This gist was prompted by a question on the eXist-open mailing list. See

To run these files:

  • Download this gist as a .zip file
  • Uncompress the .zip file
  • Create collection /db/test in eXist
  • Upload the contents of the zip file into the /db/test collection
  • Reindex /db/test with xmldb:reindex("/db/test")
  • Run /db/test/test.xq

Basic dynamic web pages, with XQuery and eXist

This self-guided tutorial builds up from a simple "Hello, World!" exercise to a dynamic web page that responds to user input. It uses eXist-db and teaches the basic interface elements of the eXide XQuery IDE for developing XQuery-based applications in eXist.

eXist is a free, open source native XML database. It's a great tool for learning how to query, analyze, and transform your data. Among the various interfaces for working with eXist, one of the most convenient is eXide, a browser-based IDE (integrated development environment) for writing XQuery modules and developing XQuery-based applications on your own computer without installing any additional software. eXide comes pre-installed with eXist and has a number of useful features. We'll just cover the basics here. And once you have something you'd like to turn into a web page, eXist has a built-in web server, so you can develop full-fledged web applications by learning just a few additional functions and tec


Ideas for eXist-db org app repos

Incomplete, draft notes toward a proposal for a consideration by the community during a future community call


  • Have a common set of best practices for maintaining and releasing quality eXist community apps
  • Help maintainers know what they should do
  • Help users know how to report problems, ask questions, and contribute
  • Help the community stay aware of releases

An introduction to recursion in XQuery

  • Created: Nov 28, 2017
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2017: Now covers transformation of XML documents

Recursion is a powerful programming technique, but the idea is simple: instead of performing a single operation, a function calls itself repeatedly to whittle through a larger task. In XQuery, recursion can be used to accomplish complex tasks on data that a plain FLWOR expression (which iterates through a sequence) cannot, such as transforming an entire XML document from one format into another, like TEI or DocBook into HTML, EPUB, LaTeX, or XSL-FO. Transforming a document is well-suited to recursion because each of the document's nodes may need to be examined and manipulated based on the node's type, name, and location in the document; and once a node has been processed, the transformation must continue processing the nodes' children and descendants until the deepest leaf node has been processed. But learning the technique of recursion is often hard for a beginning program

View enrich-dates-in-mixed-content.xq
xquery version "3.1";
(: Turning "December 7, 1941" into <date>December 7, 1941</date> isn't too hard, with XPath 3.0's
fn:analyze-string() function, but if the date string occurs in mixed text, such as:
<p>Pearl Harbor was attacked on <em>December</em> 7, 1941.</p>
and you want to preserve the existing element structure to return:
<p>Pearl Harbor was attacked on <date><em>December</em> 7, 1941</date>.</p>
it's quite a bit more challenging.
This query uses string processing to align the results of fn:string-analyze() with the input's
View get-latest-created-document.xq
xquery version "3.1";
(: See discussion at :)
import module namespace util="";
import module namespace xmldb="";
declare function local:get-latest-created-document($collection-uri as xs:string) as map(*) {
if (xmldb:collection-available($collection-uri)) then
let $documents := xmldb:xcollection($collection-uri) ! util:document-name(.)
View frus-volume-titles.xq
xquery version "3.1";
element volumes {
let $vols := collection("/db/apps/frus/bibliography")/volume[publication-status eq "published"]
for $vol in $vols
let $vol-id := $vol/@id
let $title :=
$vol/title[@type eq "sub-series"],
$vol/title[@type eq "volume-number"],

Full text search of Chinese text, with eXist-db and lucene

This gist contains some sample files showing how to configure full text queries on Chinese text with eXist.

It assumes you have already installed eXist 3.5.0+.

Set up

The default eXist installation does not ship with the "SmartCN" analyzer for Lucene, so you need to install it. To do so, download the full distribution of Lucene, being sure to download the same version of Lucene as is bundled with eXist. For eXist 3.5.0, the version of Lucene is 4.10.4, so download lucene-4.10.4.tgz or from Expand the archive, and find lucene-analyzers-smartcn-4.10.4.jar in the analysis/smartcn folder. Place this jar file into EXIST_HOME/extensions/indexes/lucene/lib. With this jar file in place, start eXist.

View date-processing.xqm
xquery version "3.1";
module namespace dp = "";
declare variable $dp:month-regex := "(January|February|March|April|May|June|July|August|September|October|November|December)";
declare variable $dp:day-regex := "(\d{1,2})(?:st|d|nd|rd|th)?";
declare variable $dp:regexes :=
map {
View list-abbreviations.xq
xquery version "3.1";
(: Force oXygen to indent the output :)
declare namespace output="";
declare option output:method "xml";
declare option output:indent "yes";
(: Assumed context: you're running this in oXygen's XPath/XQuery Builder pane
: with an XML document open in the main editor :)