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Changes in sequences

We have already introduced the concatenation of sequences with the comma operator. With this operator, also single items can be added to a sequence:

let $seq := (1, 2, 3)
return ($seq, 4)


(1, 2, 3, 4)

With the help of the fn:insert-before() function, it is also possible to insert items into other positions of the sequence. The deletion of items can be achived with fn:remove() by indicating the relevant position. In the following example the item at position 3 is replaced by the item "New".

let $seq := ("I1", "I2", "I3", "I4", "I5")
return fn:insert-before(fn:remove($seq, 3), 3, "New")


("I1", "I2", "New", "I4", "I5")

The order of the items in a sequence can be reversed with fn:reverse(). With fn:subsequence() it is possible to build an excerpt from a sequence by indicating the start position and the number of elements. Here, these indications are values of xs:double type. They are initially rounded in order to get values of xs:integer type. In case the indication of a number is missing, the input sequence is outputted from the start position to the end. For example, the following expression:

let $seq := (6,5,4,3,2,1,0)
return subsequence(($seq, fn:reverse($seq)),
fn:count($seq) div 2,

results in the sequence:


A special role plays the fn:unordered() function. It only represents the waiver of a specific order. A XQuery implementation may use this for optimisation purposes. In this way, for example, it is not required to restore the document order when uniting sequences with the union operator:

fn:unordered($seq1 union $seq2)

The following table provides an overview of the functions discussed.

$seq as item()*,
$position as xs:integer,
$seqnew as item()*)
as item()*
returns a new sequence in which the items of the $seqnew
sequence have been inserted into the $position position in the
$seq sequence; if $position is greater than the number of the
items in $seq, $seqnew is added to $seq; if $position has the value 1 or less, $seqnew is put in front of the items of $seq.

$seq as item()*,
$position as xs:integer)
as item()*
returns a new sequence which is made up by removing in
$seq the item at position $position;
in case of invalid position indications, $seq is returned.
$seq as item()*)
as item()*
returns a new sequence containing all items of $seq
in reversed order.
$seq as item()*,
$start as xs:double[,
$length as xs:double])
as item()*
returns a new sequence beginning with the item at position
round($start) in $seq; the rest of $seq is outputted in case $length is missing, otherwise only round($length) items are returned.
$seq as item()*)
as item()*
returns a sequence containing all items of $seq,
whereby their order is undetermined.


Source: "XQuery – Grundlagen und fortgeschrittene Methoden", dpunkt-Verlag, Heidelberg (2004)

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