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What is the difference between the functions xcol and xcols?

Use xcol to rename columns. Note that it doesn't require a complete list of columns.

$ rlwrap q sp.q
KDB+ 2.7 2011.02.16 Copyright © 1993-2011 Kx Systems
(+(,`color)!,`blue`green`red)!+(,`qty)!,900 1000 1200
+`s`p`qty!(`s$`s1`s1`s1`s2`s3`s4;`p$`p1`p4`p6`p2`p2`p4;300 200 100 400 200 300)
s p qty
s1 p1 300
s1 p2 200
s1 p3 400
s1 p4 200
q)`p`s xcol sp // rename the first two cols
p s qty
s1 p1 300
s1 p2 200
s1 p3 400
s1 p4 200

Use xcols to reorder columns:

q)(reverse cols sp) xcols sp
qty p s
300 p1 s1
200 p2 s1
400 p3 s1
200 p4 s1

One way to remember which is which is that, just as rename precedes reorder (in alphabetical order), so does xcol precede xcols.

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