Mike Bayer  committed 382f825

- more updates to text docs, literal_column, column etc. in prep
for ticket 2992.

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File doc/build/core/tutorial.rst

 Our last example really became a handful to type. Going from what one
 understands to be a textual SQL expression into a Python construct which
 groups components together in a programmatic style can be hard. That's why
-SQLAlchemy lets you just use strings too. The :func:`~.expression.text` construct represents
-any textual statement, in a backend-agnostic way.
-To use bind parameters with :func:`~.expression.text`, always use the
-named colon format. Such as below, we create a :func:`~.expression.text` and execute it,
-feeding in the bind parameters to the :meth:`~.Connection.execute` method:
+SQLAlchemy lets you just use strings, for those cases when the SQL
+is already known and there isn't a strong need for the statement to support
+dynamic features.  The :func:`~.expression.text` construct is used
+to compose a textual statement that is passed to the database mostly
+unchanged.  Below, we create a :func:`~.expression.text` object and execute it:
 .. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
     ('m', 'z', '', '')
     {stop}[(u'Wendy Williams,',)]
-To gain a "hybrid" approach, the :func:`.select` construct accepts
-:func:`~.expression.text` constructs for most of its arguments.
-Below we combine the usage of :func:`~.expression.text` with our constructed
-:func:`.select` object, by using the :func:`.select` object to structure the
-statement, and strings to provide all the content within the structure. For
-this example, SQLAlchemy is not given any :class:`~sqlalchemy.schema.Column`
-or :class:`~sqlalchemy.schema.Table` objects in any of its expressions, so it
-cannot generate a FROM clause. So we also use the :meth:`~.Select.select_from`
-method, which accepts a :class:`.FromClause` or string expression
-to be placed within the FROM clause:
+Above, we can see that bound parameters are specified in
+:func:`~.expression.text` using the named colon format; this format is
+consistent regardless of database backend.  To send values in for the
+parameters, we passed them into the :meth:`~.Connection.execute` method
+as additional arguments.  Depending on how we are working, we can also
+send values to be associated directly with the :func:`~.expression.text`
+construct using the :meth:`~.TextClause.bindparams` method; if we are
+using datatypes that need special handling as they are received in Python,
+or we'd like to compose our :func:`~.expression.text` object into a larger
+expression, we may also wish to use the :meth:`~.TextClause.columns` method
+in order to specify column return types and names.
+:func:`~.expression.text` can also be used freely within a
+:func:`` object, which accepts :func:`~.expression.text`
+objects as an argument for most of its builder functions.
+Below, we combine the usage of :func:`~.expression.text` within a
+:func:`.select` object.  The :func:`` construct provides the "geometry"
+of the statement, and the :func:`~.expression.text` construct provides the
+textual content within this form.  We can build a statement without the
+need to refer to any pre-established :class:`.Table` metadata:
 .. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
     >>> s = select([
-    ...            text("users.fullname || ', ' || addresses.email_address AS title")
-    ...          ]).\
-    ...           where(
-    ...              and_(
+    ...        text("users.fullname || ', ' || addresses.email_address AS title")
+    ...     ]).\
+    ...         where(
+    ...             and_(
     ...                 text(" = addresses.user_id"),
     ...                 text(" BETWEEN 'm' AND 'z'"),
-    ...                 text("(addresses.email_address LIKE :x OR addresses.email_address LIKE :y)")
+    ...                 text(
+    ...                     "(addresses.email_address LIKE :x "
+    ...                     "OR addresses.email_address LIKE :y)")
     ...             )
-    ...           ).select_from(text('users, addresses'))
+    ...         ).select_from(text('users, addresses'))
     {sql}>>> conn.execute(s, x='', y='').fetchall() #doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
     SELECT users.fullname || ', ' || addresses.email_address AS title
     FROM users, addresses
     ('', '')
     {stop}[(u'Wendy Williams,',)]
-.. sidebar:: Why not use strings everywhere?
+.. topic:: Why not use strings everywhere?
     When we use literal strings, the Core can't adapt our SQL to work
     on different database backends.  Above, our expression won't work
     the less flexibility and ability for manipulation/transformation
     the statement will have.
+.. _sqlexpression_literal_column:
+Using More Specific Text with :func:`.table`, :func:`.literal_column`, and :func:`.column`
+We can move our level of structure back in the other direction too,
+by using :func:`~.expression.column`, :func:`~.expression.literal_column`,
+and :func:`~.expression.table` for some of the
+key elements of our statement.   Using these constructs, we can get
+some more expression capabilities than if we used :func:`~.expression.text`
+directly, as they provide to the Core more information about how the strings
+they store are to be used, but still without the need to get into full
+:class:`.Table` based metadata.  Below, we also specify the :class:`.String`
+datatype for two of the key :func:`~.expression.literal_column` objects,
+so that the string-specific concatenation operator becomes available.
+We also use :func:`~.expression.literal_column` in order to use table-qualified
+expressions, e.g. ``users.fullname``, that will be rendered as is;
+using :func:`~.expression.column` implies an individual column name that may
+be quoted:
+.. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
+    >>> from sqlalchemy import select, and_, text, String
+    >>> from sqlalchemy.sql import table, literal_column
+    >>> s = select([
+    ...    literal_column("users.fullname", String) +
+    ...    ' , ' +
+    ...    literal_column("addresses.email_address").label("title")
+    ... ]).\
+    ...    where(
+    ...        and_(
+    ...            literal_column("") == literal_column("addresses.user_id"),
+    ...            text(" BETWEEN 'm' AND 'z'"),
+    ...            text(
+    ...                "(addresses.email_address LIKE :x OR "
+    ...                "addresses.email_address LIKE :y)")
+    ...        )
+    ...    ).select_from(table('users')).select_from(table('addresses'))
+    {sql}>>> conn.execute(s, x='', y='').fetchall() #doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
+    SELECT "users.fullname" || ? || "addresses.email_address" AS anon_1
+    FROM users, addresses
+    WHERE "" = "addresses.user_id"
+    AND BETWEEN 'm' AND 'z'
+    AND (addresses.email_address LIKE ? OR addresses.email_address LIKE ?)
+    (' , ', '', '')
+    {stop}[(u'Wendy Williams,',)]
+Ordering or Grouping by a Label
+One place where we sometimes want to use a string as a shortcut is when
+our statement has some labeled column element that we want to refer to in
+a place such as the "ORDER BY" or "GROUP BY" clause; other candidates include
+fields within an "OVER" or "DISTINCT" clause.  If we have such a label
+in our :func:`.select` construct, we can refer to it directly by passing the
+string straight into :meth:`.select.order_by` or :meth:`.select.group_by`,
+among others.  This will refer to the named label and also prevent the
+expression from being rendered twice:
+.. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
+    >>> from sqlalchemy import func
+    >>> stmt = select([
+    ...         addresses.c.user_id,
+    ...         func.count('num_addresses')]).\
+    ...         order_by("num_addresses")
+    {sql}>>> conn.execute(stmt).fetchall() # doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
+    SELECT addresses.user_id, count( AS num_addresses
+    FROM addresses ORDER BY num_addresses
+    ()
+    {stop}[(2, 4)]
+We can use modifiers like :func:`.asc` or :func:`.desc` by passing the string
+.. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
+    >>> from sqlalchemy import func, desc
+    >>> stmt = select([
+    ...         addresses.c.user_id,
+    ...         func.count('num_addresses')]).\
+    ...         order_by(desc("num_addresses"))
+    {sql}>>> conn.execute(stmt).fetchall() # doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
+    SELECT addresses.user_id, count( AS num_addresses
+    FROM addresses ORDER BY num_addresses DESC
+    ()
+    {stop}[(2, 4)]
+Note that the string feature here is very much tailored to when we have
+already used the :meth:`~.ColumnElement.label` method to create a
+specifically-named label.  In other cases, we always want to refer to the
+:class:`.ColumnElement` object directly so that the expression system can
+make the most effective choices for rendering.  Below, we illustrate how using
+the :class:`.ColumnElement` eliminates ambiguity when we want to order
+by a column name that appears more than once:
+.. sourcecode:: pycon+sql
+    >>> u1a, u1b = users.alias(), users.alias()
+    >>> stmt = select([u1a, u1b]).\
+    ...             where( >\
+    ...             order_by(  # using "name" here would be ambiguous
+    {sql}>>> conn.execute(stmt).fetchall() # doctest: +NORMALIZE_WHITESPACE
+    SELECT,, users_1.fullname,,
+, users_2.fullname
+    FROM users AS users_1, users AS users_2
+    ()
+    {stop}[(2, u'wendy', u'Wendy Williams', 1, u'jack', u'Jack Jones')]
 Using Aliases

