Query Results

Query results can be configured in a number of ways, including:


See Export for details on exporting options.

column headers

See Using Class and Field Labels to change column headers.

weird brackets

You may see the following in query results: GO:0007480 [GOTerm]. This happens when a column is a parent type but the individual result is a subclass. The subclass will by in brackets.

The initial Page Size

This can be configured on a table by table basis when the table is initialised:

  type: 'table',
  url: 'www.flymine.org/query',
  query: {from: 'Gene', select: ['*'], where: {symbol: 'foo*'}},
  properties: { pageSize: 20 }


Two different icon style are supported, bootstrap glyphicons and fontawesome. These differ in the underlying technology they use, one using images (glyphicons) and the other SVG fonts (fontawesome). By using fonts fontawesome icons generally look a bit nicer, but they are not compatible with IE8. For this reason glyphicons are the default, and fontawesome must be selected explicitly:

intermine.setOptions({icons: 'fontawesome'}, '.Style');

To apply this setting in your current web-app, see Setting Javascript Options.

The initial state of Sub-Tables

Outer-Joined collections are rendered in subtables within a single cell. By default these are not immediately rendered, and just the number of rows are indicated. This means that even sections with very large sub-tables are rendered efficiently - in the worst case the sub-tables may contain thousands of rows, and so a table with even 10 main rows might present 10,000 sub-rows or more, which can significantly impact browser performance (an example of this would be a table that contained publications with an outer-joined selection of genes; genome publications can list every gene in an organism, and this scenario easily leads to very large sub-tables).

However, if you don’t like the default behaviour and would prefer for the sub-tables to be open when the main table is rendered onto the page, this is simply altered, through the following configuration snippet:

intermine.setOptions({SubtableInitialState: 'open'})

If you would like to set this property on a table by table basis, then you must set the SubtableInitialState property to open, in the same manner as you would for pageSize.

  type: 'table',
  url: 'www.flymine.org/query',
  query: {
    from: 'Gene',
    select: ['*', 'pathways.*'],
    where: {symbol: 'foo*'},
    joins: ['pathways']
  properties: { SubtableInitialState: 'open' }

Cell Formatters

The cells in each table can be configured to display their information in custom manners. To do this a javascript function must be registered to handle certain types of cell, and configured to respond to certain paths.

Formatters are not enabled by default, as they may be unexpected, and in could cause unneccessary requests to the server. Fortunately they are easily enabled. There are four formatter included (but not enabled) by default:

  • Location - formats a chromosome location as eg: “2L:123..456”
  • Sequence - formats a DNA or Protein sequence in FASTA lines.
  • Publication - formats a publication in a citable format with title, first author and year.
  • Organism - formats an organism’s name in italics, using the short-name format.

To enable these formatters register the formatted path (see below), eg:

intermine.scope('intermine.results.formatsets.genomic', {
  'Organism.name': true,
  'Organism.shortName': true

To enable all the default formatters, you can use the following snippet:

var keyPath, formatsets = intermine.results.formatsets.genomic;
for (keyPath in formatsets) {
  formatsets[keyPath] = true;

Such customisation javascript should be placed in a custom model-includes.js file.

The Formatting Function

The interface expected for a formatting function is:

(Backbone.Model intermineObject) -> String|HtmlElement

Where the Model instance represents an intermine object. Fields of the object can be retrieved through the standard #get(String) method. The return value will be inserted into the table using the jQuery#html function, so both html strings and HtmlElements can be accepted as return values.

This function is executed as a method on a intermine.results.table.Cell (which will be bound as this), supplying the following properties as part of its interface:

this.el :: HtmlElement - The cell element in the DOM.
this.$el :: jQuery - The cached jQuery selector for the cell element.
this.options :: Object - The arguments supplied when constructing the cell, this includes:
  options.query :: intermine.Query

The function may also support two optional parts of the formatter interface:

Formatter.replaces :: Array<String> - The list of fields of the class that this formatter replaces.
Formatter.merge :: (Backbone.Model, Backbone.Model) -> () - A function to merge information
  from different objects into a single model.

A typical pattern would be to check to see whether the object currently has all the information required to render it, and if not then make a request to retrieve the missing information. Any changes to the model will cause the cell to be re-rendered, thus a request that gets missing information and sets it onto the model will cause the function to be called again with the complete information.

For examples of implementations of this interface please see:

The Formatting Configuration

To register a function to respond to specific types of data, it must be referenced under the intermine.results.formatters namespace by the name of the class that it handles. For example this can be done with the intermine.scope function:


intermine.scope('intermine.results.formatters', {Exon: myExonFormatter});

A separate entry must be made under the ‘intermine.results.formatsets.{modelname}’ namespace to register which paths trigger cell formatting. For example to register a formatter for the ‘Exon’ class which only formats the ‘symbol’ field:

intermine.scope('intermine.results.formatsets.genomic', {'Exon.symbol': true});

In a similar way, we can disable any currently configured formatter by setting the value of this value to ‘false’:

intermine.scope('intermine.results.formatsets.genomic', {'Exon.symbol': false});

individual formatters can be configured to respond to different fields of an object. So you could have one formatter for Gene.length and another for Gene.symbol, if you are unable to achieve what you need with css alone. To do this, the value in the formatset should be the formatter itself, rather than a boolean value, eg:

intermine.scope('intermine.results.formatsets.genomic', {
  'Gene.symbol': geneSymbolFormatter,
  'Gene.length': geneLengthFormatter


Links to your site (or others) can be branded with icons. This is configurable by setting option as follows:

  {"http://myhostname": "http://myhostname/my-branding.png"}

All links in table cells with the prefix http://myhostname will use the given image as a logo.

This requires that intermine.options.IndicateOffHostLinks is set to true.