= and : assert the equality of two values


// Use : in a record to bind an attribute to a value
[attribute: value]

// Use = outside a record to bind an attribute to a value
attribute = value


[attribute: value] binds value to attribute, so that only records with attributes of the given value are returned. For instance, [name: "John"] selects all records with a name attribute equal to “John”. You can achieve the same effect with the = operator by first searching for a record. For instance:

name = "John"

This example further demonstrates that in Eve, variables with the same name are equivalent. Here, name inside the record and name on the second line are the same. This has particular implications, especially in the context of joining records. For instance:

  [#student name school: name]
  [#school name address]

This block searches for #students and #schools with the same name. This means if you have a school named “South High School”, it won’t match unless there is also a student named “South High School”. If you want to use attributes, but don’t want to join on them, you can access them via dot notation.

  [#student name school: schools.name]
  schools = [#school address]

This will correctly allow us to relate students and the addresses of the schools they attend.


Eve has two identical equivalency operators, : and =. They have the same semantic meaning, and could be used interchangeably. However, for readability reasons we encourage you to use : to express equality within records, and = outside of records. For example [attribute: value] is good, while we don’t encourage [attribute = value], even though it is semantically equivalent.


The following block will never execute the bind action because of a contradiction in the search:

  x = 10
  x = 20

bind @browser
  [#div text: "This will never display"]

The search action says that x = 10 and x = 20, which is never true. Since there is no order or assignment in Eve, this statement does not first set x to 10 and then to 20. To see this more clearly, these two statements could be written as one:x = 10 = 20.

See Also

inequality | joins