Improved Visual Display

Published by cce on 2012-03-19

We overhauled the visual style of HTML-based output. The web-based editor and the /:html output now share the same formatting theme. This theme includes row numbers and visual hints for missing records and empty strings.


While the primary focus of HTSQL is on the query language itself, it is important to have visual output that permits HTSQL to be used out-of-the-box for ad-hoc queries. This update improves our HTML-based output to make data exploration easier.

Specifically, we improved the /:html output, the default output format for browsers. Additionally, we updated the visual query editor /:shell. To use the shell plugin, you must enable it with -E or include it in your configuration file.


In HTML-based formats, row numbers are now shown; they are displayed in grey lettering with a slightly reduced font size. Numeric columns are right-aligned. For boolean columns, we show false in italic so that it is more easily distinguished from true.

It is was previously impossible to know when a nested record was missing or when the record existed but its selected columns were null. We now indicate missing records using dashes between fields:

By convention, we show null as an empty cell. This makes sense for numeric, boolean, date and other types. However, it was impossible to distinguish null from an empty string (''). Since this difference can be a source of errors, we now show an empty string as a dotted box.

blog comments powered by Disqus