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Displaying posts with tag: MySQL / MariaDB (reset)
Date arithmetic with Julian days, BC dates, and Oracle rules

Here are routines that can handle date arithmetic on BC dates, Julian day functions, and simulation of Oracle's support of old-style-calendar dates -- including simulation of an Oracle bug. So the routines are good for extending the range of useable dates, compact storage, and import/export between DBMSs that have different rules.

If you need to refresh your understanding of dates, read our old-but-lovely article first: The Oracle Calendar.

I wrote the main routines with standard SQL so they should run on
any DBMS that supports the standard, but tested only with
MySQL and MariaDB. (UPDATE on 2019-02-04: corrections were needed with HSQLDB, see the comments.)

Return number of days since 4713-01-01, given yyyy-mm-dd [BC] date
Return okay or error, given yyyy-mm-dd BC|AD date …
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The following statement usually is valid and the function returns 1. But sometimes it is invalid and sometimes the function returns 0.

  IF a = 0 || a > 0 THEN RETURN 1; END IF;


First, consider that "||" is usually the same as "OR" because that's the default. But if sql_mode is 'ansi' and the DBMS is MySQL 8.0, then "||" is the operator for concatenating strings. So the meaning of the IF condition changes, and it becomes false.

Second, consider that the function is written with SQL/PSM syntax. But if sql_mode is 'oracle' and the DBMS is MariaDB 10.3, then the function has to be written with PL/SQL syntax. And the requirements differ as soon as the word "RETURNS" comes along, so the result is a syntax error.

Our lesson is: you can't know a statement's meaning if you don't know whether somebody said …

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Reserved Words

In the 1990s C.J.Date said: "The rule by which it is determined within the standard that one key word needs to be reserved while another need not be is not clear to this writer."

Nothing has changed since then, except there are more reserved words. No DBMS uses the standard list. So I think that it is probably best to know what words are reserved in product X that are not reserved in product Y. If you know, you can avoid syntax errors when you update or migrate.

I'll present several comparisons, ending with a grand chart of all the reserved words in the standard and six current DBMSs.

First here's a screenshot of ocelotgui where I'm hovering over the word BEGIN.

What I'm illustrating is that you can't depend on intuition and assume BEGIN is reserved, but a GUI client can tell you from context: it's a …

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MySQL, MariaDB, International Components for Unicode

In an earlier blog post I wrote "MySQL has far better support for character sets and collations than any other open-source DBMS, except sometimes MariaDB."

That's no longer always true, because ICU.

ICU -- International Components for Unicode -- was a Sun + IBM initiative that started over 20 years ago, and has become a major component of major products. The key advantage is that it provides a lax-licensed library that does all the work that's needed for the Unicode Collation ALgorithm and the CLDRs. No competitive products do that.

When I was with MySQL we considered using ICU. We decided "no". We had good reasons then: it didn't do anything new for the major languages that we already handled well, it seemed to …

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Binary Serializers

DBMS client applications need to store SQL query results in local memory or local files. The format is flat and the fields are ordered -- that's "serialization". The most important serializer format uses human-readable markup, like
[start of field] [value] [end of field]
and the important ones in the MySQL/MariaDB world are CSV (what you get with SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE or LOAD INFILE), XML (what you get with --xml or LOAD XML), and JSON (for which there are various solutions if you don't use MySQL 5.7).

The less important serializer format uses length, like
[length of value] [value]
and this, although it has the silly name "binary …

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Releasing ocelotgui 1.0.0

Today ocelotgui, the Ocelot Graphical User Interface for MySQL and MariaDB, version 1.0.0, is generally available for Linux. Read the manual, see the screenshots, and download binary (.deb or .rpm) packages and GPL-licensed C++ source here.

Client-Side Predictive Parsing of MySQL/MariaDB Grammar

The Ocelot GUI client for MySQL/MariaDB is now beta. The final feature is client-side predictive parsing of every SQL clause and statement. Readers who only care how we did it can skip to the section Recursive Descent Parsers". I'll start by illustrating why this is a good feature.

Error Checks

Compare this snapshot from mysql client:

with this from ocelotgui:

The GUI advantage is that the error message is more clear and the error location is more definite. This is not always true. However, anybody who dislikes the famous message "You have an error ..." should like that there is another way to hear the bad news. It's like …

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Comments in SQL Statements

First I will say what the comment syntax is for various vendors' dialects. Then I will get specific about some matters that specifically affect MySQL or MariaDB.

Syntax Table

Oracle 12c YES YES NO NO YES
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Privileges in MySQL and MariaDB: The Weed Of Crime Bears Bitter Fruit

Let's look at how well MySQL and MariaDB support privileges (part of "access control" in standard terms), compared to other DBMSs, and consequences thereof.

Count the Privileges

I go to the DBMS manuals (here and starting here and here) and I count the privileges. This is like judging a town by the number of traffic lights it claims to have, but I'm trying to get an indicator for how granular the DBMS's "authorization" is.

Number of privileges listed in the manuals

MySQL/MariaDB  Oracle 12c     DB2 9.7   SQL Server 2014
31             240            52        124

Pretty …

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Generated columns in MariaDB and MySQL

It has been seven years since the last time I blogged about generated columns, and a lot has happened -- now both MariaDB and MySQL support them. So it's time to look again, see how well they're doing, and compare to the SQL standard's Optional feature T175 Generated columns.

This is not an introductory description or an explanation why you'd want to use generated columns rather than (say) triggers and views. For that, I'd recommend the relevant manuals or the blog posts by Alexander Rubin and Anders Karlsson.

The Generation Clause

Standard …
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