Showing entries 11 to 20 of 29
« 10 Newer Entries | 9 Older Entries »
Displaying posts with tag: syntax (reset)
Syntax of the day: IS TRUE and IS FALSE

What makes for a true statement?

We usually test statements using a WHERE clause:

SELECT * FROM world.City WHERE Population > 1000000

The "Population > 1000000" statement makes for a boolean expression. Using WHERE is just one way of evaluating it. One can also test with IF():

SET @val := 7;
SELECT IF(@val > 2, 'Yes', 'No')


The two are keywords. They also map for the numerals 1 and 0, as follows:

|    1 |     0 |

Like in the C programming language, a nonzero value evaluates to a true value. A zero evaluates to false. A …

[Read more]
Quoting text JavaScript/Python style

Unless your MySQL is configured to use ANSI_QUOTES in sql_mode, you are able to quote your text in one of two forms: using single quotes or double quotes:

UPDATE world.Country SET HeadOfState = 'Willy Wonka' WHERE Code='USA'
UPDATE world.Country SET HeadOfState = "Willy Wonka" WHERE Code="USA"

This makes for JavaScript- or Python-style quoting: you quote by your needs. Say you have a text which includes single quotes:

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. - Oscar Wilde

You wish to insert this text to some tables. You could go through the trouble of escaping it:

INSERT INTO quotes (quote, author) VALUES (
  'It is what you read when …
[Read more]
MySQL terminology: processes, threads & connections

There’s some confusion in the MySQL terminology for processes, threads & connections, which I will try to resolve. I can’t explain the full nature of what processes and threads are; please see Wikipedia [1] [2] for that. But here’s some basics with regard to MySQL:

  • MySQL server is a single process application.
  • It is multithreaded.
  • It (usually) acts as a TCP/IP server, accepting connections.
  • Each connection gets a dedicated thread.
  • These threads are sometimes named processes, and sometimes they’re referred to as connections.

The last part is where confusion arises, so let me discuss again the use of threads and connections in MySQL.

MySQL truly is a single process server. It is multi …

[Read more]
SQL: good comments conventions

I happened upon a customer who left me in awe and admiration. The reason: excellent comments for their SQL code.

I list four major places where SQL comments are helpful. I’ll use the sakila database. It is originally scarcely commented; I’ll present it now enhanced with comments, to illustrate.

Table definitions

The CREATE TABLE statement allows for a comment, intended to describe the nature of the table:

CREATE TABLE `film_text` (
 `film_id` smallint(6) NOT NULL,
 `title` varchar(255) NOT NULL,
 `description` text,
 PRIMARY KEY (`film_id`),
 FULLTEXT KEY `idx_title_description` (`title`,`description`)
) ENGINE=MyISAM DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8 COMMENT='Reflection of `film`, used for FULLTEXT search.'

It’s too bad the comment’s max length is 60 characters, though. However, it’s a very powerful …

[Read more]
MySQL Idiosyncrasies That Bite

The following are my slides that I presented at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010. This presentation talks about the MySQL defaults including a non-transactional state, silent data truncations, date management, and transaction isolation options. These are all critical for data integrity and consistency. I also cover in-depth topics including SQL_MODE, character sets and collations.

MySQL Idiosyncrasies That Bite View more presentations from Ronald Bradford.

Views: better performance with condition pushdown

Justin’s A workaround for the performance problems of TEMPTABLE views post on reminded me of a solution I once saw on a customer’s site.

The customer was using nested views structure, up to depth of some 8-9 views. There were a lot of aggregations along the way, and even the simplest query resulted with a LOT of subqueries, temporary tables, and vast amounts of data, even if only to return with a couple of rows.

While we worked to solve this, a developer showed me his own trick. His trick is now impossible to implement, but there’s a hack around this.

Let’s use the world database to illustrate. Look at the following view definition:

[Read more]
Discovery of the day: GROUP BY … DESC

I happened on a query where, by mistake, an


was written as


And it took me by surprise to realize GROUP BY x DESC is a valid statement. I looked it up: yep! It’s documented.

In MySQL, GROUP BY results are sorted according to the group statement. You can override this by adding ORDER BY NULL (see past post). I wasn’t aware you can actually control the sort order.

But I DO want MySQL to say “ERROR”!

MySQL is known for its willingness to accept invalid queries, data values. It can silently commit your transaction, truncate your data.

  • Using GROUP_CONCAT with a small group_concat_max_len setting? Your result will be silently truncated (make sure to check the warnings though).
  • Calling CREATE TEMPORARY TABLE? You get silent commit.
  • Issuing a ROLLBACK on non-transactional involved engines? Have a warning; no error.
  • Using LOCK IN SHARE MODE on non transactional tables? Not a problem. Nothing reported.
  • Adding a FOREIGN KEY on a MyISAM table? Good for you; no action actually taken.
  • Inserting 300 to a TINYINT column in a relaxed sql_mode? …
[Read more]
Proper SQL table alias use conventions

After seeing quite some SQL statements over the years, something is bugging me: there is no consistent convention as for how to write an SQL query.

I’m going to leave formatting, upper/lower-case issues aside, and discuss a small part of the SQL syntax: table aliases. Looking at three different queries, I will describe what I find to be problematic table alias use.

Using the sakila database, take a look at the following queries:

Query #1

 R.rental_date, C.customer_id, C.first_name, C.last_name
 rental R
 JOIN customer C USING (customer_id)
 R.rental_date >= DATE('2005-10-01')
 AND C.store_id=1;

The above looks for film rentals done in a specific store (store #1), as of Oct. 1st, 2005.

[Read more]
MySQL Wishlist

While I worked on several web projects I collected a few wishes for MySQL (this collection is more user specific - a MySQL internal wishlist will come later) - which I use in most cases. I still fixed a few things, but don't know if they are good enough for production (because I just started hacking MySQL).

Read the rest »

Showing entries 11 to 20 of 29
« 10 Newer Entries | 9 Older Entries »