecs.soton.ac.uk] On Behalf Of John Salter
Sent: 04 July 2018 14:49
To: 'eprints-tech at ecs.soton.ac.uk' <eprints-tech at ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: [EP-tech] Searching for null/unset values

Hi All,
Can anyone validate this for me?

On this page: https://wiki.eprints.org/w/API:EPrints/Search#add_field  (generated from perldoc in EPrints::Search), the following statement is made for the value:
"value - value to match against (for EX matches, NULL = is_null!)"

This has always seemed very cryptic/unhelpful to me - but I've never needed to get a null search working - until now.

Experimentation has led to the following which seems to work (example: searching buffer for items with no date):

my $ds = $session->dataset( "buffer" );
my $searchexp = $ds->prepare_search();
    fields => [
      $ds->field( 'date' ),
    value => undef,
    match => "EX",

-the 'value => undef,' being the critical piece.
Before I add this to the Wiki, can anyone else confirm this is correct?


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