File doc/build/orm/tutorial.rst

     {stop}[(1, u'ed', 12)]
-.. sidebar:: Why not use strings everywhere?
-    When we use literal strings, the Core can't adapt our SQL to work
-    on different database backends.  We also lose typing information about
-    result columns and bound parameters.  Depending on how much of our
-    SQL is specified as fixed text, the :class:`.Query` object
-    has less ability to perform transformations and adaptations of the
-    SQL statement as a whole, which can impact features such as eager loading,
-    generation of joins and subqueries, and working with compound
-    mappings such as inheritance mappings.
+.. seealso::
+    :ref:`sqlexpression_text` - Core description of textual segments.  The
+    behavior of the ORM :class:`.Query` object with regards to
+    :func:`.text` and related constructs is very similar to that of the
+    Core :func:`.select` object.

File lib/sqlalchemy/sql/

 def literal_column(text, type_=None):
-    """Return a textual column expression, as would be in the columns
-    clause of a ``SELECT`` statement.
-    The object returned supports further expressions in the same way as any
-    other column object, including comparison, math and string operations.
-    The type\_ parameter is important to determine proper expression behavior
-    (such as, '+' means string concatenation or numerical addition based on
-    the type).
+    """Produce a :class:`.ColumnClause` object that has the
+    :paramref:`.column.is_literal` flag set to True.
+    :func:`.literal_column` is similar to :func:`.column`, except that
+    it is more often used as a "standalone" column expression that renders
+    exactly as stated; while :func:`.column` stores a string name that
+    will be assumed to be part of a table and may be quoted as such,
+    :func:`.literal_column` can be that, or any other arbitrary column-oriented
+    expression.
     :param text: the text of the expression; can be any SQL expression.
       Quoting rules will not be applied. To specify a column-name expression
       provide result-set translation and additional expression semantics for
       this column. If left as None the type will be NullType.
+    .. seealso::
+        :func:`.column`
+        :func:`.text`
+        :ref:`sqlexpression_literal_column`
     return ColumnClause(text, type_=type_, is_literal=True)
+            :func:`.table`
-            :ref:`metadata_toplevel`
+            :ref:`sqlexpression_literal_column`